Dalian cuisine mainly consists of seafood, although variation is easy to find and anything from western food to many regional Chinese dishes are available. Dalian is interesting because the dishes here mostly belong in the Shandong cooking style bracket, laying much emphasis on their color and appearance.
Although seafood can be found in most downtown restaurants, your best bet is to head to the seafront or the pricey hotels.
One of the nicest restaurants on the seafront is the New Orient Seafood City, which serves possibly the best crab cooked by chefs from the popular Cantonese food chain, Bifengtang.
Of the hotel restaurants the Shang Palace in the Shangri-La comes highly recommended. For those with a bit of time on their hands, head to Lushun (Port Arthur), a city about 20km from Dalian, which does some of the freshest seafood dishes in this part of
For those not after seafood, Tianjin Street (Tianjin jie) is the place to come. It is littered with stalls and restaurants that will serve you the usual Chinese fare, and also the local Dalian fried dumplings and pancakes.
The Donglaishun Restaurant on Changchun Road also does good hotpot dishes for cheap prices. Western food is all over the shop, especially KFC that has taken the town by storm, but you are probably better off heading for the Greenery Beerhouse on Renmin Lu which does better variety Western style snacks at affordable prices.
A more exotic experience can be had by heading for the Jinshan Restaurant, that serves medicinal food, mainly turtle or snake, apparently good for body and health.
Visitors to Dalian should also not forget to sample the fruits that are produced locally here, including apples, pears and cherries.