Shanghai's Muslim Market is quite iconic. It is temporarily closed now because of COVID-19.
Held every Friday at the junction of Aomen Lu and Changde Lu, this delicious amalgamation of culture, community and food that comes to life, simply cannot be missed. A great experience for visitors to the city, this is a meat lover's haven. You get a view into the Uyghur culture and cuisine, and it's easy to see how life is centered around food.
- Address:1328 Changde Lu, near Aomen Lu (1328常德路近澳门路)
- Timings: 10 am to 3 pm every Friday
- Metro station: Changshou Road
- What to expect: Lots of stalls on either side of the street, lots of delicious lamb and rice dishes, pop-up restaurants, friendly faces, smoky aroma and more!
Each Friday, the Uyghur community, hailing from the far flung northwestern region of China, gather after their Friday prayers to break bread. The Uyghurs are the largest group of minorities from the Xinjiang province. You can find Xinjiang restaurants all over Shanghai, but this Friday market is a different ball game.
You will see and smell delicious lamb everywhere. Fresh lamb on sale by local Uyghur butchers, hoards of freshly baked Uyghur breads, a lamb and rice dish that a lot of the stalls prepare in giant utensils, lamb skewers, lamb patties, and more. Not to forget, dumplings, buns and noodles. Sit yourself down at any of the chairs, and be ready to be served some of the most mouth watering lamb preparations, Uyghur style. The lamb skewers you get here are probably the juiciest chunks of meats you will have in Shanghai, freshly out of the red hot coal oven.
It can get quite smoky here, so be careful. Keep stall-hopping to eat more delectable bites. Buy some bread, have some freshly-brewed hot tea with the locals, to help wash down all that food and cut the grease. You'll also find fresh home-made yogurt to cool down with. You can pack some for later too. If you are looking for dry fruits from Xinjiang, there are stalls selling kilos and kilos of that here.
This market is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the Chinese Muslim food traditions, and is one of the most unique things to check out when in Shanghai. No other street food spot can compare with the vibe that this vibrant place generates. You can have a yummy lunch here, and then are free to explore more of Shanghai.
After exploring this market, you can also step into the nearby Huxi Mosque, which allows both male and female travelers to enter. This is one of the most famous mosques in Shanghai and it used to be at a different location till around 1992. This happens to be the first mosque in Shanghai that was rebuilt after the founding of The People's Republic of China. You can read more about mosques in China here.
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