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  • Suzhou has been called the 'land of milk and honey' since ancient times and Jiangsu cuisine, of which Suzhou cuisine makes up one important part, is one of the eight famous culinary arts in China. Suzhou dishes are praised highly by food connoisseurs from both home and abroad. Derived from local time-honored culinary skills, Suzhou cuisine attains its unique sweet flavor from strictly selected materials, an elaborate way of cooking, and a unique color, aroma and shape. Nearby Taihu Lake (Tai Lake) supplies abundant fresh sea food that adds more color to the table culture of Suzhou. At the same time, more consummate culinary skills are mastered by the locals.

    It is an important custom for locals to eat specific dishes according to the changing seasons. For example, Biluo Xiaren (quick-fried shrimp with biluochun tea) is sampled in spring and Xigua Ji (young chicken wrapped in watermelon rind and steamed) is well tasted in summer. Maybe, autumn is the time most yearned for by the population, because it is time to enjoy the delicious steamed crabs and nutritious Bafei Soup (barbel soup). As well as these famous dishes, Songshu Guiyu (mandarin fish, stewed and fried), which was praised by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is considered to be the ultimate Suzhou dish, and it is highly recommended that you try it during your visit. Following are two recommended century-old establishments where you will be able to sample these famous dishes:

    De Yue Lou
    Resulting from four hundred years of culinary experience, De Yue Lou serves dozens of famous and authentic dishes to visitors both from home and abroad.
    Address: There are two restaurants located on Taijian Nong. One is at No.43 and the other one is at No.8.
    Bus route: Tourist special route No.4 and regular buses No.1, 2, 8, 9, 32, 38, 68, 102 and 103 can get you there.
    Opening hours: 11 am-2 pm and 5 pm-9 pm

    Pine and Crane Restaurant
    Having more than 200 years' history, good and authentic Suzhou cuisine here is noted world wide. The Songshu Guiyu cooked here is highly recommended.
    Address: No.141, Guanqian Jie
    Bus route: Buses No.1, 202, 8, 9, 32, 38, 68, 102, 103 and No.4 tourist special route will take you.
    Opening hours: 11 am-1:30 pm and 5 pm-8:30 pm

    Additionally, there are a number of other restaurants where authentic Suzhou cuisine is cooked, too. Shijia Restaurant, which has more than 200 years' history, is especially famous for its Bafei Soup.
    Main restaurant:
    Address: No.18, Zhongshi Street, Mudu Town, Suzhou City
    Bus route: Buses No.502 and 69 and the tourist special route No.4 can take you there.
    Opening hours: 11 am-2 pm and 5 pm-9 pm

    Second location:
    Address: No.15-1, Jinshan Road, Mudu Town, Suzhou City
    Bus route: Buses No.502 and 69 and the tourist special route No.4 go there.
    Opening hours: 11 am-2 pm and 5 pm-9 pm

    Suzhou snacks are also worth trying since they are no less famous than Suzhou cuisine. Just like the authentic Suzhou dishes, pastries and confectionery in Suzhou are also eaten according to season. Scones with sweet fermented rice in spring and moon cakes stuffed with fresh meat in autumn will certainly satisfy your appetite. Huang Tian Yuan is noted for its variety of pastries made from sticky rice. The pastries differ monthly. If you want to buy some local confections, Cai Zhi Zhai is without doubt the best place to go. Developing from a roadside booth into a century-old establishment, it serves consumers with a variety of good quality products.
    Address: No.62-1, Dong Jiao Men, Guan Qian Street
    Bus route: Buses No.202, 204, 923 and 529 are available.
    Opening hours: 8:30 am to 9 pm from Monday to Thursday
    8:30 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday

    Western Restaurants
    Wangpin Steak
    Specialties: Taisu Steak, Royal Steak, Hot Chocolate, Xiangsong Rose Dew
    Address: The 1st and 2nd floors of No. 158-116, Xinggang Street, Industry District, Suzhou
    Opening hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 5:30 pm-10:00 pm

    Tasty Steak
    Reasonable prices for antipasto, soups and mains accompanied by delicate fruit sorbets will pleasantly surprise you.
    Address: The 1st floor of Jin He International Mansion, No, 35 Shi Shan Road.
    Opening hours: 11:30 am-2:00 pm and 5:30 pm-9:00 pm

    Koti Pizza
    Authentic flavors from Finland and a comfortable dining environment are found here.
    Address: No.137 of Tian Xiang Garden, No.368, Su Ya Road, Industry District

    Pizza Hut
    Guan Qian location: No.111, Guan Qian Street
    Shi Lu location: No.282-300, Chang Xu Road, Quangchang District
    Rui Fu location: The 1st floor of No.28, Renmin Road
    Jiu Sheng location: The 1st floor of No.25-32, Shaomozheng Xiang

    Hanshan Temple Vegetarian Restaurant
    This restaurant is located in the north of the famous Hanshan Temple with a tranquil dining environment and a beautiful view.
    Address: No.3, Fengqiao Street, Hanshan Temple

    Fast Food
    There are about 20 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in Suzhou at present. You can find them on every main street. Not as prolific as KFC, McDonald's has also opened several restaurants in Suzhou:
    Nan Men location: No.9, Renmin Road
    Shi Lu location: No.274, Changxu Road
    Guan Zhong location: No.128-134, Guan Qian Street
    Guan Qian location: No.246, Guan Qian Street




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