Mongolian: see below for specific dishes
Dong Bei Cai: literally “northeastern food” There are many of these restaurants in Hohhot. Food is generally a bit salty.
Hot Pot: a boiling pot of soup where you order and add your own meats, vegetables, and noodles
Shao Kao: barbequed/grilled anything-you-want on a stick
Korean: both Korean dishes and Korean barbeque are available. The Koreans here say the Korean barbeque is terribly inauthentic.
Japanese: a large selection of Japanese restaurants is available
Hui: a Muslim ethnic minority here, some dishes are unique but mostly they are similar to traditional Chinese stir-fry, but without pork of any kind
Uighur: another Muslim ethnic minority, see below for specific dishes
you mian 莜面: This is a noodle made from a buckwheat or oat flour. It is generally eaten as a cold dish or in a soup.
dui jia 对夹: a sandwich-like food filled with egg, chicken, or beef
la pi 拉皮: potato starch noodles, normally served as a cold dish but sometimes stir-fried with meat
men mian 焖面: a big pot filled with noodles or bread (like dinner rolls) and your choice of meat and vegetables. The dish is saucy but not a soup
hui cai 烩菜: generally has pork, potatoes, fermented cabbage, and potato starch noodles, although there are some other varieties
shao mai 烧麦: a kind of dumpling, similar to jiao zi but with thinner wrapping and sealed at the top
nai cha 奶茶: milk tea. salty, not sweet and generally served with other things to dip/soak in it (some are listed below)
nai shi pin 奶食品: literally “milk food products” and sometimes translated as cheese. In Mongolian the name translates as “white food.” They come in different varieties but all are made from cultured/soured milk, made into different shapes and hardened, and eaten plain or in milk tea. In homes they are generally very sour but pre-packaged varieties can be purchased in the supermarket and are much sweeter and softer.
zha guo zi/guo tiao 炸果子/果条: small fried pieces of dough/brad for dipping/soaking in milk tea
nai you ban chao mi 奶油拌炒米: cream and millet
tai yang bing/rou bing/xian(r) bing 太阳饼/肉饼/馅儿饼: meat-filled pancakes.
kao yang tui 烤羊腿: roasted leg of lamb
shou ba rou 手把肉: boiled mutton still on the bone…eaten by cutting off bite-sized pieces with a knife
jian bing 煎饼: you can see this food being sold from small carts all across the city. It’s a thin pancake-like food with egg, fried dough, onions, cilantro, and sauce.
bei zi 焙子: a breakfast food also sold from carts. It’s a layered bread that comes in a variety of flavors/fillings