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Because Shenzhen is home to so many migrants and just over the border from Hong Kong, you’ll find all manner of Chinese cuisines here, including Cantonese. Here are Forbes Travel Guides editors’ picks for the best Shenzhen food experiences:
1. Roast suckling pig. This Cantonese dish popular in Shenzhen starts with a baby piglet that’s seasoned according to the chef’s special recipe and then roasted to perfection over an open flame. It’s served with egg roll skins, cucumbers and barbecue sauce.
2. Dongmen Pedestrian Street. This food-stall lined stretch offers visitors stinky fried tofu, skewered lamb, seafood, and vegetables, fried onion cakes, squid, prawn, and bacon dough balls topped with seaweed, and juicy beef balls.
3. Dim sum. Cantonese spot Laurel Restaurant (Dan Gui Xuan) is enormously popular and serves dim sum all day, every day. Be sure to try the spare ribs, steamed sticky rice, and shrimp dumplings.
4. Xinjiang cuisine. Bordering Pakistan, Xinjiang, a province in Western China, is home to the Uighurs, one of the country’s 55 ethnic minority groups. The region’s cuisine is halfway between Chinese homestyle and Middle Eastern. Lamb, bread, black beer and hearty stews are mainstays, but you’ll also find dumplings and even salads. At Talimuhe Xinjiang Restaurant, all that food comes with a side of performance, with nightly traditional Xinjiang dance shows.
5. Fresh seafood. Like neighboring Hong Kong, Shenzhen has excellent seafood, including crab, abalone and local Shajing oysters. Try Leyuan Road seafood street or head to Laurel Restaurant (Dan Gui Xuan), which is superb and more mid-market. Be sure to reserve your crab in advance.