History (or legend) has it that most of the Italian cuisine has its origins in traditional Chinese dishes. Marco Polo, the great Venetian merchant, is said to have brought back noodles from his visit to China. The noodles would later become the pasta that Italy is world famous for today. The equally famous Italian gelato is likely to have its origins in the lads of the far east. Since the year of 200 before Christ, a kind of ice-cream was invented in China, when a milk and rice mixture was frozen while berried into the snow. Once again, Marco Polo is believed to have seen ice creams being made during his visit and introduce them to Italy.

Even with these similarities, Chinese and European cuisine flavors still differ considerably. Having that in mind one can wonder: what are the eating habits of Chinese tourists while traveling through Europe? 

Chinese dishes on the other side of the world

For those traveling with family, kids or elderly can be more resistant to western tastes. 

Most major cities in the world have a China town. And what stands out when you visit one? The great number of authentic and diverse Chinese restaurants. Second and third generations of Chinese living abroad are still very hooked up to the tastes of their motherland. And Chinese tourists also tend to appreciate eating something more familiar between museum or gallery hopping. For those traveling with family, kids or elderly can be more resistant to western tastes. Therefore it is generally appreciated when they find hotels or restaurants with Chinese breakfast options like congee: zhōu 粥 or steamed buns, called bāozi 包子

A real taste of the local flavor

92% of respondents said they wanted to try local dishes when traveling. 

With China becoming a very international society with a large number of tourists and foreigners living in first and second-tier cities, western restaurants are a very common thing to see. I am not talking only about the well known fast food chains, but about high-quality western cuisine. Many renewed international chefs set foot in Chinese cities to take part of its thriving gastronomic scene. Hence Chinese people are growing accustomed to western tastes at home. And when they travel abroad, a gastronomic experience is among the highlights. In particular Chinese youngsters are very excited to try these local dishes. According to a survey by Chinese OTA Ctrip, 92% of respondents said they wanted to try local dishes when traveling.

Example of good practices

Here are two examples of local European business that are attracting more Chinese tourists by exploring their relationship with food:

De Pannenkoekenboot

What about tasting delicious Dutch pancakes, covered in Dutch syrup and accompanied by a glass of rose wine while discovering the canals of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Nijmegen. De Pannenkoekenboot, or in English The Pancake Boat offers this unique experience and also gives an incentive to Shake to Win users of 10% discount for the unlimited amount of pancakes and the boat tour of 75 minutes. 


What could be better than having an authentic Italian gastronomic experience with a Tuscan artist in his Tuscan villa? Home eating is an Italian startup that provides a food experience based on art and friendship. They open the doors to exclusive homes in Italy and let tourists enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. Shake to win users get exclusive incentives like free Italian expressos or limoncello.