As an old Chinese saying goes like “eating always comes first”, when talking about Chinese culture, food is always the most popular topic people never get tired of. Chinese not only enjoy eating but also believe eating good food together can bring reunion, harmony, and closeness to the family.
Having a civilized history of more than 5,000 years, Chinese cuisine has evolved into a number of different styles known as “Eight cuisines” of China, including Shandong Cuisine, Canton Cuisine, Szechuan Cuisine, Hunan Cuisine, Jiangsu Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Fujian Cuisine and Anhui Cuisine. You may not get chance to taste all of the “eight cuisines” from restaurants in Gainesville. But if you are willing to visit local Chinese students’ kitchens, there will be far more kinds of Chinese gourmet food that surprises you!
Most of the Chinese food you have in the United States are American Chinese food, which is modified to cater a more American taste, adapt with local ingredients, and served in entre-style.
Different from American Chinese food, authentic Chinese cuisine use many kinds of seasoning sauces and leaf vegetables that Americans seldom use. It is also essential to make use of various cooking techniques for different dishes, such as stir frying, pan frying, stewing, choking frying, oiled frying, and brewing. There are strict but creative steps to cook every different dish, from the way to cut ginger or garlic, the right time to add ingredient and seasoning, the control of the fire in each step.
What we recommend here is restaurants in Gainesville which serve authentic Chinese food rather than American Chinese food. We've interviewed a lot of Chinese students in Gainesville to ensure the authenticity and popularity of each restaurant.
This is the No.1 restaurant for Hunan and Szechuan cuisine in Gainesville rated by most Chinese students. You won’t see bento box or sushi rolls in their menu, but this is a perfect place to try authentic Chinese gourmet food, especially spicy food. If you have achili fever, you'll fall in love with the crazy spicy flavor, which is the feature of Hunan and Szechuan cuisine. Keep in mind that telling them to make the spicy dishes ‘mild’ might not help sometimes. Be prepared to surprise your tongue!
Specialty: Boiled spicy fillet, crazy spicy chicken
Mr. Han’s Restaurant and Night Club
If we say Gator Suyaki is the most popular Chinese restaurant among Chinese in Gainesville, then Mr. Han would definitely be the most exquisite Chinese restaurant here. The elegant dining environment and good service makes the restaurant deserve its reputation.
There is one dish you cannot miss in Mr. Han, that is, the Peking roast duck. Crisp skin, juicy, tender, and non-greasy meat as the unique taste of the Peking roast duck, it is unarguably one of the most famous Chinese gourmet dishes combining rich nutrition, culture and fantastic taste.
Specialty: Peking Roast duck, House Special Steak
South Garden Restaurant
If you want to experience native Cantonese culture, Yum Cha, which means “taste tea” in Cantonese, is certainly the first task on your to-do list.
In Guangdong, people begin their day by Yum Cha in the morning, which involves drinking Chinese tea while eating Dim Sum breakfast in restaurants with their families and friends. Dim sum is a style of small bite-sized Chinese dishes served in small steamer baskets or on small plates, such as Char Siu Baau and Har Gow.
Sounds inviting? South Garden is there waiting for you to taste a nice cup of tea and get a bite of their various kinds of delicate Dim Sum dishes. Remember their Yum Cha and Dim Sum is served only from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekends.
Specialty: chrysanthemum tea, rice noodle rolls, Char siu Sou, Har Gow
If you’ve fallen in love with the gourmet food in Chinese Restaurant and have interest to cook it by yourself, here are introduction of the two Chinese food markets in Gainesville as below. You can get all the ingredients, seasonings and condiments you need to cook an authentic Chinese dish in either one. Besides, the delicious Chinese snacks, beverages and fruits sold in the markets are also worth trying.
Chun Ching Oriental Food Supply
Small but complete, Chun Ching Oriental Food Supply has been here in Gainesville for more than 15 years. Everything you need related to Chinese cuisine can be found there at a fair price. The veggies in Chun Ching are especially fresh with a variety of choices at great prices.
Tip: Thursday would be the perfect day for shopping at Chun Ching since it is the day the market getting in new supplies every week. You’ll get the freshest food there on every Thursday.
It is a fact that Chun Ching supplies a variety of veggies at competitive price. But speaking of seafood, the Eastern Market is always a better choice. You can get various kinds of live fish and shrimps there. Another good point to mention is their attentive and warm service. You can ask the shop assistants to chop or slice the seafood or meat into the way you want for free.
The amount of Chinese restaurant and food market may be limited in Gainesville, however, the homemade dishes from Chinese students' kitchen are never out of new styles and always welcome your visit.
Sharing good food together is one of the traditional and essential virtues of Chinese food culture. The more, the merrier.That's why Chinese students enjoy having potluck together, sharing their masterpieces of homemade dishes. They also like eating hotpot together, stewing and sharing different ingredients in one pot. So don’t hesitate. Be our guest, grab a pair of chopsticks and join the homemade feast!