11 Suzhou Local Restaurants
The streets and valleys in Suzhou are packed with specialty restaurants. The flavor of Suzhou will make you remember this city forever. Foodies from all over the world are attracted here by its reputation. They love the delicacies of each season, and will eat, eat, eat throughout the year.
1. De Yue Lou Restaurant (The Old Branch in Quanqian Street)
This is the most famous century-old restaurant in Suzhou. The movie The Little De Yue Lou was shot in here. The restaurant mainly runs Suzhou food. The specialty, the ‘Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish’ or the “Squirrel Fish”, is both fragrant and tasty. It has crisp skin and tender flesh, and tastes both sour and sweet. Here in this restaurant every dish has the authentic local flavor.
Average price per person: RMB 152
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:30-14:00
Address: No.31, Eunuch Lane
2. Song He Lou Restaurant (Guanqian Street)
The Song He Lou restaurant in Guanqian Street has a 200-year history. You’ve come to the right place if you want to try some time-honored Suzhou dishes. The ‘Tai Chi Soup’ is a must-try in this restaurant: tofu soup and chopped-up shepherd’s purse are arranged like the Yin and Yang in the Tai Chi pattern. This dish has a unique design and light flavor.
Average price per person: RMB 151
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-13:30,17:00-20:30
Address: No.72, Eunuch Lane (near the Xuanmiao Taoist Temple)
3. Shu Xiang Shi Jia Hotel (Ping Jiang Fu Branch) Banksian Rose Chinese Restaurant
This Chinese restaurant is located inside the Shu Xiang Shi Jia Hotel (Ping Jiang Fu Branch). The ambiance and decor is antique and elegant. There will be a Suzhou Pingtan performance in the main hall, which goes perfectly with the light and refreshing Suzhou dishes. In the nationally-renowned documentary A Bite of China, one episode about important spring-festival food – “The Five Dishes in Suzhou” – is shot in here. Suzhou-style ‘Braised Eel’ and ‘Stewed Duck With Soy Sauce’ are both excellent home dishes.
Average price per person: RMB 168
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:00-20:30
Address: No.60 White Pagoda East Road, to the east of Shu Xiang Shi Jia Hotel (Ping Jiang Fu Branch)
4. Tong De Xing Restaurant (Jia Yu Fang Branch)
The interior of Tong De Xing has integrated many Suzhou gardening elements. Carved wooden tables and chairs can be found in the main hall. This place is always crowded at mealtime as it has the most authentic noodles. There are a lot of varieties to choose from. You can choose to eat the noodles with spicy or light soup. For breakfast, have a bowl of noodles with the first-time soup in the morning; for lunch, eat a bowl of braised pork noodles with light soup – the signature dish – or a bowl of ‘Maple Town Pork Noodle’. The long noodle is smooth and chewy; the pork is mellow but not oily. After eating this hot bowl of noodles, you will feel instantly satisfied and comfortable. The only thing you will feel sorry about is that this place doesn’t open during lunch hours, and is also closed for the evening.
Average price per person: RMB 32
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6:30-13:00
Address: No.6 Jia Yu Fang, Renmin Road
5. Hui Lao Tang Restaurant
The dishes in Hui Lao Tang have inherited the traditional flavors of the owner’s family, many of which are passed down directly from the owner’s mother. The restaurant doesn’t have a fixed menu, and different dishes will be served for different seasons. So book 3-5 days in advance. The ‘Toothed Burclover Pancake’, the ‘Oil-fried Taihu Shrimp’, the ‘Fish Paste With Green Vegetables and Golden Soup’ (only in winter), the ‘Pot-Braised Taihu Eel’, and the ‘Carp Steamed in Capped Bowl’ (only in spring), the ‘Fish Paste with Golden Soup’, and the ‘Turtle and Chicken Braised with Dendrobe’ are all specialties of this restaurant.
