Dali Dining

Dali Dining is as beautiful as the sceneries here. Especially, the dishes historically cooked by the Bai, the main ethnic group in Dali, should not be missed when you come to Dali. To some extent, Dali is a melting-pot for many different cultures. Whether in the small stalls, or in a restaurant with a strong Bai style, you can taste a lots of different and delicious food in Dali.

What to Eat in Dali

Dishes in Dali

When it comes to Dali, the first thing that everyone thinks of is the beautiful scenery and the outstanding people. It is a beautiful place with beautiful mountains and waters. 

Sand-pot Fish(砂锅鱼)

Sand-pot fish is a famous local dish of Dali. Put slender chicken and more than ten seasonings like dried mushrooms into the sand-pot. Then add some bow fish or carp caught in Erhai Lake into the pot. Stew them slowly. Then, a delicious dish can be made.

Steam Pot Chicken(汽锅鸡)

Steam pot chicken, got the name from cooking with steam pot, is one of the famous dishes in Yunnan. The main food material is chicken and the main cooking method is boiling. The steam pot chicken has the effect of tonifying deficiency, nourishing the body, enriching the blood, invigorating the spleen and stimulating the appetite. 

Pawpaw Chicken(木瓜鸡)

Pawpaw chicken belongs to the iconic cuisine of the Bai people. The dish is made of local chicken and the special sour pawpaw. When you taste this dish, the fresh and tender meat makes you have a big appetite. What's more, the dish is rich in nutritional value. Papaya chicken is particular about fresh. Therefore, it tastes very delicious.

Local Eight Bowls of Dishes(土八碗)

The Dali Bai people use the eight bowls of traditional dishes to treat guests. The eight dishes usually include red meat, steamed fish, bean curd sheets, fungus tofu, crispy meat with bamboo shoots, glass noodles, lily meatballs, etc. The dishes are a combination of sour, sweet, numb, spicy, and each dish has a unique meaning.

Dali Hot and Sour Fish(大理酸辣鱼)

Dali hot and sour fish is one of the traditional Dali cuisines, a wonderful taste experience consisting of sour, slightly sweet and spicy. The sour taste and fruity aroma of white pawpaw blend perfectly into the fish. The sour pawpaw has a fruity aroma. The meat of the carp is delicious. The fish soup is thick, the taste is strong and salty, and the tofu absorbs the fishy taste and the spicy of the seasoning, which makes it fresh and tender. Although the taste is strong, it still preserves the deliciousness of the fish. 

Snacks in Dali

In Dali, in addition to ethnic cuisine, some snacks are delicious. In a street, there are often mobile stalls selling unseen snacks. Some of you may not have seen them, but you may wish to try them. Maybe you will not forget those snacks.

Rushan(乳扇)

Rushan is a cow's milk cheese of Yunnan, China. It is traditionally made by the Bai people. It is flat and has a leathery texture, served fried or grilled and rolled up on a stick. The Mandarin name means "milk fan" as it is said to resemble a folding fan. 

Xizhou Baba(喜洲粑粑)

Xizhou Baba is a kind of snack that is popular in Dali, which is also known as the Posu(破酥) with good color, aroma and taste. It is the most famous Bai nationality traditional snack in Xizhou, and it is must-eat when you come to Xizhou.

Cold Chicken Rice Noodles(凉鸡米线)

The cold chicken rice noodle is definitely the rising star of the snacks in Dali Ancient Town. If you do not have a taste of the cold chicken rice noodles in Dali Ancient Town. The your Dali Tour is not complete.

Raw Hide(生皮)

Cut the baked pork (mostly from the hip and rear lag) and pork liver into filaments, and then add onions, garlic, parsley, stewed plum, spicy noodles, soy sauce, etc. As the condiments, put the filaments in the condiments for eating. This is known among the people as “eating raw hide”. 

Er Kuai(饵块)

Er Kuai is one of the most conventional local food, a rice-based dish. The rice is first washed, soaked, stewed and then mashed into a paste, before being molded into various lumps, slices and shreds. It is usually grilled over burning charcoals with a sugar, walnut, or sesame filling.

