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Hangzhou restaurants use lots of fresh ingredients and far less oil than neighboring Shanghai. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best places to eat in Hangzhou:
1. Grandma’s Kitchen. This chain of cheerful restaurants is wildly popular in Hangzhou and Shanghai, and dedicated regulars have been known to line up for an hour to wait for a table. Your best bet is getting a number and then going off for a stroll. When you do finally sit down, be sure to order the green tea roast chicken.
2. Green Tea Restaurant. Green Tea serves home-style Hangzhou cuisine. The braised pork here is sumptuous, as are the green tea desserts. Green Tea also has a location at its tea plantation, which is a short drive from the city center. The Hangzhou location offers sweeping views of water and verdant tea fields.
3. La Pedrera. This restaurant serves Hangzhou’s best Spanish food in an elegant environment. Try and snag a table on the upper balcony before tucking into shrimp, sea bass and paella.
4. Lou Wai Lou. For upscale Hangzhou cuisine on West Lake, you can’t go wrong at this 150-year-old restaurant. Must-try dishes include beggar’s chicken, which is wrapped in fresh lotus leaves and then baked until the meat is super tender. Be sure to make reservations.
5. Angelo’s. When your kids are clamoring for pasta, Angelo’s is your spot. Its thin trust pizza is fantastic, and the fish offerings will please more refined palates. Top off your meal with the tiramisu.