Discover the Many Flavors of Breakfast in China - the Most Popular Chinese Breakfast

It's hard to beat various kinds of Chinese breakfast as one of the most authentic and vibrant ways to experience the Chinese cuisine

When travelling in China, instead of seriously having Western buffet at hotel, why not search out for the most usual yet popular and mouth-watering breakfast? Whether you are obsessed with feasting on Chinese dumplings and noodles, sipping a nutrition soup or chewing the yummy big pancakes, the following Chinese breakfast is to whet your appetite.

With Easy Tour China Food Tours, you can walk around the neighborhood of each city to sample all kinds of unique and authentic breakfast at the food stalls, markets, or small shop, where the locals are also eating there.

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Dumplings  (饺子)

Of all the breakfast varieties in China, dumpling is favored by nearly everyone. Some like the steamed dumplings, some like boiled dumplings, while others prefer the fried dumplings. You can have dumpling as breakfast in almost everywhere in the country.

Popular Chinese Breakfast - dumpling, wonton, baozi

(Dumpling, Steam Bun & Wonton)

Steam bun (包子)

When talking about the most popular Chinese breakfast, you should never miss steam bun, which is very cheap yet very delicious. Whether it is a vibrant metropolis or a small town, there are tens to hundreds of steam bun shops. There are many kinds of steamed buns, such as steamed small meat dumpling in basket, soup buns, Tianjin Go Believe/Goubuli steamed bun, cha siu baau (barbecued pork buns), steamed creamy custard bun, fried buns and so on.

Wonton (馄饨)

Comparing with dumplings, wontons are smaller, have thinner skin and finer meat. Vinegar and pepper can be added according to your preference. A popular breakfast in China, wonton can be eaten throughout the nation, but Huangshan, Shanghai, Chengdu are the most famous place for local flavorful wonton specialty.

A visit to Yellow Mountain of Huangshan city, make sure you have the fresh soup wonton at a vendor's stall or snack shop for breakfast. The wonton wrapper is hand-made into crystal translucent, while the soup is carefully processed by pork bones.

Noodles (面条)

For many, noodles are their favorite breakfasts. We are not talking about one kind of noodles, but around 1200 types of noodles in China, from Wuhan Hot Dry Noodle, Shanxi Sliced Noodles, Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodles, Henan Stewed Noodles, to Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles… -- each with distinguished flavors.

While many like soup noodles, fried noodles (chow mein) are also popular breakfasts in China.

Most famous Chinese breakfast - noodles and rice noodles

(Noodles & Rice Noodles)

  • 8 Famous Noodles to Try in China
  • Rice noodles (米粉)

    Looking similar to noodles, rice noodles are usually made of rice and water, and more favored by the southerners. Having known the diversity of Chinese cuisine, you won’t be surprised that there are also hundreds of rice noodles in China, such as Guilin rice noodles, Yunnan crossing-bridge rice noodles, Hakka rice noodles, Liuzhou snail rice noodles… With only one or two bucks, you can have a hearty breakfast. Isn’t it wonderful?!

    Beijing - soya bean milk and fried dough stick (豆浆油条)

    Soya bean milk and fried dough sticks is a perfect match and the most usual and popular breakfast for millions of Chinese people in the morning, especially for Beijingers. Soybean milk is a popular drink among Chinese people and a nutritious food for all ages. However, the deep-fried dough sticks is fried at a high temperature in the process of making, and usually a lot of alum is added when frying. Therefore, it is not suggested to eat fried dough stick for breakfast every day.

    Take a food tour of Beijing, you should not miss other popular traditional breakfast: bean source and bread rings (豆汁儿焦圈儿), stewed pork offal (卤煮), Beijing Bean Sauce noodle, handmade tofu pudding, cruller, porridge, pancake, etc.  

    Beijing Breakfast 

    Tianjin - Fruit pancake (Jian Bing Guo Zi, 煎饼果子)

    A very popular kind of breakfast and snack in Tianjin, the fruit pancake has spread to all over China. It is made up of an egg pancake, caraway, cruller and matched with spicy or sweet soybean sauce. Local people call cruller guozi (fruit), thus fruit pancake.

    Guangzhou - stick rice with chicken (糯米鸡) & steamed vermicelli roll (肠粉) 

    Guangzhou is hailed as the food paradise in China and boasts very special tea dim sum as daily breakfast. Stick rice with chicken covered by lotus leaf is one of them, which looks fairly plain but stands out for excellent taste, light lotus scent and surprising stuffing including barbecued pork, mushroom and salted egg yellow.

    Eat across Guangzhou in the morning, steamed vermicelli roll is another great choice for breakfast. The ingredients include rice milk, pork/beef/shrimps, vegetables, eggs, shredded squid, and preserved vegetables.

    Guangzhou Breakfast

    Shanghai – steamed pork bun (上海灌汤包)  

    Many food cultures have been influencing Shanghai’s breakfast. Steamed pork bun originally from Yangzhou city is favored by both Shanghai people and visitors as breakfast and snack. Different from the ordinary buns, it is big in size and eaten with a straw to sip the fresh pureed soup first. Steamed pork bun always reminds visitors of the unique flavor of Shanghai.

  • Also read 8 Traditional Breakfast Shops in Shanghai
  • Guilin – Guilin rice noodles (桂林米粉)

    Guilin is not only famous for its surreal (Karst) landscape, but also the yummy rice noodles – a must for all local people in the morning. This breakfast needs complex skill on making ingredients, fine brine and bone soup, and could be very spicy if you prefers.

    Sticky rice ball is also a local breakfast specialty. Glutinous rice is cooked in a big cauldron, and take out one ball by another, added with yellow bean paste, fried pickled mustard, fried tofu, steamed sausage, ham sausage, chili water, and a crispy chip. So very yummy!

    Guilin Rice Noodles

    >Chongqing – Xiao Mian (Little noodles, 小面) 

    Xiao Mian noodle is known as the standard breakfast for Chongqing people, featuring rich aroma of pepper. It pay much attention to the dozens of ingredient and seasonings, including fried peanuts, soybean, sesame paste, pepper powder, caraway, garlic, sesame oil and so forth.

    Xian - Spicy Soup (胡辣汤)

    Relish the delicacies of Xian -- cool noodles, Rougamo, and as well as spicy soup that is the most famous breakfast in Xian. Eight to nine of ten local people have spicy soup for their breakfast


    Further reading:

  • 43 Chinese Foods Everyone Should Try
  • Top 10 Meat Dishes for Chinese Spring Festival



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