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Harbin is not known for being a shopping mecca. Although there is the occasional charming boutique found in the Daoli District (Dàolǐ Qū, 道里区), most shoppers find themselves limited to buying food products unique to the area. If you feel like filling up on some local delicacies, Harbin prides itself on the following items:

Dog salmon

The harsh climate in Harbin toughens up the physique of every living animal. Dog salmon (dàmǎhā yú, 大马哈鱼) certainly fits that bill. To withstand the freezing cold in winter, the salmon in Harbin grows a layer of fat that makes it extra tasty for dishes such as fish slices, fish ball soup and salted fish. When you visit Harbin, don't forget to sample this prime example of "survivor of the fittest!"


Although Harbin is not a coastal city, it still boasts a good selection of freshwater fish. Aside from dog salmon, sturgeon (xúnhuáng yú, 鲟鳇鱼) is probably the most well-known seafood. The largest of these fish can weigh several pounds. Long known as "the King" of fish, sturgeon is served on very special occasions in Harbin.

Monkey-head mushroom

Most foreign travelers are unfamiliar with this unusual food. Monkey-head mushroom (hóutóu gū, 猴头菇), is one of China's most famous delicacies. The fungus is renowned for its healing properties, especially for an upset stomach.

Harbin sausage

The major difference between Harbin sausage and Russian sausage lies in the seasoning. The Chinese variety contains cinnamon and round cardamom. The Harbinese enjoy a good drink with their sausage!

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