To find real local food, you often have to explore the hidden or less well known backstreets of a city. Longjin Xi Road and Pantang Road, are two such streets in Liwan District, Guangzhou, and are home to countless small food stalls and restaurants, drawing both local people and visitors alike for decades.
Longjin West Road (Photo: Xiao Xiong)
So time to check whether you are a qualified GZ foodie or not: have you ever tried the following Lao Zihao (time-honored restaurants)?
Longjin West Road (龙津西路)
Turn left from Exit B of Zhongshanba metro station, pass through the residential area next to Fuli Plaza, and you will arrive at Longjin West Road. On both sides of the road are hundred year or more old houses and tempting or curious delicacies.
Taide Water-Chestnut Cakes (泰德马蹄糕)
The Taide Water-Chestnut Cakes store is run by a family. The shopkeeper serves as a cashier and her husband and mother-in-law are responsible for making the cakes.
When trying these yellow water-chestnut cakes, you'll first taste the light sweetness of brown sugar and then the crisp freshness of water-chestnut. The cakes are chewy and sweet but not at all greasy.
Address: Near Fuli Plaza, Longjin West Road, Liwan District (荔湾区龙津西路富力广场附近)
Price: About RMB 30/kg
Jinjin Noodles (津津面馆)
Take a right after Taide Water-Chestnut Cakes and you will come across Jinjin Noodles, where you can sample delicious wonton noodles.
The wonton dumplings are big and generously filled. The soup with dried shrimp and chives combined both savoury and sweet flavours. The meat used in wontons is not especially lean, making the wontons 'melt in the mouth'. The homemade chili sauce is a must try!
Address: No. 260, Longjin West Road, Liwan District (荔湾区龙津西路260号)
Price: About RMB 11 per person
Ming Ji (明记)
Keep going straight from Jinjin Noodles and you'll see the famous Ming Ji, whose rice noodles with beef offal are renowned throughout Guangzhou.
The soup is quite a heavy and savoury, when paired with crisp sweet and sour turnip cubes, the flavour of the rice noodles is strong without being overpowering. Local people have been coming here for over 30 years. If you don't like standing in line, you'd better come as early as possible because there are always long queues.
Address: No. 3, Enzhou Nanheng Street, Longjin West Road, Liwan District (荔湾区龙津西路恩洲南横街3号)
Price: About RMB 12 per person
Youkoufu Water-Chestnut Powder (有口福第一马蹄粉)
The water-chestnut layer cakes here are well-known. Moreover, the staff's friendly and warm service has won Youkoufu a good reputation among locals. Double-layer water-chestnut cakes have a red and orange coloring, are rather chewy and refreshing.
Address: No. 183, Longjin West Road, Liwan District (荔湾区龙津西路183号)
Price: About RMB 30/kg
Traditional snacks on Pantang Road (Photo: Xiao Xiong)
Pantang Road (泮塘路)
Pantang Road is also located near Line 5's Zhongshanba station. From a local's point of view, more than half of Guangzhou’s characteristic dishes and delicacies can be found here on Pantang Road. The road is less than 400 meters long, but packed full of 'time-honored' restaurants.
Ling Ji (凌记)
Ling Ji is a bustling time-honored restaurant. Its Cantonese rice noodles are quite starchy, which lends them their signature soft and sticky texture. Accompanied by a bone broth, they are bursting with flavour.
Address: opposite the Renwei Temple, Pantang Road, Liwan District (荔湾区泮塘路仁威庙对面)
Price: About RMB 13 per person
Kai Ji (开记)
Double-skin milk pudding (Shuangpi Nai 雙皮奶) with red bean is a must-order. Red beans are wonderfully soft and fragrant whilst the double-skin milk pudding is slightly sweet and richly custardy. After a spoonful of Kai Ji's red bean and milk custard, you will be left wanting more of this famous Cantonese dessert.
Address: F Building, east side of Pantang Road, Liwan District (荔湾区泮塘路东侧F幢)
Price: About RMB 15 per person
Traditional delicacies on Pantang Road (Photo: Xiao Xiong)
Wuzhan Ji (伍湛记)
The sampan rice porridge at Wuzhan Ji is another household name. The porridge has a fine and delicate texture, and is served with fish skin, egg slices and roast pork. By adding fried bread sticks and peanuts, you can savor a wonderful array of balanced flavors in just one dish, truly an unforgettable taste.
Address: opposite the 43rd Middle School, Pantang Road, Liwan District (荔湾区泮塘路第四十三中对面)
Price: About RMB 16 per person
(Author: Li Meng; Editors: Simon Haywood, Monica Liu)