Drinks in Dali

Three Courses Tea(三道茶)

At first, the Three Courses Tea was an etiquette for Dali Bai people to treat the son-in-law. After the development of this etiquette, it has become the highest etiquette for the Bai people to treat guests. The three courses tea is divided into bitter tea, sweet tea and aftertaste tea. Most of the bitter tea is baked, named after the bitterness of the taste, also known as Xianglei among local Bai people. The sweet tea is sweetened by adding walnut slices and brown sugar to the tea. The aftertaste tea has a kind of unspeakable taste after adding honey, pepper, and some Rushan.

Where to Eat in Dali

Top 6 Dali Specialty Restaurants

  • Meizijing Restaurant(梅子井酒家)
    Add: No. 130 Renmin Road, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(大理白族自治州大理市人民路130号)
    Tel: 0872-2671578
  • Taibailou Restaurant(太白楼)
    Add: No. 52 Foreigner's Street, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(云南省大理白族自治州大理市洋人街52号)
    Tel: 0872-2672112
  • Xinghuacun Restaurant(杏花村饭店)
    Add: No. 165 Yu'er Road, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(大理白族自治州大理市玉洱路165号)
    Tel: 0872-2670087
  • Zaihuishou Restaurant(再回首)
    Add: No. 198 Renmin Road, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(大理白族自治州大理市人民路198号)
    Tel: 0872-6895609;18687285766
  • Cang'erchun Restaurant(苍洱春饭店)
    Add: No. 84 Upper Section of Renmin Road, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(大理白族自治州大理市人民路上段84号)
    Tel: 0872-6900907;13238729057
  • Piaoxiang Restaurant(飘香酒馆)
    Add: No. 132 Lower Section of Renmin Road, Dali City(大理市人民路下段132号)
    Tel: /

Most Authentic Bai Restaurants

  • Nanzhaoyuan Private Restaurant(南诏源私房菜馆)
    Add: Cai Village Wharf, Dali City, Yunnan(云南省大理市才村码头)
    Tel: 0872-2380676;13324958315
  • Sifangjie Restaurant(四方街食店)
    Add: Next to Yan Family Compound, Sifang Street, Xizhou Town, Dali City(大理市喜州镇四方街严家大院旁)
    Tel: 13987296586
  • Shijing Private Restaurant(石井私房菜)
    Add: No. 330 Lower Section of Yuer Road, Dali City, Yunnan Province(云南省大理市玉洱路下段330号)
    Tel: 0872-8898172
  • Jixianghong Restaurant(吉祥红餐馆)
    Add: Next to Feiyan Temple, Shuanglang Scenic Zone, Dali City, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture(大理白族自治州大理市双廊风景区飞燕寺旁)
    Tel: 15887348404

Most Popular Food Street

Fuxing Road(复兴路)

Fuxing Road is the main street from the south to the north of Dali Ancient Town. From the 15th year of the Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1382) to the Republic of China, the street pattern and residential buildings have not changed a lot. In the past, the residents here were more skilled in the handicraft industry. By the 1990s, Dali Ancient Town became a major tourist town, and Fuxing Road changed to a pedestrian street with tourist attractions such as tie-dye clothing, Heqing silverware, marble crafts, Burmese jade, Pu'er tea, etc.

Huguo Road(护国路)

Dali Foreigner's Street was originally called "Huguo Road", meaning that the people of Yunnan at the beginning of the Republic of China opposed Yuan Shikai as the emperor. Huguo Road is east-west, 1000 meters long and 7 meters wide. It is paved with bluestone slabs, starting from the Yunnan-Tibet Highway in the west.

Yuer Road(玉洱路)

Yuer Road runs through the Dali City and is the only way leading to Cangshan Mountain. There are many hotels and restaurants on both sides of the road. The shops are densely populated and it is a very busy pedestrian street.

Boai Road(博爱路)

Boai Road is located beside the foreigner's street in Dali Ancient Town, with a lot of shops.

Renmin Road(人民路)

Renmin Road is a orderly place with slow pace, full of freedom and tranquility. With the development of Dali tourism, the Renmin Road has gradually prospered, and various shops have begun to appear.

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