Chinese Dumpling Banquet

Xi’an has a very long history with the earliest human civilization – a matriarchal clan at today’s Banpo Village Ruins – dating back to 6,000 years ago. 13 dynasties established their capitals here. The splendid past has endowed the city with a large number of cultural and historic relics, such as Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell Tower, Xi’an City Wall, Forest of Stone Steles, and of course the most important one, the over 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors and Horses which alone brings Xi’an to the world stage.

Besides, Xi’an is also known as the home of all kinds of delicious food, especially pasta. How many things can you make from simple flour? For Xi’an people, flour means endless possibility. Today we are going to introduce you Xi’an dumpling banquet which you should not miss during your Xian tours. Yes, you read that right, a banquet with Chinese dumplings of different fillings and made in different ways.

Dumpling Banquet

Chinese Dumplings – A Traditional Staple with Special Meaning

Dumpling, known as Jiaozi in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese dish with thousands of years of history. Chinese archaeologists found Jiaozi in bowls at tombs of Tang Dynasty (618-907) in Turpan, Xinjiang, and they look just as the dumplings we have today.

Dumpling symbolizes reunion and is indispensable for New Year’s celebration especially in northern China. It’s pretty sweet to make dumplings and chat with families around a table at the same time. Chinese people even put coins in dumplings. It is believed that whoever gets the ones with coins will have good luck in the coming year.

dumplings cooking
Dumplings Cooking

Chinese Dumplings were Favored by Ancient Royal Families

Concubine Steamed Dumplings

It is said that Yang Yuhuan, the favorite concubine of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty, really liked dumplings but preferred steamed ones instead of boiled dumplings. In order to cater to Yang’s taste, the clever cook made steamed dumplings stuffed with one of her favorite foods – chicken wings, and presented the dish on her birthday.

Yang was very pleased with the dumplings, so emperor Xuanzong named it “Concubine Steamed Dumplings” and it was kept as a royal court dish since then.

Empress Dowager Hot Pot

The story happened in 1900 when the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing. Empress Dowager Cixi of Qing Dynasty (1616-1912) had to left the capital and fled to Xi’an. One night, she wanted to eat something special and it should be cooked in her presence. The chefs racked their brains for good ideas. Finally, they made small and exquisite dumplings with chicken breast as fillings and then boiled the dumplings in a pot of chicken broth.

After a while, a bowl of soup dumplings was served to the empress. This kind of dumplings cheered the empress and thus was named “Empress Dowager Hot Pot”.

An Innovation of Chinese Dumplings – Xi’an Dumpling Banquet

Dumpling is one of the most representative foods of Chinese dietary. In Xi’an Shaanxi, dumpling is popular among eaters of various ages. Although Chinese dumplings are tasty and meaningful, they basically look the same and have only a few flavors for many years. However, the dumpling restaurants in Xi’an made something different and created Chinese dumpling banquet. It is a lordly feast composed by all kinds of dumplings with different colors and appearances as well as inside stuffs.

Dumpling Dinner

The first to experiment on dumpling banquet is Xi’an Dumpling Banquet Restaurant (the former Jiefanglu Dumpling House). In 1984, chefs were sent to many large cities throughout the country, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenyang, and Qingdao, to study various styles of dumpling as well as learn tastes and preferences of people in different areas. They also went to some counties to explore traditional ways to make Chinese dumplings and studied how dumplings served for imperial families in ancient times were made.

After repeated tests, the restaurant finally made it. Dishes of Chinese dumpling banquet are tasty, aromatic, colorful, and pleasant to the eyes. And the banquet is classified into several grades, each with different fillings, shapes, flavors, and prices. Today, the special feast keeps being one of necessary foods in traditional festivals, such as Spring Festivals and Lantern Festival.

What’s Unique about Xi’an Dumpling Banquet?

  1. The dumplings have a wonderful variety of shapes you can see from the photos, such as garlic, lotus root, and cabbage. There are also many other shapes like goldfish, butterfly, conch and flowers.
  2. Many materials are used. In addition to the common vegetables and meat, such as pork, chicken, duck and fish, chefs also adopted new ingredients to make the fillings, like hericium erinaceus, sea cucumber, shark fin and hair weeds.
Dumplings Cooking
  1. There are plenty of flavors to satisfy every palate, such as spicy, fish flavor, spiced flavor, salty, sweet, sour, and curry flavor, just like the saying “100 dumplings have 100 flavors”.
  2. The dumplings are cooked in a variety of ways. Chinese people usually steam or boil dumplings. Now because dumplings have different fillings, various cooking techniques are used to keep the special tastes of each kind, like steaming, frying, quick-frying, braising and stuffing.
  3. Courses are served in a unique way. For example, if there are 7 people, there would be only 7 dumplings on the dish and the second one with different stuffed dumplings would be served until the last one is eaten out. The dining would keep going on until customers can’t eat anymore. In the whole banquet, the same dumplings won’t appear twice. It would be a great feast for both eyes and stomach during your Xian food tour of China.

Tips: If you are interested and want more information about Xi’an Dumpling Banquet food tours, please feel free to contact us at We will give you the best price!

Best-Rated Restaurants to Savor Xi’an Dumpling Banquet

Now there are many restaurants in Xi’an providing dumpling banquet. Here are some top-ranked ones for your reference if you are going to add a dumpling dinner into your Xi’an Day Tours:

Defachang Dumpling House (Bell Tower) 德发长

Defachang, established in 1936, is the most famous restaurant of its kind with a wide variety of Chinese dumplings. The dumplings of Defachang even won a place in the Guinness World Records.

Bell and Drum Towers Branch 钟鼓楼分店

Location: No. 3, West Street, Lianhu District (at the northwest corner of the Bell Tower Square)

Grand Tang Dynasty Ever-Bright City Branch 大唐不夜城分店

Location: Block F, No. 518, Yanta South Road, Yanta District

Xi’an Hotel (East Street)西安饭庄

Xi’an Hotel is a time-honored brand dating back to 1929. It once received many important domestic political and cultural figures. Now it has become a comprehensive hotel integrating catering, accommodation, entertainment, business, shopping, tourism and food industry. In addition to Chinese dumplings, it also provides many authentic local dishes.

East Street Branch 东大街分店

Location: No. 298, East Street, Beilin District (800m east of the Bell Tower)

Grand Tang Dynasty Ever-Bright City Branch 大唐不夜城分店

Location: Block A6-F, No. 518, Yanta South Road, Yanta District

Daqinghua Dumpling House (South 2nd Ring Road) 大清花饺子

Location: No. 56, East Section of South 2nd Ring Road, Beilin District

Daqinghua Dumpling House features northeastern Chinese cuisines. You can have yummy Chinese dumplings here and experience different dishes you may have never tried.

Shaanxi Grand Opera House 陕西歌舞大剧院

Location: No. 161, Wenyi North Road, Beilin District

Dinner time: 18:00-19:50; Show time 20:00-21:10

If the Tang Dynasty Show is also included in your Xi’an trip, you can try this theatre which also provides dumpling banquet. If you plan to watch the show, we highly recommend you to reserve the tickets online first and arrive in advance in case you are delayed or miss some parts.

Tang Dynasty Palace唐乐宫

Location: No. 75, Chang’an North Road, Beilin District

Dinner time: 18:00-19:30; Show time: 19:30-20:30

Tang Dynasty Palace is also a great choice to kill two birds with one stone as it also provides both immersive Tang Dynasty Show and dumpling banquet following imperial menus of that dynasty.