Foods on China Trains

Foods are available on China trains, and you can buy from the dining car or food trolleys. Some Chinese passengers even get off and buy foods from platform vendors when train stops on the way, but it is not recommended by us as the train only stops a few minutes. Please note the fare of the food is not included in the train ticket and only Chinese cash is accepted for payment.

Dining Car

Dining car is available on most China trains, providing meals, drinks and snacks. A dining car is often at the carriage No.9 on a normal speed train and carriage No.4 or 5 on a high speed train. Western food is seldom found on China trains, and the foods on board are usually Chinese styles. Porridge, pickles, steamed buns, boiled eggs are usually provided as breakfast; sometimes, breads and coffee are also available. Rice with fried vegetables, soups and noodles are usually provided as lunch or dinner. You will find non-alcoholic beverages and bottled water are usually available on China trains. Some snacks such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, crackers and vacuum packed braised food can also be bought on board.

Food Trolleys

For the seats in dining car are limited, some railway attendants will push trolleys through the carriages selling packed meals at meal time. The heated packed foods are the same rice, vegetables, and noodles as those in dining car. Attendants also sell packed fruits, drinks and snacks at other times.

According to passengers’ experience, generally the foods sold on board are expensive than those of the outside restaurants or stores. Worse thing is that the packed meals often taste bad. So if possible, you are suggested to bring some foods on your own, like hamburgers, breads, fruits, or the most popular instant noodles among Chinese passengers during a train trip.

Suggestions for Foreign Passengers

  • 1. If you take a short-distance train trip in China, you are suggested to take only bottled water or simply a bottle (free boiled water is available in carriages). But if you happen to travel at meal time, you can bring some snacks and then have a good meal after disembarkation.
  • 2. Breads, milk, hamburgers, and fruits are good choices for those who are not used to Chinese dishes. There are fast food restaurants, such as KFC and McDonald, at many train stations in China, so you can buy foods there before boarding the train.
  • 3. If you want to have a meal at dining car, try to go there as early as possible as it will be crowded at meal time.