Average price per person: RMB 368
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:30-14:00,17:30-21:00
Address: Inside the ancient village in Lu Alley, Round Hill Road, Dongshan Town, Wuzhong District, Suzhou
6. Zhu Hong Xing Noodle House (Guanqian Street)
This is a famous noodle house in Suzhou. It provides all sorts of pastries. Even for a simple bowl of noodles, there are different ways to eat it. Obviously gourmets have put quite a bit of effort into this. As a century-old noodle shop, the quality of noodles in Zhu Hong Xing is very stable. A must-try here is the “First-time Soup Noodle”.
Average price per person: RMB 29
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7:30-20:30
Address: No.108, Gong Alley, Pingjiang District, Suzhou (at the entrance of the Green Phoenix Lane )
7. Grandma’s Home (Yin Xiang Cheng)
Grandma’s Home ranks top even among the “lining-up” restaurants. No one can enjoy the food without 1-2 hours of waiting. The style of the dishes can be inferred from its name. It’s genuine home cooking. Not exactly rare delicacies, but very tasty. The restaurant has gone to great pains to keep the price low. Apart from the 3-yuan Mapo Tofu, other dishes are also reasonably priced. You won’t feel sorry if you want to treat your friends here.
Average price per person: RMB 55
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:30-14:00,16:30-21:00
Address: 4th Floor, Yin Xiang Cheng Shopping Mall, No.1699 XianDai Avenue, Industrial Park District/Wuzhong> District, Suzhou
8. The Old Suzhou Tea & Wine House
The store front is small and unpretentious, but the interior is delicate and clean. The restaurant has three floors, and you can enjoy the street view in the window seats. The restaurant runs reasonably priced Suzhou dishes. The waiters are very hospitable and helpful. ‘Suzhou-style Fried Eel’, ‘Biluo Green Tea Shrimps’ are both popular specialties. In spring and summer, you can try the ‘Stuffed Escargot’. ‘Bean Curd Jelly’ is a Suzhou specialty only found in this restaurant. Almost every table will order it. So if you arrive late, it most likely will have sold out.
Average price per person: RMB 97
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:00-13:30,17:00-20:30, Sun 11:00-13:30,17:00-20:00
Address: No.658, Shiquan Street, Gusu District, Suzhou (across the Nanyuan Hotel)
9. Xin Ju Feng Restaurant
This restaurant was founded in 1904 (30 years into Emperor Guangxu’s reign). It’s a Suzhou cuisine restaurant recommended by the local residents. The décor is old-fashioned, with mostly wooden furniture. Most of the waiters are local Suzhou people. Among the specialties, the refreshing ‘Light Fried Shrimp’, the tasty ‘Crab Meat Tofu, the smooth and tender ‘Suzhou-style Fried Eel’, and the mellow ‘Cherry Pork’ that will melt in your mouth are the four must-tries.
Average price per person: RMB 143 Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-13:30,17:30-20:30 Address:No.9, Eunuch Lane
10. Old Suzhou Grand Guest Hall – Special Snacks (Guanqian Street)
As a building that covers more than a thousand square meters of land, the floor of the restaurant is all covered with square tiles. The antique wooden tables, the elegant Pingtan music, and the bamboo-woven paper lanterns inscribed with the streets or valleys’ names – they all try to tell the visitors the thousands years of history of Suzhou.
Average price per person: RMB 68
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:30-13:30, 16:30-20:30
Address: 4th floor, Korean Themed Shopping Mall, No.35-45, the First Lane of the Green Phoenix Lane, Guanqian Street
11. Xiao Yuan Lou Restaurant
This is a Suzhou cuisine restaurant near the North Temple Pagoda. It’s always packed with customers, and the waiters are very welcoming. The dishes are all in authentic Suzhou flavor, and highly recognized by the locals. The ‘Eel in Sizzling Oil’ and the ‘Sautéed Shelled Shrimp’ are worth a try.
Average price per person: RMB 80
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:00-14:00,16:00-21:00
Address: No. 151, North-western Street (at the south-east corner of the crossing of North-western Street and Pishi Street)