One of the most famous, and possibly the most famous, food in Suzhou is the Hairy Crabs, characterized by short dark hairs around their claws. Because of that, sometimes these crabs are called Mittens Crabs (because the hairs around their claws look like mittens).
These are fresh water crabs that are only available in October/November each year. The more famous (and most expensive) are those that are caught from Yang Cheng Lake, and those from the Tai Lake comes second. In fact they are so well-sought-after that 'fake' ones have been appearing all over China. ('Fake' means they are still hairy crabs, still edible, but are not from either of these lakes.)
Hairy crabs are well sought after due to the natural sweetness of their meat, and the sweet and tasty roe that the female hairy crab has.
This restaurant not only serves fresh tasty hairy crabs, they are located next to Tai Lake. Diners can have their food (and beer) and at the same time admire the scenery from the lake.
Favorite Dish: Hairy crab, what else!
Looking for a romantic place ? Champ de blé will provide you the loveliest atmosphere to enjoy a meal or a drink.
Each table is classy and well-organised and lots of decorative details such as original plants and wine barrels are added .
Champ de blé has a very reliable service. The waiters are friendly and available. They are concerned to provide high-quality service.
Champ de blé is definitely the most peaceful and comfortable place to sit, relax and eat.
Favorite Dish: The french traditional dishes are just enchanting. Plenty of french specials are served e.g smoked duck breast or braised dorade.
The food is not only appealing but also truly delicious. There is a wide range of dishes ( fish, pizza, pasta, soup,...) all at an affordable price.
Rendezvous Restaurant & Lounge, in SIP Suzhou, has the most relaxed and comfortable ambiance of any restaurant in Suzhou. The atmosphere is laid-back, with warm colors, soothing music and a sense of calm that is difficult to find in China.
The lounge bar is a great place to sit with friends, enjoy a meal or just a drink. The dining room can seat groups of many sizes, and also has a large tv for those who wish to watch sports in the afternoons or evenings. Every seat also has its own pillow to further contribute to the comfort. Their upstairs is a great place to hold private dinner parties, birthday parties or just to chill in the couches with a cocktail and a book. A large outdoor deck is also a great place to hangout with friends.
Real cold beers, real alcohol, real food and real people, Rendezvous provides the realest western dining experience in Suzhou.
Favorite Dish: Stellar Pizzas! The Italian-trained Chinese cooks make some of the best thin-crust style pizza in China, arguably the very best. Home-made dough, home-made tomato sauce, imported meats and cheese, and fresh ingredients contribute to a fantastic pizza.
They have a diverse menu of western foods; from daily special soups, fresh salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, a large grilled items selection, all day breakfasts and great desserts.
All drinks in the restaurant are made fresh, with no additives. They are famous for their Mango Tango, which is nothing but frozen fruit and fruit juice, no added Ice, no added flavorings.
The foreign owners are really concerned to provide to their guests the freshest, most wholesome food in Suzhou.
Located on Li Gong Di on the 1912 pub block location is the best Indian restaurant in Suzhou. The owner is Indian and is super nice. He has hired Indian cooks and therefore created an authentic flavor. The price is very reasonable for the quality and quantity. The weekdays lunch set meal is probably the best deal and the Sunday lunch buffet is worth your money for sure. If you are looking for great Indian food in Suzhou go here!
Favorite Dish: Rann-e-Punjab - whole leg of lamb ..so tender and delicious , the meat is really fresh and juicy and you can see it being cooked right in front of your eyes.
This restaurant is famous and a must eat at when in Suzhou, it has a history of over 400 years which can be found inside with it's authentic chinese decor, furnishing and service.
Favorite Dish: Award winning dishes, you just want to order the whole menu, fish looks like sqirrel would be my favourie with this boneles lightly battered fish in a sweet and sour sauce, Shirley is happy with any of the other famous dishes as shrimp, crab, tofu and eel or you could try some of their award winner's such as the crowing golden rooster in morning, jade geese in varying style or hedgehog shaped buns, just fantastic we will have to come back to this one!
Just love these types of local restaurant's, freindly helpful staff who treat you as a long lost freind.
Favorite Dish: All locally resourced food from the lake, snails, live prawns, whitebait, fish and even the the chicken is cooked in the lotus leaf freshly picked on the day, Shirley just loves and so does Rabbit!!!
Even though the staff on show aren't Indian, the food here, I found, was good if not all that spicy compared to back home in the UK. The menu is quite extensive with all the usual suspects. The tables upstairs are partitioned well, making for a cosy private environment with nice views of the street below. There were several Indians eating here when I visited which adds to this places reputation. All-in-all and nice place with good food and a nice break from Chinese food.
