Shanxi cuisine is famous for its buckwheat, sorghum, bean, and potato-flour pastas -- all currently enjoying increased popularity in China -- as well as for its vinegar (cu). A favorite dish that employs potato-flour noodles, vinegar, soy sauce, and spring onion is liangfen. Served cold, the dish is particularly refreshing on muggy summer evenings. Like Italian pastas, cuojianer (twisted points), mao erduo (cats' ears), and a variety of others are named for their shapes. Two winter specialties are Shanxi beef or lamb hot pot (huoguo) and -- for breakfast -- mutton soup (tounao). Made with fatty mutton, yam, lotus, and herbs (to mask the gamey taste), it goes well with the flatbread called xiaobing and fortifies you against the winter cold.

The best place to get these local specialties is at the Shipin Jie night market, parallel and west of Jiefang Lu, which is lined with some small stands and a number of restaurants serving local specialties and various other Chinese cuisines.

For fast food, there's a 24-hour McDonald's is on the southeast corner of Wuyi Square. KFC is on the corner of Liuxiang Nan Lu and Yingze Dajie and elsewhere around the city. For a decent cup of coffee and passable pizza, sandwiches, steak, and spaghetti, there's a branch of UBC Coffee (Shangdao Kafeiting) on Jiefang Lu, just south of Yingze Dajie. For snacks and supplies, the Meet All supermarket on the northeast corner of Wuyi Square has a good range of products.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.