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What Chinese Eat for Breakfast – Top 10 Chinese Foods

In China, there is a saying “一日之计在于晨yī rì zhī jì zài yú chén,” which means the whole day’s work depends on good planning in the early morning. Chinese people also pay great attention to what to eat for breakfast in the morning to have a good start to the day. In today’s post, let’s look together at what Chinese eat for breakfast and list out the top 10 Chinese foods for breakfast at the same time.

In the vast land of China, various climates and landscapes contribute to the diversity in food cultures in different regions. What to eat for breakfast in China? The answer you have will be different base on where you’re.

Top 1. 小笼包 xiǎo lóng bāo – The soup dumpling

When you are in Shanghai, the most common Chinese food for breakfast must be the famous xiǎo lóng bāo, namely soup dumplings. “Xiǎo ” means small, “lóng ” means basket, and ” bāo” means dumpling. So literally translated, it means “little dumpling in a basket.” The most common flavor of the soup dumpling is fresh pork meat and crab meat.   

The xiǎo lóng bāo is a special and representative Chinese food because there’s soup inside the dumpling, making it so hard to make. Besides, it’s also a food taste so different. Nothing really has that burst of flavor in your mouth like a soup dumpling does.

Top 2. 过桥米线  guò qiáo mǐ xiàn – Yunnan Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles

When you’re in Yunnan, there is a food material that you can see everywhere and can be served as all three meals and night foods. It is rice noodles. Among all kinds of cooking rice noodles, the Cross-bridge rice noodles are the most famous one as the signature dish of Yunnan province. 

The essence of this signature dish of Yunnan is soup. The soup of cross-bridge rice noodles is made from pork bones, hens, and Yunnan Xuanwei ham. Normally, the locals prefer having it as breakfast, for it’s well-balanced with various nutrients and in a thick flavor.

Finding out more delicious food in the capital city of Yunnan province, Kunming, via this post: 10 DISHES YOU MUST TRY WHEN YOU LEARN CHINESE IN KUNMING.

Top 3. 西安肉夹馍  xī ān ròu jiá mó – Xi’an Roujiamo

Roujiamo is a traditional food that originated in Shanxi province. As it’s continuously developing, it is now a general popular food that you can find everywhere in China. This dish is composed of the soft Baiji bun and the delicious braised pork meat. The bun must be the type that tastes both fragrant and crispy, and the essential part of this dish is the stuffing, the braised pork meat. It has to be well-blended pork meat with lean flesh and fat but not too greasy at the same time. In the streets and alleys of Xi’an, you can see all kinds of small vendors selling this dish. Having a warm Roujiamo as breakfast in the morning can make their day for many Xi’an residents.

Know more about learning Chinese in Xi’an

Top 4. 天津煎饼果子 tiān jīn jiān bǐng guǒ zǐ – Tianjin Pancake

Tianjin Pancake is a famous street snack. It is made from a batter of whole grains based on mung bean flour. During the cooking process, the egg liquid will be spread on the pancakes. After that, the sweet sauce, chili, and other sauces will be spread simultaneously, and finally, rolling up the pancake with fried dough sticks and other ingredients insides.

Tianjin Pancake originated in the Tianjin area. It was originally served as night food, but now it is mainly served as breakfast. It is a local representative and popular snack in Tianjin.

In the 1930s and 1940s, at the end of the opera show, the actors would have pancakes as night food. It was said that the famous Peking opera actor Luo Yusheng prefers salty and spicy pancakes. Workers on the wharf who have been busy for a day would also have pancakes to fill their stomachs, which was convenient and nutritious back to the time.

Know more about learning Chinese in Tianjin

Top 5. 重庆担担面  chóng qìng dān dān miàn – Chongqing Dan Dan Noodles

Dan Dan noodle is a representative food in Chongqing. This dish is made from fresh noodles and stir-fried minced pork meat. Nowadays, Dan Dan noodles have been spread all over China. Although the ingredients applied and cooking methods are slightly adjusted in different places, many Chinese people still love the Dan Dan noodles because of their convenience and delicious taste. It has also become a common Chinese breakfast nowadays.

Top 6. 武汉热干面  wǔ hàn rè gān miàn – Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles

Wuhan hot, dry noodles are one of the most famous snacks in Wuhan. Because hot, dry noodles are convenient, easy-cooked and delicious, it is also regarded as the special dish for breakfast. The noodle applied in this dish is added with alkaline water, which gives the noodle a chewing texture. When cooking the dish, the ingredients and seasonings such as sesame sauce, salad oil, sesame oil, chives, garlic seeds, diced radish, capers, brine juice, and light soy sauce will be added in and fully mixed with the cooked noodle. Having hot, dry noodles as your breakfast can ensure enough calories supplement for the whole morning.

