The official Xinhua News Agency says six people were killed at the scene and eight others died at a hospital. Seventeen people were severely injured.
Xinhua says the explosion was so powerful that it shattered the windows of the two-story building that houses the restaurant and shops.
Hotpot dining is popular among Chinese, with diners gathering around a steaming pot in which they cook meats and vegetables.
Restaurant explosions are common in China, though a death toll this high is rare.