The modern metropolis of Beijing has hundreds of different types of snacks after thousands of years' of development and the movement of a wide range of people. Beijing snacks combine numerous flavors and styles, such as Hui, Mongolian and Manchurian flavors, and imperial styles of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1636-1911) dynasties.
Food streets or snack streets are always popular destinations for locals and tourists, especially at night. There are many such streets in Beijing, some have been around for a long time, while some are newly thriving. The following food/snack streets, or street snack shops, are among the famous in Beijing.
1. Wangfujing Snack Street
Wangfujing Snack Street is conveniently located just beside Wangfujing Street, the busiest shopping street in Beijing. It is a very popular tourist destination, and is especially busy at night. Besides street foods, there are also souvenirs and handicrafts for sale here, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
The food street has a large selection of somewhat exotic finds, such as deep fried insects, scorpions and animal parts. While people in Beijing do not regularly eat deep fried insects, they can make for good photos to send home.
Common traditional snacks such as meat kebabs, dumplings and tanghulu (candied fruits popular in Beijing's winter) can also be found here. We've also put together snack menu help in case you need help figuring out how to ask for what you want.
Prices range from RMB 10 per snack to RMB 30-40 for the bigger portions.
- Chinese Name: 王府井小吃街
- Address: Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District (东城区王府井)
- Transport: Public bus 20, 37, 41, 59, 103, 120, 420, 802 (get off at Wangfujing). Or take subway line 1 and get off at Wangfujing Station.
2. Guijie (Ghost Street)
Guijie (Ghost Street) is the earliest popular snack street in Beijing. The 1.5-kilometer-long Guijie is full of snack shops and restaurants, which serve snacks with different flavors at a cheap price. It is well-known for serving spicy food hailing mostly from Sichuan province.
One food item that is undoubtedly high up on Beijing's favorites are hot and spicy crawfish. Guijie operates around the clock, and it's bustling every day between six in the evening until the early hours of the morning. This is also one of the best places to come for a meal very late at night as many of the restaurants continue to serve until approximately 4am.
Prices of the restaurants here start at approximately RMB 50-60 per person, and can go up to RMB 300 depending on whether you are looking for something fancy.
- Chinese name: 簋街
- Location: Dongzhimennei Avenue, Dongcheng District
- Transportation: Public bus 106, 124, 807 (get off at Beixinqiao); subway line 5 (get off at Beixinqiao); subway line 2 (get off at Dongzhimen).
3. Niujie Muslim Snack Street
Niujie (Ox Street) is famous for its large muslim community and Niujie Mosque, which is the largest and oldest mosque in Beijing. Twenty-three ethnic groups live in the area, with Hui people making up the majority.
This area is the place to go for food items and snacks popular with the muslim Hui community, mostly made of beef and mutton, various pastries, and other traditional Beijing snacks.
Street snacks around here are relatively inexpensive, starting at a few RMB for pastries.
- Chinese name: 牛街 Niujie /nyoh jyeah/ 'Ox Street'
- Location: Guanganmen, Xuanwu District
- Transport: Public bus 5, 6, 10, 38, 48, 109, 626 and 717 (get off at Niujie)
4. Fucheng Street
It is one of the more upscale food streets in Beijing, with nearly 50% of consumers made up of nearby business people. Dozens of upscale restaurants gather on this 3-kilometer-long street including Hunan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine and many other famous Chinese regional cuisines. Several Cantonese restaurants featuring seafood here rank amongst the best in Beijing.
Restaurants in this area start around RMB 100 per person and can go up really high for the fancier Cantonese seafood restaurants.
- Chinese Name: 阜成路
- Location: It is located between Hangtian Bridge (航天桥) and Dinghui Bridge (定慧桥) in Haidian District
- Nearby Attraction: China Central Television Tower
As one of the most popular hutongs to visit around Beijing, you'll be right in thinking that there should be lots of snacks to try in Nanluoguxiang, because walking around makes people hungry!
While the snack shops there aren't necessarily the oldest and most traditional, you'll find more modern renditions of Beijing snacks here instead. Dumplings with crazy and fun fillings, bubble teas (which they did not have in the olden days, but which are delicious and great after a day of exploring), and lots of barbecue snacks on sticks, easy for walking.
Snacks here start off at approximately RMB 5-10 for barbecued snacks, and you will pay around RMB 15 for bubble teas.
- Chinese name: 好运街
- Location: Near Liangmaqiao Road on the East Third Ring
- Buses: 5, 60, 82, 107, 124, or 210 to Gulou (鼓楼).
