by Blake Bergen Photography


Lamb Skewers | 羊肉串


Sparking coals make lamb skewers better, everyone knows that.

Xining, Qinghai, China | 中国青海西宁


Spicy Chicken Noodles | 辣鸡面


We always hear the stories about making mistakes in Mandarin thanks to tricky tones. Ordering spicy chicken noodles was my constant tonal nightmare. You see, làjī miàn means “spicy chicken noodles,” while lājī miàn would mean “trash noodles.” I may or may not have been laughed a few times… But hey, at least I got my spicy chicken noodles!

Luzhou, Sichuan, China | 中国四川泸州

Xi’An Steamed Buns | 西安灌汤包


Xi’An’s Muslim Street is full of flavors and scents. People flock here for the snacks. One inescapable delight is the steamed bun – a classic in China but with a thinner surface in the Xi’An iteration. Beef and lamb are musts!

Xi’An, Shaanxi, China | 中国陕西西安

Sliced Noodle Soup | 面片汤


Savory soupy sliced noodles with veggies and beef.

Zhangye, Gansu, China | 中国甘肃张掖


Same as above but more tomato based broth.

Matisi, Zhangye, Gansu, China | 中国甘肃张掖马蹄寺

Fried Noodle Slices | 炒面片


Fried noodle slices with onion, pepper, beef, and chili sauce. Served with a cumin-y soup.

Xining, Qinghai, China | 中国青海西宁

Chongqing Hot Pot | 重庆火锅


You can’t spent more than a minute in Chongqing without smelling hot pot. Chongqing hot pot is the heart and soul of this southwestern municipality. Gathering around a boiling bowl of spicy oil and broth with friends and family for a several hour feast is an unforgettable experience. Hot pot was started by poor fishers and farmers who couldn’t afford quality cuts of meat, so they made this fragrant concoction to mask the smell and flavor of innards and undesirable fish, and to make veggies bearable! Beer is always a must. Drinking games, unavoidable.

Chongqing, China | 中国重庆

Siwawa | 丝娃娃


Siwawa is a treat found in Guiyang, China that resembles make your own tacos!

Guiyang, Guizhou, China | 中国贵州贵阳