Archive for restaurants

Are you bold enough to eat at these five restaurants?

Apparently the five restaurants listed in the link below had issues with the National Food Quality Supervision and Inspection Center. The article is in Chinese, but there are pictures of the restaurants to help you recognize if you eaten there (or to help you recognize which ones to steer clear of).
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Happy Valentine’s Day, Hohhot!

If you plan on celebrating by eating out at an upscale restaurant, be prepared to pay more than normal. Most restaurants will have only a “set menu” or choices of set menus instead of their usual offerings. The offerings are typically great, just don’t show up to a place you know and love and expect the same dishes you normally order.

If you need some suggestions for a date, we wrote a post some time back with some suggestions.

Also, there’s an international site for searching date ideas/locations called and believe it or not, there are entries and suggestions for Hohhot.

If you haven’t made any plans to celebrate, don’t worry. You’ll have another chance in August. Today is Western holiday for lovers, but the Chinese also have a traditional holiday to celebrate love which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month according to the lunar calendar. In 2015 it will fall on August 20th.


What does Hohhot do best?

CNN recently published this article about the ten things China does best. I thought it was a very fair and accurate list. For your reading pleasure, James and I quickly brainstormed the ten things we think Hohhot does best.

What Hohhot Does Best:

1. Mutton. I mean, this is the grasslands, right? This isn’t something we frequently ate back home, but I don’t think you can live here too long without it becoming an endearing part of the cuisine.

2. Bad English. For a provincial capital, it’s my humble opinion that our English rendering of public signs and such is still far enough from accurate to give us our daily chuckle. I think other cities across China are becoming more international and losing this humorous aspect to their day.

3. Cold Weather. Has anything in Hohhot ever shut down due to snow or bad weather? I can’t remember anything. I can however, remember a time (2002, I believe) that the official temperature was reported as -29 for a number of days so that they wouldn’t have to close schools and offices. (I hear at -30 schools should close). I can also remember numerous time boasting the coldest temps in China. brrrr.

4. Taxi Sharing. This wasn’t a thing ten years ago, but I’m quite impressed at the drivers’ ability to know so quickly what locations are generally in the same direction as their current passenger and to make the snap decision to pick up a second (or third) fare or not. And passengers generally seem to be cordial enough to one another when sharing.

5. Hospitality. If you don’t have your own collection of blue scarves (hadas) yet, you haven’t been properly welcomed. If you haven’t left every social gathering stuffed until you feel sick, well, them my experience has been vastly different than yours.

6. Local Food. We may not have the best selection of Western food, but when it comes to local food, we have a wide variety of deliciousness to choose from. And, as far as “local specialties” go, we could be doing a lot worse than hot pot and mutton. We all have friends in other places in China that have to endure way more gastric torture than we do, yes?

7. Traffic Jams. I think the following picture, courtesy of a local friend’s wechat account, says enough.


8. Bike Theft. They really are genius, right? And not just bicycles, but has anyone held on to an electric bike and its original battery for any length of time. I’m always amazed at the boldness of the thieves in both their choosing of the location of what the thefts occur as well as their tenacity to somehow get through all the locks we use!

9. Museums. The museums truly are great, and getting better. And I don’t just mean the provincial level ones, either. Even small counties are building more museums with truly interesting displays. The English is still terrible, but the displays themselves are great.

10. Arts/Mongolian Culture. Sure other big cities may have a more lively band/music scene for foreigners, but here there are still plenty of locals performing for locals. Traditional Mongolian singers, instrumentalists and dancers can be found at many restaurants and every tourist trap across the province. Local bars also have a lively music scene.

Tell us in the comments what you would add or what items you disagree with.

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Best Local Food from the Local Perspective, Part Three

Many months back two lists of “Hohhot’s Best Food” circulated widely on wechat. One list had 42 places and the other had 46. I would love to attribute them to an author, so if you know who wrote it, please leave a comment or email. I take no credit for the Chinese listing, but the translation into English (and any resulting errors) are my own. For most place names and restaurant names I used pin yin unless there is a common English name. I deleted one entry which I found to be in poor taste (the joke made, not the food). Between the two lists if there was overlap, I deleted the duplications. Due to the length, I will also separate them into smaller segments. And, if I get enough time, I’ll even try to map them for you.

This post is the third installment. Find the first one here and the second one here.

Leave a comment if you try any of these specific places.


31 北马神庙街的田林川蒜瓣鱼 ,炒菜也很好吃的。

North Ma Shen Miao Jie’s (Tián lín chuān suàn bàn yú*) has good stir fry. *sorry, not sure if this is the restaurant name or the name of the dish

32 北马神庙街的大韩门韩餐的拌饭和年糕炒拉面很好吃,韩式炒菜味道都不错,烤肉就更没的说了,生菜上放点米饭再放上烤好的五花肉,记得沾上酱哦,把它们卷起来,放进嘴里那感觉

On North Ma Shen MIao Jie there’s Da Han Men. Their ban fan (rice in a clay pot) and rice cakes stir fried with noodles are good. Their Korean style stir fry is good and the grilled meat is even better. The author recommends eating the grilled meat wrapped in lettuce with a little rice and sauce.

