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Popular throughout China, Zhejiang cuisine—named after the province in which Hangzhou lies—is considered to be one of China's eight great culinary traditions. Hangzhou's take on Zhejiang cuisine emphasizes fresh fish, chicken, ample use of tender bamboo shoots and Longjing tea marinade. Try local dishes like West Lake Fish prepared with vinegar (Xīhú Cù Yú, 西湖醋鱼), shrimp fried with Longjing tea (Lóngjǐng xiārén, 龙井虾仁), and the famous beggar's chicken—stuffed chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and cooked in clay (jiàohuà jī, 叫化鸡). Given the ever-increasing number of foreign tourists and the growing taste Chinese have for international cuisines, Hangzhou also is home to a number of good non-Chinese restaurants.

The 100-some-year-old Louwailou (Lóuwàilóu, 楼外楼) on Gushan (Solitary Hill Island) attracts huge crowds with its authentic dishes and great view. Huazhong Cheng Restaurant boasts a famous local chef and the city's Yan'an Lu Fish Market allows diners to peruse the day's catch before hand-picking their dinner. The four floors of Zhiweiguan Restaurant house a seafood restaurant, a bar and karaoke rooms. For those who prefer Western food, Italian restaurant, Va Bene, opened in Xi Hu Tiandi, a newer high-end retail complex. Another popular choice, Paulaner Brauhaus, offers German fare and beer.

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