Saturday, December 19, 2015

12 Ways the Tianjin Food Scene Has Changed During My 12+ Years Here

1. I used to think that going to McDonald's was a little pricey, but the cost of Chinese food can be just as much or more now.
2.We used to get free tea at Chinese restaurants all of the time, but getting free tea is no longer common.
2. TGI Friday's was the place to go for a good burger and cold Coke, but now you can find that combo at several restaurants (e.g., Harley Davidson Club, Smoki & Co, Blue Frog).
3. Pizza Hut used to be a long bus or taxi ride, but now we have a few Pizza Huts that are within bike riding distance.
4. The neighborhood KFC and McDonalds have drive-thrus which were a rarity back in the day.
5. There used to be only one Subway restaurant in the city before it sadly closed its doors. Today you can find the restaurant in numerous locations throughout the city.
6. I never understood what the big deal was with Food Street (Shipin Jie) so I'm not surprised that their doors have closed.
7. When I first moved to Tianjin, the desserts looked pretty, but I often thought they tasted funky. Now you find delicious desserts everywhere that appeal to the American sweet tooth. You can still find the gross stuff too.
8. Coffeehouses, independents and chains, are everywhere now. I think Starbucks is trying to take over the city.
9. We can get cake donuts on Sunday mornings, and I'm proud to announce that Dunkin' Donuts plans to come to Tianjin soon. I had the privilege to visit a Dunkin' Donuts in Shenyang in the spring.
10. Street food is still absolutely delicious, but it's not as cheap as used to be. Gone are the days of dirt cheap (1-2 RMB or 13-25 cents). Think more along the lines of 67 cents to $1+.
11. Food orders can sometimes be made online and often by phone. Many fast food joints have an electric bike infantry.
12. American chains such as Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, and Burger King are in the city. Japanese chains such as CoCo Curry House and Aijisen are also in the city. Both parts of me are satisfied.

To read more about Tianjin's famous cuisine, click here.

Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Roly Poly Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Eat Them Up, Yum!