- Subway: Line 2 to Guloudajie (鼓楼大街).
- Nearby attraction: Chaoyang Park
6. Qianmen Street
With more than 500 years of history, Qianmen Street is one of the oldest streets in Beijing. In the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) dynasties, Qianmen ('Front Gate') Street was called Zhengyangmen ('Central Gate') Street.
As a famous commercial street in Beijing, Qianmen Street is well-known for its delicious snacks and food. There you can try Beijing's most famous dish (Peking duck) in Quanjude Restaurant, which ranks number one among Beijing roast duck establishments in Beijing.
Beside the Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, there are lots of time-honored shops and restaurants designed in traditional Chinese style on this popular street. Famous foods served include Old Beijing Hotpot, siu mai, wontons, Beijing roast duck and syrup-covered plums.
- Chinese name: 前门小吃街 Qiánmén Xiǎochī Jiē /chyen-mnn sshyao-chrr jyeah/
- Location: Qianmen Street, Dongcheng District
- Buses: 5, 8, 17, 20, 22, 48, 59, 66, 67, 82, 93, 120, 599, 622
- Subway: line 2, Line 7
- Nearby attractions: Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City
7. Suzhou Street
Suzhou Street is located near Zhongguancun, a high-tech hub in Beijing. Suzhou Street got its name from the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province because of its special design, imitating the streets and shops of Suzhou. It is said that the streets served as entertainment places for emperors and their concubines.
Nowadays, Suzhou Street is a famous commercial street in Beijing. The most famous foods in Suzhou Street are Cantonese cuisine and Hunan cuisine. If you would like to try seafood in Beijing, then Suzhou Street is also a good place.
- Chinese name: 苏州街 Sūzhōu Jiē /soo-jo jyeah/
- Location: Suzhou Street, Haidian District
- Buses: 58, 307
- Subway: Line 10, Line 16
- Nearby attractions: National Museum, Summer Palace
8. Ping'an Street
If you want to try the most traditional Beijing food, then you must visit Ping'an Street, which is also called Ping'an Avenue. Many buildings and shops of the street were constructed during the Qing Dynasty era. And many of the houses belonged to the Qing royal family.
The most famous snacks and foods include baodur (quick-fried bull/lamb tripe), zhajiangmian (noodles in black bean sauce), douzhir (mung bean milk), and youtiao (fried dough sticks).
- Chinese name: 平安大街 Píng'ān Dàjiē /ping-an daa-jyeah/
- Location: Ping'an Street, Shunyi District
- Buses: 7, 23, 26, 31, 37, 95, 101, 148
- Subway: Line 1
- Nearby attractions: Nanluoguxiang (most famous hutong), Jingshan Park
9. Xiaoyun Road
Located in Chaoyang District, Xiaoyun Road is famous for its international cuisine. If you would like to try different countries' food in Beijing, then Xiaoyun Road is a good place. Thai food, French cuisine, Italian pasta, and many other cuisines are offered in the delightful foreign-style shops and restaurants situated along the sides of the street.
- Chinese name: 霄云路 Xiāoyún Lù /sshyao-ywnn loo/
- Location: Xiaoyun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
- Buses: 416, 707, 405
- Subway: Line 10, Line 8
- Nearby attractions: Xiangshan Park (Fragrant Hills Park)
10. Huguosi Hutong Snack Street
With a history of more than 700 years, Huguosi Snack Street is the most famous snack street in Beijing. It is situated in the east of Beijing. Huguosi was a temple constructed in the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368). It held temple fairs on the 8th day of each Chinese lunar month in medieval times.
Later, the area surrounding Huguo Temple became a street that sells snacks. Famous snacks and foods there include 'snail rice noodles' (thin spicy noodles with no snails), 'cold noodles', Beijing traditional yogurt, and beef wrapped in a pancake. You can also try famous snacks from Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, and Xinjiang on Huguosi Street.
- Chinese name: 护国寺小吃街 Hùguó Sì Xiǎochī Jiē /hoo-gwor srr shyao-chrr jyeah/ 'Protect Country Temple Snack Street'
- Location: Huguosi Street, Xinjiekou, Xicheng District
- Buses: 22, 409, 88
- Subway: Line 4, Line 6
- Nearby attractions: National Theater, Baiyun Temple
China Highlights tours can include snack streets!
If you have special food requirements, or are especially interested in trying any of the street foods you read about above, please let us know when you are booking your China Highlights tour. We can make the reservation for you and tailor your itinerary to fit your needs.
We also have some ready-made food tours to make things easy if you can't choose!
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