Our Top 10 Guangzhou F&B Moments of 2018

By That's Guangzhou, December 29, 2018

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201812/year-in-review-20181.jpgIt’s been one hell of a year to say the least, particularly for those of us based in China. We’ve seen ‘The Tweeter in Chief’ launch (and then halt) a trade war between the world’s two leading economic powers, Fan Bingbing disappear and then reappear (with a major fine to pay) and another record-breaking Singles’ Day haul for Alibaba. To wrap up 2018, our editorial team has put together a list of the year’s most unforgettable viral stories, recounting major occurrences that defined the worlds of sports, tech, arts, fashion and food. Here’s to another year of eclectic, weird and wonderful life in China, we wouldn’t have it any other way. 


This year brought local foodies both excitement and hysteria as the food and drink scene in our fair city changed for better and for worse. Below, we’ve ranked the top stories from around Guangzhou over the last 12 months:

10. Michelin Launches First Global Cantonese Food Guide in Guangzhou

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Image via China Daily

This year the Michelin Guide team launched Fine Cantonese Food by the Michelin Guide 2018-2019: Asia, Europe and USA, which is the first good guide to focus on a specific cuisine, as opposed to a geographic location. The guidebook, which went on sale on December 7, includes approximately 300 Michelin Star, Bib Gourmand and Plate Cantonese restaurants spanning 15 countries and regions, including 89 in Hong Kong, 39 in Guangzhou, 29 in Shanghai, 26 in Singapore, 16 in the US and, unexpectedly, one in Norway. 

Click here to read more.

9. Trailblazing F&B Spots Ditch Plastic Straws in Guangzhou

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Image via Kate Townsend/Unsplash

Multiple Guangzhou eateries answered the call to combat plastic waste this year by pushing aside plastic straws for recyclable products. Popular Guangzhou-based eatery Social&Co introduced biodegradable paper straws as an eco-friendly alternative to single-use straws earlier this year, while across the Pearl River, at Party Pier, Revolucion Cocktail Bar introduced reusable bamboo straws. 

Click here to read more.

8. Domino’s Pizza Opens Two Restaurants in Guangzhou

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Image via Matthew Bossons/That's

The chips have fallen in Guangzhou’s favor, for pizza lovers anyway: popular American pizza outlet Domino’s Pizza opened not one but TWO restaurants in Haizhu District this autumn.

Click here to read more.

7. Massive Fire Engulfs Popular Guangzhou Turkish Restaurant

bosphorus-fire-5.jpgImage by Matthew Bossons/That’s

A fire ravaged popular Xiaobei Turkish joint Bosphorus at around 7pm on November 20. Videos of the incident circulated heavily on social media; some showed the building engulfed in flames as curious onlookers watch on, while others captured scenes of fire crews battling the blaze. As of December 29, 2018, the restaurant has yet to reopen. 

Click here to read more.

6. Buyer Beware: Trout Can Now Be Sold as Salmon in China

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Image via Wikimedia

In response to claims that China-raised rainbow trout are being labeled and sold domestically as salmon, the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) and 13 Chinese fishery companies released new rules in 2018 – including one that validates the practice of labeling trout as salmon.

Click here to read more.

5. Hema – the Future of Food Shopping in China – Arrives in Guangzhou

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Image via Hema

Hema is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite supermarket, thanks in large part to the company’s user-friendly online ordering app. Delivery times are as low as 30 minutes, as long as you live close to a store in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Wuhan, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Ningbo or Guiyang. In 2018, the chain opened four stores in Guangzhou. 

Click here to read more.

4. Popular Guangzhou Bars and Restaurants Close Doors

mccawleys-gz-closes.jpgImage by Matthew Bossons/That's

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Guangzhou’s F&B scene, that lesson would be: do not get too attached. Case in point, 2018 is the year in which two of the city’s oldest institutions, McCawley’s and The Brew Bar & Bistro, closed shop, thus proving that anything can happen in Guangzhou.

Click here to read more.

3. In-N-Out Burger Hosts Pop-Up Restaurant in Guangzhou

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That's

American chain In-N-Out Burger hosted their first-ever Guangzhou pop-up restaurant in Yuexiu District on Halloween. The pop-up kitchen was managed by three chefs visiting from the United States and all the sauces used in the food were imported. Despite the event being an extremely well-kept secret, when we arrived at the pop-up kitchen on the morning of October 31 a crowd of In-N-Out-lovin’ expats and curious locals were already there, stuffing exquisitely prepared double cheeseburgers into their mouths. 

Click here to read more.

2. Massive Police Drug Raid Hits Popular Guangzhou Bar

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Image via Pixabay

Police in Zhujiang New Town descended on popular Liede bar Hooley’s Irish Pub in the wee hours of the morning on December 4, part of what appears to be an increase in F&B raids targeting drug users in Guangzhou. During the late-night raid, patrons of the bar were unable to leave and “kept inside for two hours,” according to one witness, before being shuttled in groups to local police stations to undergo urine tests – and in some cases hair follicle tests – to identify drug users. 

Click here to read more.

1. 8 Restaurants Get Michelin Stars in First Guangzhou Guide

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Image by Matthew Bossons/That's 

On June 28, Michelin revealed who made it into the company’s inaugural Michelin Guide Guangzhou 2018. The book was officially announced in December 2017 and Guangzhou is the second city on the Chinese mainland to receive it after Michelin Guide Shanghai 2017.

Click here to read more.


For more F&B news and gossip from 2018, click here.

For more 2018 Year in Review coverage, click here.

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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