33 黄金支队北面天和园的回勺面很好吃

North of Huang Jin there’s a place called Tian He Yuan. They have good hui shao mian. (A kind of stir fried noodles).

34 党委后院门口小东北饸烙面!

At the gate of the courtyard behind the Dang Wei there’s a small dong bei restaurant with great he lao mian.

35  西餐自助要属香格里拉了,服务好,牛排不错,三文鱼切的是厚片,口感非常好,茶、冰激凌等都是进口的。

For Western buffets, there is the Shang-ri-la. The service is good, the steaks are not bad, the salmon is cut thick and tasty, the tea and ice cream are imported.

36   护城河巷里铁锅炖鸡,是手指鸡,吃的就是个鲜,鸡吃的差不多时煮上腐竹、鲜蘑、豆腐,再来碗米饭,把汤一浇,那叫个香啊。

Hu Cheng He Alley has clay pot chicken that is fresh and tasty with tofu, mushrooms, rice, and soup.

37   长乐宫后巷邮电小区门口西侧有家西安油泼面超好吃,就是没肉,旁边有不老神鸡先买根香肠,有肉的感觉真好

Behind Chang Le Gong there is You Dian Xiao Qu, on the west alley there is a place that makes great Xi’an you po mian (noodles), but there’s no meat. But, next door there’s a Bu Lao Shen Chicken place, Get some chicken, it’s better to go with the noodles.

38  二十九中斜对面天和公寓西巷有家水竹园,特色就是竹笋类还有烤鱼,竹笋都是新鲜运来的。

Diagonal from the 39 Middle School’s Tian He Gong Yu’s west alley there’s a Jia Shui Zhu Yuan. There specialty is a grilled fish with bamboo shoots. The bamboo shoots are shipped fresh.

39 水竹园斜对面老崔包子,我打小就吃这家的煎包子,你说好还是不好呢。

Diagonal from Shui Zhu Yuan there’s Lao Cui Bao Zi. It’s just like eating bao zi at home.

40  烟草华联家兴小区门口南侧水煮羊,羊肉是越煮越嫩,小料的味道是相当的好,别家没的比。

At the south side of the gate of Yan Cao Hua Lian’s Jiao Xing Xiao Qu there’s Shui Zhu Yang. The mutton is tender and the sauces are great…can’t compare to other places.

41  日报社后巷米粮川,这的焖面油不大味道还好。  现在开了好几家分店)

Behind the Ri Bao She there’s Mi Liang Chuan. Their men mian is good without being oily. Now they have opened many other locations.

There are still a few installments of this list to come, so check back soon!

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Halloween activity

If you decide to dress up for Halloween (October 31st), the Cheese Factory will reward you with 30% off your meal! You can celebrate and enjoy some delicious food!

The Cheese Factory serves pizza, fondue, steaks, appetizers, desserts, and many other delicious treats.

They are located on the walking street south of Wanda.

Enjoy your deliciously discounted food!



Read more about the Cheese Factory. And read even more here.


New Dishes at the Cheese Factory!

The Cheese Factory is now offering some new dishes including a rosemary-roasted sirloin steak!
And remember, you can get a 10% discount by using the discount code 0471!



The Cheese Factory is located on the walking street behind (south of) Wanda Plaza on the south side of the street.

cheese factory



See our first post about the Cheese Factory here.



As always they have their delicious Paninis, pizza, foundue, salads, appetizers, and much more. Check it our if you haven’t already! Leave a comment and tell us what you thought of it!

Use the share feature below to let someone else know about this great place and the discount!


Best Food from the Local’s Perspective, Part Two

A few months back two lists of “Hohhot’s Best Food” circulated widely on wechat.  One list had 42 places and the other had 46, but a few were duplicated. I deleted one entry which I found to be in poor taste (the joke made, not the food). Between the two lists if there was overlap, I deleted the duplications. Due to the length, I will also separate them into smaller segments. And, if I get enough time, I’ll even try to map them for you.

I would love to attribute them to an author, so if you know who wrote it, please leave a comment or email. I take no credit for the Chinese listing, but the translation into English (and any resulting errors) are my own. For most place names and restaurant names I used pin yin unless there is a common English name.

Leave a comment if you try any of these specific places or if you have another place to recommend.

18. 健康街清香饭店羊骨头还是这里的好吃。Jian Kang Jie Qing Xiang Restaurant has delicious mutton bones.

19. 五塔寺北街胖胖麻辣烫旁边的韩餐馆特色护心肉,味道不错。On 5 Pagoda North Road (Wu Ta Si Jie) next to Pang Pang Ma La Tang, there is a Korean Restaurant with a specialty dish with great flavor.

20. 北二环李大姐热炕头,那的牛骨头也特别好吃还有厚烙饼。On the North Second Ring Road Li Da Jie Re Kang Tou’s beef bones and lao bing (pancake like food) are great.

