China Travel Answer

Q: I'm traveling to China and would like to get your advice on budgeting for food. How much does it cost to eat a lunch or dinner at a decent restaurant?

By American standard, meals do not cost all that much in China. To be sure, a meal at a really fancy place, such as a restaurant in an upscale hotel, can be rather expensive. And banquets with numerous dishes, of which Chinese are quite fond, can also cost quite a bit, sometimes hundreds, even thousands, of Chinese dollars. But if eat ordinary meal at a regular Chinese restaurant, it should not cost a whole lot. Depending where you are (big or small cities),you may expect a well-cooked dish cost anywhere from 10 to 30 Chinese dollars. A couple of dishes and maybe a soup can make a nice meal. So, if you're just by yourself and not enteraining, and you just eat regular meals, you should be able to get by with a daily budget of 150-200 Chinese dollars, that is no more than 20 or 30 US dollars. But again, this really depends who you are, where you are, and what your idea of a good time is.