Delicious Foreign Food in the Heart of Hunan

Delicious Foreign Food in the Heart of Hunan

Despite being nestled in the very bosom of China, the capital of Hunan province (Changsha) now has a number of restaurants serving French, German, Italian, Korean and Japanese cuisines, catering not only to foreign tourists, but also sparking interest from locals who are looking to branch out from their diet of fiery red peppers, and onto something slightly more refined. Here we take a look at the top picks.

1) Bené Italian Restaurant 班尼意大利餐厅 View In Map
Situated on the 3rd floor of the Sheraton 5 star hotel, Bené’s oozes style. With soft ambient lights illuminating oil paintings, fancy tableware and shiny cutlery, it makes for a quiet atmosphere where your dinner certainly won’t be spoiled by someone on the table next to you yakking on a mobile phone! The only noise breaking the silence will be the in-house jazz band, who play diligently throughout the night. Bené’s signature dish is the deep-sea silver cod served with truffle, marinated in tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Vegetables are sourced locally; some ingredients (like the truffles and olive oil) are imported from Italy.

Add: No. 478 Furong Middle Road, Sheraton Hotel (3F) Yunda International Plaza, Changsha
Tel: 0731 8488 8888
Opening times: 11:00-22:00
Getting there: Take bus no. 9, 109, 115, 116, 128, 142, 159, 348, 402 or 807 and get off at South Wujialing station.

2) Sun Young Restaurant松雅中西餐厅 View In Map
Sun Young is another restaurant serving up good quality Eastern/Western cuisine, but the real kicker here is the extensive wine list! Francophiles will be glad to see many of France’s best wines here, and they even have an in-house sommelier to help you decide which wine compliments which dishes (probably the first of its kind in Changsha.) For those who prefer Eastern cuisine, Sun Young has its very own teppanyaki chef, on hand to prepare anything you pick right in front of your very eyes. They too can recommend drinks based on what food you order. You’ll never have to decide again! To be whisked away to a world that feels a million miles from China, head to the second floor balcony and sit outside on the ‘authentic European style furniture.’

Add: No. 101 Venice City Commercial St, Bigui Yuan, Xingsha Avenue, Changsha
Tel: 0731 8433 3399
Opening times: 10:00-23:00
Getting there: Take bus no. 127 or 501 to Changsha Weijiao, or take the 503 or 703 to Shanshui Furong, and walk the rest of the way.

3) The Bavarian Beer House巴伐利亚啤酒馆 View In Map
A unique establishment (being the only one in Changsha), this bar-cum-restaurant is manned by a genuine Bavarian who likes to meet and greet customers, (so don’t go criticizing the authenticity of the dishes in front of the staff!) He also takes requests, so you can get your food cooked exactly how you like it. This is a great place to come with friends, and breathe in a whiff of southern German charm. Lederhosen optional.

Add: (Second floor) No 219 Middle Shuguang Rd, Yuhua District, Changsha
Tel: 0731 8443 3886
Opening times: 10:00-23:30

4) Crowne Plaza Hotel Pattaya Thai Restaurant皇冠假日酒店芭堤亚泰餐厅 View In Map
You will find Pattaya Restaurant on the 8th floor of the Crowne Plaza hotel, and it is (as far as we know) the only authentic Thai restaurant in the city. Despite being inside the cavernous Crowne Plaza, Pattaya only has room for about 50, so it’s best to book a table before arriving. The restaurant is furnished with Thai style adornments meaning no matter where you sit, you’ll get a taste of Thai. A nice feature of this place is the open kitchen, where you can see exactly how the chefs prepare the food. It also means you get to smell everything that’s cooking, so bring a clothes peg if you don’t want to be tempted by someone else’s food! The signature dishes here include a mouthwatering soft-shell crab curry, fried beef brisket with mango, and classic Thai hot and sour shrimp soup.

Add: Crowne Plaza Hotel (8F), 868 Wuyi Avenue, Changsha
Tel: 0731 8288 8888
Opening hours: Lunch: 11:00-14:00, Dinner: 17:30-21:30

5) Qiao Zhi Wen French Restaurant乔治文法国餐厅 View In Map
The French are stereotyped as passionate, romantic types, and at Qiao Zhi Wen they don’t miss a trick: the restaurant was opened by a French gentleman and his girlfriend. Soft music, mood lighting, and vases of flowers create an atmosphere to melt even the coldest of hearts. Menus and service is provided in one, two, or three languages (English, French and Chinese.) Seeing as it’s a French restaurant, you’d probably expect stereotypically French cuisine. And you’d be right! Imported French cheeses, foie gras, red wine, and for the big-spenders, even champagne! For something a little different and a little special, definitely try this place out.

Add: No. 101, 7 West Xinjian road, Yuhua District, Changsha
Tel: 0731 8675 2468
Opening times: 10:00-22:30
Getting there: Take bus 123, 703, 803, 912 or 915 to Qilimiao, or take 107, 116 or 803 to Yuhuating (East).

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Keywords: Western restaurants Changsha Foreign food in Changsha Hunan Western food


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I completely agree with the Italian restaurant recommendation. It's so nice to go on a sunny day and sit by the lake. However, last time I went the pizza was worse than I remember- I hope they haven't changed the chef!

Nov 13, 2011 00:02 Report Abuse



A very nice Italien Restaurant is the 'Pomerol' - which is located inside Xiao yuan (park), which is about 200 down Wui road from the main railway station, entrance to the park is almost opposite of the MYDO Spa center. Good Italian Pizza and pasta, and a large wine selection. But don't go with a big crowd, the kitchen capacity is limited!

Another good Western restaurant option is the Sofia restaurant in the Hong Ming Business street. They serve some tapas, Pizza and pasta. Very nice decoration and the food is quite good. They also have a small shop area in the first floor - I like the cake and the sandwiches (also good value for money)

Nov 01, 2011 18:39 Report Abuse



It wouldn't be disappointing if you learn the language of the country. Wines are expensive in any fancy restaurant. And as for your taste palette, try McDonold's across the street.

Jun 18, 2011 03:49 Report Abuse


David Priest

Sun Young Restaurant was really disappointing - certainly not the place for foreigners. The menu is only in Chinese, the staff only speak Chinese, and the wines are ridiculously priced. The food wasn't even tasty!

Jun 09, 2011 07:10 Report Abuse