21. 新体育场的西贝莜面,当然是莜面不错啦~还有就是学府花园西门的联华超市里卖的莜面,很多人都喜欢吃,尤其是师大的老师跟学生!Near the new sports stadium the Xi Bei You Mian has great you mian. There’s also great you mian at the Lian Hua Supermarket near the west gate of Xue Fu Hua Yuan. Many people like it, especially Shi Da teachers and students.

22.  金宇文苑南口,粥底火锅很好,牛肉丸、豆腐丸煮完丸子后的粥味道很好喝的 On Jin Ning Wen Yuan South End (Yellow Street), Zhou Di Hot Pot is very good. They have beef and tofu balls which flavor the zhou nicely to drink the soup after you finish eating.

23.  金宇文苑那一条小吃街,里面有家卖烤鸡翅的好像也不错,还有新疆饭馆的炒面,好像叫红石榴??记不清了 On Jin Ning Wen Yuan, (Yellow Street) a small road with many small eating shops, there’s a place that sells roasted chicken wings that’s good. Also a Xin Jiang Restaurant (called Red Pomegranate hong shi liu) with great stir-fried noodles.

24. 吉祥斋的鱿鱼虾锅超好吃 Ji Xiang Zhai’s fish and seafood pot is delicious.

25.  海关后面有家铜火锅,羊肉是锡盟的,大片手切肉,嫩的很。Behind the Custom’s Building there’s a hot pot place. Their mutton comes from Xi Meng and is cut by hand. It’s really tender!

26. 铁二中后巷没过桥的那个巷子里第一家饭店的什锦火锅, 名字忘了,味道不错外配有蒜醋,这个一般饭店很少有,主食烤馒头,烤包子是土豆包子。On the road behind the #2 middle school before the bridge there is a Shi Jin Hot Pot restaurant. The taste is great and comes with garlic and vinegar. Most restaurants don’t have roasted man tou and roasted potato bao zi.
27. 胜利路的“金满盈”火锅,传统铜锅 肉切的很到位,关键是调料非常地道,韭菜花十分可口。Sheng Li Road “Jin Man Pan” Hot Pot has copper hot pots, well-cut meat, and the accompanying sauces are authentic and delicious.

28. 还有就是小肥羊啦!每天人都很多,就是吃完了三天身上都是涮羊肉味!Xiao Fei Yang is also great and there are many people there every day. After you eat there you’ll smell like mutton for three days!

29. 贝尔羊杂碎,位置在光华街,艺校后面,早上营业,开到下午2点关,早上去了通常会没有座位,特点:辣而香 Bei Er Yang Za Sui (Sheep Entrails) is on Guang Hua Jie behind the Art College. They open early in the morning and stay open until 2 am. There specialty is spicy and savory food.

28.  胜利路东口道北羊杂碎,是自己端着碗到处找座的,服务员很拧!不过味道好 On Sheng Li Road at the east end there is a Bei Yang Za Sui (Sheep Entrails) It’s hard to find a seat and the servers are stubborn, but the food is tasty.

29 电信三分局那的德盛斋大盘鸡味特正,吃了这么多就那的好吃。Near the Dian Xin San Fen Ju (telecommunications division on Xin Hua in Hui Min Qu) there is De Pan Zhai. Their Big Chicken Platter (da pan ji, a Xin Jiang specialty) is great.

30   五塔寺北街巷子里的胖胖麻辣烫,很出名,就是比别的地方贵!但是很好吃 On 5 Pagoda North Road (Wu Ta Si Jie) there’s a Pang Pang Ma La Tang. It’s really famous and delicious but it’s more expensive than other places (than other ma la tang places).


If you missed Part One, read it here.

The Cheese Factory

Eat cheese. Get a discount!

Last week for our date night my husband and I stumbled upon a great new addition to Hohhot’s western food selection. From my husband’s perspective, it was dream come true: fried cheese sticks and country music playing over the speakers.

The Cheese Factory is located on the walking street behind (south of) Wanda Plaza on the south side of the street



cheese factory


They menu offers paninis (check out the working lunch for 28 RMB!), pizza, salads, GREAT appetizers, and….wait for it……………FONDUE!




You can follow them on wechat using ID ZSGC123 (芝士工厂)

You can contact them by phone at 13704719799. The manager, Apple, speaks both English and French and has just returned to Hohhot from France.

AND THE BEST NEWS YET……When you go, use the discount code “471” to receive 10% off anything you order! If you have a party of ten or more, you’ll get an additional 10% off!

Try it out this week and leave a comment with your thoughts!

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We’ll have another gathering THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 28 at the Air China Phoenix Hotel. Unless we receive other feedback, we’ll move the event to monthly on the last Friday of each month. RSVP to or to 18747977365 or by leaving a comment here.

Air China Phoenix Hotel Inner Mongolia 国航大厦 guo hang da sha
2nd floor Sunshine Coffee House-back corner (southwest side)
6:30 pm
(those with kids feel free to come a bit earlier if you’d like)

More menu options available

ee menu 2

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