Pizza is a beloved dish around the world and China is no exception. 🍕
There are now a wide variety of pizza options available in China, ranging from traditional Italian-style pizzas to more adventurous offerings, such as those topped with Chinese ingredients.
Pizza has become so popular in China that it is now an integral part of the country’s food culture.
How Pizza Came to China?
Pizza first arrived in China in the early 1990s, when the Italian restaurant Da Marco opened its doors in Shanghai.
Since then, it has become increasingly popular, with new restaurants opening up all over the country.
Pizza Hut (必胜客） and Domino’s Pizza （多米诺） both have a presence in China, and both have adapted their menus to suit the local market.
As more people in China become familiar with pizza, it has become a popular option for weekend family dine out or party meal on graduation day.
You may wonder. What is the special Chinese meal for a family on weekends? One option is Uyghur Food or Chinese call it Xin Jiang Food. (新疆菜)
How Chinese Prefer Pizza?
- It’s not for business people. It’s not for people eating by themselves. It’s a family food and sometimes young friends and date night.
- Pizza is eaten in China as a leisure food. They do not care how fast the pizza comes out of the oven and most of the time they dine in.
- Pizza is eaten as a “collective” food, not a solo food in China. Sliced pizza concept is not so popular. Shanghai might have an exception to this rule and Shanghai doesn’t represent the rest of China.
- Most still like the thick crust as it’s the one got introduced to Chinese at the first place. Or they prefer some filling inside the thick crust like sweet potato paste or salty shredded pork.
- Always have something else as company. Chinese want salad, wings, pasta, and other mains to accompany pizza.
- Chinese people tend to prefer pizza toppings such as beef and onion, sweet corn, seafood, pepperoni, mushroom and durian.
- Many Chinese pizzerias also offer specialty pizzas with Chinese-style toppings like spicy pork, preserved egg, and pickled vegetables.
- Chinese consumers do not like cheese and may not be able to digest it. Tomato is not a culinary ingredient in China. In response to this, Pizza Hut modified their pizza recipes, using less tomato sauce and cheese and including indigenous ingredients that were agreeable to Chinese consumers, such as tuna, crab sticks, soy sauce, chicken and corn.
How Good is the Pizza in China?
The quality of pizza in China can vary greatly from place to place.
Generally speaking, pizza in China is not considered to be of the same quality as pizza in countries like the U.S. or Italy.
However, there are some pizza restaurants in China that are quite popular and serve good quality pizza.
Dominos and Pizza Hut
The tomato sauce is slightly sweeter and may be slightly spicy.
Toppings are sometimes weird to westernes, fungus is common (even with pineapple and durian), CORN IS EVERYWHERE.
It does NOT help that everything is kinda sweet if you order seafood pizza.
You do not need to worry about getting food poisioned for some unknown ingredients added.
Authentic Pizza Places
Authentic Italian wood fire oven pizza places or Amercian style pizza places can be found easily in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
If you are in Shanghai and a New York style pizza lover, go check out Homeslice pizza.
It does whole pies and by the slices.
There are plenty of hardcore Homeslice fans in Shanghai, and I’m one of them.
They have new limited-edition pizzas for the season, including one for St. Patrick’s Day and one that has taco toppings.
If you are more into wood fire oven made pizza, Bar Centrale in Shanghai is the place to go.
Bar Centrale has recreated this casual Italian amabiance offereing a place to meet while enjoying a fine bite at all times of the day.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do they serve pizza in China?
Yes, China serves Pizza. Pizza Hut opened its first store in China in 1990, and several pizza restaurant chains exist in China today.
In the past 15 years, pizza has been a very popular western food in China.
Today, you can find famous American pizzerias such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Papa John’s there.
They are everywhere in the major cities of China.
Is Pizza Italian or Chinese?
Pizza is Italian. Historians truly don’t know where pizza actually got its start.
There are so many different theories and possibilities.
However, the modern-day pizza we know and love has a clear birthplace: Naples, Italy.
What is Chinese pizza?
Tujia Shaobing is Chinese pizza. It is a special Chinese dish that is pizza like in quality and has been judged to bear some similarity to American versions of pizza.