I'll just say it seems Sino-Japanese is probably the best description for this restaurant. Its signature dishes are the enhanced sushi rolls. But the Chinese dishes were very good as well. Being a chain from Taiwan, there were some nice desserts and some very nice tea choices as well.
We ordered the spareribs, a chicken dish and a rice dish. Everything was very good, if not absolutely memorable.
The decor was very nice as well. While China wouldn't be your first choice if service is important to you, this restaurant had very fabulous services. The staff were very personable and solicitous.
Favorite Dish: They have a wide array of dishes. See the menu in the picture.
This is supposed to be an institution-- they're supposed to be making wontons and dumplings for more than 150 years. Well, obviously their taste really hasn't changed much in all that time.
I can't say the food was inedible. But there was a general sense of mediocrity with their dishes in general. Some of the dishes -- such as the dumpling with sticky rice -- were pretty bad.
The service was OK, though they won't be getting any medal soon.
I always find Thai restaurants to be lacking in authenticity outside of Thailand. (Hong Kong being an exception.) So I was a bit sceptical about Coconut Kitchen, particularly after I found out that the one in Suzhou was part of the Banana Leaf chain.
I decided to take a chance after being let down by the other so-called "old name landmark" restaurants in the Guanqian area. Must say I was pleasantly surprised.
The service was good. The satay was succulent, the fish was tasty and the curry passed the test. You definitely wouldn't think you're in Bangkok, but this place is still much better than most you've been to in New York and LA, let alone Phoenix.
Zen is a wonderful Chinese restaurant in the new section of Suzhou, sometimes called the Singapore Industrial Zone. They have a wide variety of dishes including dim sum. I have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed, and always delighted with the food, ambiance and service. It is not cheap, so don't come here looking for a cheap meal. But if you want to treat yourself and friends to some excellent Chinese food, I highly recommend this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Everything is wonderful.
So you've had a long stay in Suzhou, and you are completely disgusted by the thought of ordering dumplings and kung pao chicken? If your seeking a little diversity in tastes, go to Southern Cross for some delicious mexican food and a pint of Carlsburg. This isn't chinese- mexican food, it is authentic mexican, the place was originally owned by a Mexican expat. (Yes, they have guacamole and sour cream!) Helen the barmaid and co-owner who runs the place is an awesome chick, she speaks fluent English and loves to have a laugh with a local expats who frequent the joint.
Favorite Dish: Love the Enchilladas and fajitas.
I was looking for somewhere to eat after wandering around The Master-of-Nets Garden. I found a little dumpling place, but didn't really feel like dumpling when across the road I saw this restaurant with "Recommended by lonely planet" plastered all over it. I usually don't trust guidebooks (after having some very average experiences) and I certainly avoid places with guidebook logos all over it, but today I made an exception - and boy am I glad I did.
The fact that I was pretty tired made the English menu a real treat. The service was fast and friendly and the food was really, really good. I had a plate of chinese greens, rice and another stir-fry dish. It was a huge amount of food, but it was my only meal for the day and it certainly kept me going (there was no need for dinner at all).
Favorite Dish: Everything I had was fresh and delicious. The food people were eating around me looked great too.
The other thing I was happy about was the amount of locals who were eating there. Even though it looked like a tourist trap (with lonely planet signs everywhere) the locals were eating there too. Always a good sign.
If you go to Suzhou, then this is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. Prices are good, the menus are in English and the food is fresh and tasty.
Qiantang Teahouse is a small chain of teahouses that was started in Suzhou. The concept is somewhat novel - you pay for your tea (good selection and great care in brewing) and a cover charge, but nibbles are all "complimentary" and available from a buffet table. Nibbles include Chinese snacks, appetisers, fruit and cakes, while some dishes can be cooked to order. We spent several hours in the Shiquan Street branch, escaping the rain, and stuffing our faces with food and tea. In the evening, there was a free pingtan performance. The teahouse has lush decoration and the unobtrusive waitresses diligently re-filled our flask of hot water... Bliss... We paid RMB116 per 2 people. Sadly, there is no branch in Shanghai.
Favorite Dish: I suppose the tea should be the highlight, but actually the nibbles were also good! The pingtan performance was interesting.
This restaurant it on the main pedestrian street in Suzhou. It is directly facing the train/boat ticket office (Behind Pizza Hut and KFC). The ambience of the place is great. It feels like you are back on the Silk Road in Western China. There is Muslim music playing and the people are friendly. It is a must see.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish are actually not on a dish at all. The Meat-On-A-Stick is to die for. I also like the xiao pan ji. (Chicken in a spicy curry and potato soup)