What are the Latest Food Trends in China's Big Four?

As the title states, do you know which foods/cuisines are en vogue right now in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen? I haven’t had time to check out Chinese-language sources lately, so maybe y’all can help out.

As an aside, if any of you are looking for an underrated food destination in the mainland, Shenzhen may fit that bill. Can’t say it’s terribly exciting otherwise, but there are so many regional Chinese restaurants around that it merits some time for exploring.

This might be a good candidate for a sticky thread, as Hungry Onion continues to gain new members.


Are they really the China’s Big Four? I would think Chengdu has to be one of top, considering how popular Szechuan cuisine (川菜) is in China and around the world.

It’s not in reference to the popularity of the cuisine; rather, it’s to their “first-tier” status (http://sme.amcham-shanghai.org/en/faq/what-meant-first-tier-second-tier-and-third-tier-cities).

Note that I don’t place any value on those labels, however if we really wanted to discuss every Chinese city with more than one million people/significant influence on the rest of the world, this would be the largest thread in the history of…for now, let’s say the Hungry Onion!

I am guessing Guangzhou and Shenzhen overlap a bit in the sense that they are both located in the same province so both would be strong in cantonese. Granted as you mentioned, Shenzhen probably gets more varieties because of its location.

Are you counting non-Chinese food trends? It seems like Shanghai has been getting many western restaurants in recent years because of increased appetite for something ‘different’. Now that may not be so interesting to someone who’s looking for the regional specialties.

For sure, any cuisine counts.

Have you visited both Guangzhou and Shenzhen? The former has significantly more Cantonese restaurants than Shenzhen. Now, if GZ was made an SEZ, it would be a different story!

Big Four? Why Shenzhen and not Chongqing?