Cantonese food is astonishingly good, and it's hard to find a bad meal in Guangzhou. But a friend recommended one dish I hadn't heard of that seems more Tiki Bar than authentic Chinese: braised chicken cooked inside of a coconut. The best spot to find it is an old restaurant in an old neighborhood of Guangzhou; it's the single most popular place in town, according to locals. It's small and simple, but usually full of people. Each coconut is filled with a faintly sweet coconut milk broth soup that has either chicken or quail, along with local vegetables such as lotus root and goji berries. At just $2 USD a piece, the price is right, too!
This place also sells another traditionally Cantonese food: Tortoise or Turtle Jelly. Black, bitter and acerbic, it's not my favorite—but it's distinctly Cantonese and supposedly good for the skin. It's worth trying once! Originally made from powdered turtle shells, most desserts sold today skip the turtle-derived ingredients and leave only the bitter medicinal herbs.
Address: 160 Wenming Rd.