Exploring the Ever-Changing Foodie Scene in Shenzhen’s Urban Villages

By Bryan Grogan, 2019-03-07 07:50:00

Shenzhen’s foodie scene tends to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand you have commercial areas and shopping malls which host some of the best eateries in the city. On the other hand, we see gentrified urban villages playing host to a number of foodie destinations propounding the joys of international tastes. This month, we’ve taken a look at some of the best urban villages to snap up some food. 

1. Shuiwei

Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

In South Futian, near Huanggang Checkpoint, this small patch of land has seen a marked increase in the number of new restaurants opening in the area in the past few years. We’ve seen Woodpecker Smokehouse come along serving up their delicious smoked steaks, as well as Mambo Bistro, who specialize in Latin food, while mainstays like Evil Duck still cater to the booze-inclined amongst our readers. Generally speaking, this is the place to go in Futian District if you are looking to get away from the chaos of shopping malls while still being able to grab something with a Western flavor. 

Recommended: Woodpecker Smokehouse, Mambo, Evil Duck

Futian District, nearest metro station: Fumin (Line 4)

2. Hubei/Dongmen

Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

The next village on the chopping block, Hubei may be nearing the end of its days as a street food haven. As such, we recommend that intrepid foodies head there as soon as possible. Nearby is Dongmen, which is not short on outlets serving Dongbei and Northern cuisine, as well as Cantonese and Hong Kong-style eats. Better than Dongmen, for the street food aficionados out there, are the strange delights that you can find in the back alleys of Hubei village, where you can grab Chaoshan- and Hakka-style edibles, with plenty of old-fashioned barbeque up for grabs. As we say, Hubei is one of the last remaining strongholds of good, cheap roadside eats. But with development on the horizon, get there sooner rather than later...

Recommended: Yongxin Lu, Dongmen Pedestrian Street

Luohu District, nearest metro station: Hubei (Line 2)

3. Xinzhou/Shawei

Image via Craft Head Tap House

To the west of Shuiwei, this friendly and quiet urban area has, in much the same way as that other urban village, been developed to within an inch of its former self. And, given the welcoming nature of its clean streets, it could be the next patch of land to really begin booming in Futian District. Home of the newest iteration of Craft Head Brewing, this area is also packed full of shops serving traditional Chinese meals and, if nothing else, makes for a lovely stroll in the evening. Xinzhou may still lag behind some of these other villages in terms of foodie clout, but with infrastructure already firmly in place, we don’t see why it can’t quickly turn into a foodie haven.  

Recommended: Craft Head Brewing, &Cafe, Erlang Tianji

Futian District, nearest metro station: Shawei (Line 7)

4. Baishizhou

Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

One of the largest and most storied urban villages in Shenzhen, large swathes of this area have been given over to bustling thoroughfares packed with barbecues and beer spots. Stroll down Shizhou Zhong Lu, Baishi Lu and Hongshu Lu for plenty of Chinese and Korean fare, with spicy seafood and noodle restaurants hidden behind ornate and glowing facades. Depending on how far you’re willing to walk, dumplings, Chaoshan hotpot, craft beer and skewered meat are all at your disposal. If you are looking for something typically Chinese to eat, without having to stray too far from the likes of Window of the World or OCT, this is the spot to go to. 

Recommended: Bionic Brew, 36 Matchart, Duck de Chine

Nanshan District, nearest metro station: Baishizhou (Line 1)

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[Cover image by Bryan Grogan/That's]