Guilin has so much more to offer than just streaming rivers and oddly warped karsts. It often takes tourists by surprise with its impressive assortment of local delicacies, notably the Guilin Rice Noodle.

Read also: Shangri-La China Travel Guide

Guilin Rice Noodles
Guilin Rice Noodles: Best Food in Guilin

Guilin Rice Noodles: Best Food in Guilin

Guilin Rice Noodles or Guilin Mifen is a noodle dish extensively consumed in Guilin, a picturesque city in northeast Guangxi. It is plenty and cheap, tasty, and loaded with delectable flavors.

A street food and family meal since the establishment of the Qin Dynasty 2000 years ago, it has survived the test of time to reign as the most popular dish in Guilin and its neighboring cities. It can be consumed as breakfast, dinner, or lunch, and offers the ultimate culinary satisfaction thanks to the large variety of toppings and accompanying condiments.

Guilin Rice Noodles Recipe & Ingredients

This is a dish loved by practically everyone – from playful toddlers to manual laborers – and can easily be found on any street in Guilin. The white strips of rice noodles are soft and smooth with different thickness and forms. Made using rice flour starch, they are either round or flat, and are served in a plain, mild broth which has been slow-boiled for hours with cinnamon sticks, ginger slices, meat and tangerine peels.
The most unique feature of this dish lays in the interesting choices of toppings, which include sour bamboo shoots, pickled green beans, roasted peanuts, pickled soy beans, pickled cabbage, scallions, coriander leaves, dry toasted chili flakes, pickled white radish, served alongside slices of meat, typically pork or beef.

Since there isn't a standard recipe for the beloved Guilin Rice Noodles, the taste varies in every shop. This makes it an adventure of its own, hopping from shop to shop to find one most appealing to your taste buds!

Guilin Rice Noodles
Guilin Rice Noodles
guilin street food
Undoubtedly the best food in Guilin

How to Eat Guilin Noodles

Look around and you will immediately notice cleaned and chopped fresh and pickled vegetables being displayed buffet-style across a table (usually at one of the less crowded corners) of the shop. Feel free to add whichever toppings you prefer onto your bowl of Guilin noodles, such as pickled beans, green onion, pickled white radish, fried peanuts, and chili paste. Every type of topping contributes a distinctive texture and flavor to the dish, so it is highly recommended that you put in a little (or a lot) of everything!

Guilin noodles are typically prepared in three sizes: small, medium and large (一两;二两;三两) - so be sure to point this out to the server.

Types of Guilin Rice Noodles

There are several variations of Guilin Rice Noodles. Each type is popular and is often the cheapest Guilin street food, priced at only 3 to 4 yuan per bowl. The most popular Guilin noodle version is 卤菜粉 (lu-cai-fen) or the gravy-type noodles. It is prepared using a pork bone broth and topped with thin slices of marinated meat, pickled beans, fried peanuts, oi and scallion. Other versions include the broth-type noodles known as 汤菜粉 (tang-cai-fen) and boiled noodles known as 煮粉 (zhu-fen).

Guilin Rice Noodles
Types of Guilin Rice Noodles
Guilin Mifen 桂林米粉
Pickled and fresh vegetables are popular Guilin Rice Noodles toppings

Where to Eat Guilin Mifen

Do not worry about not being able to find Guilin Rice Noodles, because it is sold on literally every street in this beautiful town! One of the most famous restaurants is the Chongshan Rice Noodles 崇善米粉. With several branches across Guilin, it has been selling traditional Guilin rice noodles since 1986, and is loved by both locals and foreigners alike.

Bon appétit!
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Guilin, Guangxi, China