Know more about learning Chinese in Wuhan

Top 7. 成都抄手 chéng dōu chāo shǒu – Chengdu Wonton

Chaoshou comes from Sichuan province, which is a bit smaller in size than dumplings. When making the Chaoshou, it normally uses a thin layer of dough to wrap the mixed meat stuffing. There is a certain difference between Chaoshou and dumplings, mainly in the layer of dough and stuffing. Dumplings are wrapped in a round dough layer, and Chaoshou is wrapped in a square dough layer. Besides, there are differences between the two in terms of the thickness of the dough layer, the amount of stuffing, and the cooking method, which is also the characteristic of the Chaoshou.

The typical way of having this dish is to mix red chili oil and scallion with the steaming freshly cooked Chaoshou, which is also presented in a mixture of bright colors. Having such a breakfast can make your whole day lively and delightful.

Know more about learning Chinese in Chengdu

Top 8. 广式早茶 guǎng shì zǎo chá – Canton Morning Tea

In the early morning, Guangzhou’s teahouses are already lively as soon as the market opens. “Eating breakfast” in Guangzhou is called “drinking morning tea.” Similar to the concept of brunch, the morning tea time lasts from early morning till lunchtime. When drinking the morning tea, it must be accompanied by a variety of steaming refreshments, namely dim sum, such as shrimp dumplings, siu mai, horseshoe-shaped cakes, etc. The authentic Guangzhou people will eat all kinds of snacks while drinking tea. In addition to all kinds of small refreshments, authentic Cantonese dishes such as rice rolls, congee, noodles, etc., are absolutely indispensable. Instead of calling it breakfast, I prefer praising it as a feast.

Top 9. 苏州生煎包 sū zhōu shēng jiān bāo – Suzhou Pan-fried Stuffed Bun

Shengjianbao, the pan-fried stuffed bun, is a traditional snack popular in Suzhou and other Jiangnan areas. The stuffing of the pan-fried buns is usually pork, but chicken can also be used too. When mixing the stuffing, you can also add eggs, water, salt, cooking wine, sesame oil, green onion, and ginger. Stuffing with shrimp and crab meat has been applied in some sophisticated food stores as well. When cooking the pan-fried stuffed bun, you should put the oil in the pan to heat up first, put the stuffed buns in the pan, and spray water several times while frying them until the bottom layer of the bun turns to a golden brown. The typical taste of the pan-fried stuffed bun is slightly hard and crispy.

Know more about learning Chinese in Suzhou 

Top 10. The most common breakfast in China –豆浆油条dòu jiāng yóu tiáo, Soybean Milk served with Fried Dough Stick

Although the food culture in different regions of China is various due to the difference in geographical landscape and climate, soybean milk and fried dough stick have become a dish popular throughout the whole country. No matter which city in China you are staying in, you will find this dish as breakfast on the table. This Chinese food is well-deserved to be named the most common breakfast in China.

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We use a lot of games to learn grammar and new words. We have really good teachers, really patient. She helps us a lot. Our class is really nice and we have people from all over the world, different countries. We often discuss topics in Chinese in our class. I live in the dorm of Keats. It is very convenient. I don’t have to spend time traveling. You can just focus on learning Chinese.


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I really enjoy this place because we have private Mandarin lessons. I took the 6-hour program, 4 hours in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. Even though it is quite a lot, the teaching is complimentary. This is very helpful because I could review what I did before and learn new things. My 2 teachers are fantastic. We live in the school, so it is convenient. It is interesting to me to meet people from all over the world.


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I have to say it’s tons of fun. I have been here for 2 weeks. Not knowing what it was gonna be like, I was more than surprised at how great it is. The teachers are great, they are understanding. They do a Chinese language program that suits just you. The location is perfect for learning Chinese in China.


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I think Kunming is a great city, the weather is really good. I really like Keats school and found it is very organized. The teachers here are very good. They have a coffee shop and new classrooms, a new lounge area here now, so you can chill out with your friends and practice your spoken Chinese with natives. If you’re considering coming to Keats to study, I would really recommend it. It’s the best place to learn Mandarin and I think it will be a great experience for you.



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The visa application was really straightforward, because Keats School helps us a lot with that. Keats has a big emphasis on conversational practice, so we learn a lot of vocabulary and daily life plans which is very convenient for us to go around town and speak with Chinese people which is the whole point of learning Chinese in China.


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My name is Sarah Fish. I am 81. I knew very little Chinese when I arrived. How was I going to survive 2 weeks of intensive Chinese course? I have to laugh when I think of that now. What a positive experience this has been! I really wish we could be here a little longer. The teachers are extremely encouraging, evaluating first how much someone knows, and then starting from there.


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I’ve been at Keats school and Kunming now for one month doing the one-on-one Chinese lessons with two different teachers. I really enjoy it. Both of my teachers are very friendly and patient. They really helped me to improve my Chinese, both of my reading and speaking. I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming as well. This city is really beautiful and the weather is nice, the air is clean. It’s one of the best cities in China to study Chinese.

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