As the saying goes "民以食为天 People regard food as heaven (i.e. god).", and in line with that sentiment food plays an important role in China. China's eight distinct regional cuisines' different features are shown through Chinese folk snacks, which can be easily found on some food streets.
You can have a great feast in a low-budget and relaxing way on the food streets. We at China Highlights have put together a list of the best and most popular food streets, including some recommended dishes and restaurants.
1. 'Ghost Street' (Gui Street) – Beijing
Fried scorpion and starfish, famous snacks in Beijing
- Open all night
- Includes more than 100 restaurants
- Nice service and relaxed atmosphere
- Location: Inner Dongzhimen Street, Dongcheng District (东城区东直门内大街)
- Recommended dishes: Spicy Snacks 麻辣烫 (spicy peppery little lobsters, spicy crabs, scorpions, and stewed red mutton)
- Recommended restaurants: Jiangbian Chengwai Roasted Fish (江边城外烤全鱼) and Jingui Xiaoshancheng Spicy Food (金簋小山城麻辣烫)
Other food streets in Beijing: Wangfujing Snack Street, Niu Jie Muslim Snack Street, Qianmen Snack Street, and Shichahai Snack Street
Check out more about Beijing food and restaurants.
Want to enjoy a feast of Beijing local food on Gui Street ? We at China Highlights can tailor make a tour including Ghost Street. You can also contact us for a fully customizable tour of Beijing.
2. City God Temple — Shanghai
Soup dumpling in Shanghai
- Shops ranging from jewellery to boutiques to snackeries
- An ancient building complex
- Dozens of kinds of local snacks
- Location: 249 Fangbin Middle Road, Huangpu District (黄浦区方滨中路249号)
- Recommended dishes: Shanghai steamed dumplings (上海小笼包) and other local dim sum
- Recommended restaurants: Kobayashi (小林煎饼) and Shanghai Chic (上海会馆)
Other food streets in Shanghai: Hongqi Square, Wujiang Road, Yunnan Road, Huanghe Road and Wukang Road Snacks Street
Click here to know more about Shanghai food and restaurants.
3. Muslim Street (Huimin Street) — Xi'an
Osmanthus cake in Xi'an
- The hub of the Muslim community in Xi'an
- Ancient mosques
- Sells Muslim food and Xi'an local snacks
- Location: Bell and Drum Tower Square, Beilin District (西安市碑林区钟鼓楼广场鼓楼诚门内以北)
- Recommended dishes: Crumbled unleavened bread in mutton stew (yangrou paomo 羊肉泡馍), cold noodles (凉皮), fruit pies, rou jia mo (肉夹馍), jiasan steamed buns stuffed with juicy beef or mutton (贾三灌汤包) and pingwa baked meats (平娃烤肉)
- Recommended restaurants: Jia San Halal Soup and Bun Restaurant (贾三清真灌汤包子店), Wang Family Dumplings (王家饺子馆), Sun Family Mutton Steamed Bread (老孙家羊肉泡馍), and Tong Sheng Xiang Beef Steamed Bread Restaurant (同盛祥牛羊肉泡馍馆)
Other food streets in Xi'an: Beiyuan Gate, Huajue Lane, Xiyang Market, and Dapi Yuan
See more about Xi'an food and restaurants.
4. Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street — Guangzhou
Steamed vermicelli roll, famous food in Guangzhou
Cantonese Cuisine (粤菜) — fresh, smooth, delicate, and crispy
- Famous for authentic dim sum
- The morning tea and lunches are popular.
- Location: On the junction of Shangjiu Road and Xiajiu Road, Liwan District (上九路和下九路交汇处)
- Recommended dishes: fresh lobster sausage (鲜虾肠), pumpkin dumplings (南瓜饺), stewed milk beancurd (双皮奶), and tingzai porridge (艇仔粥)
- Recommended restaurants: Renxin Stewed Milk Beancurd (仁信双皮奶) and Yin's Steamed Vermicelli Roll (银记肠粉)
See our Guangzhou food page to know more about the food and restaurants in Guangzhou.
Other food streets in Guangzhou: Huifu Snack Street and Beijing Road Pedestrian Street
5. Hefang Street — Hangzhou
Zhe Cuisine (浙菜) — fresh and delicate
- An epitome of ancient Hangzhou
- Chinese crafts and local snacksArt hawkers, candy sculptors, pillow shops, caricaturists, old-fashioned movie players, storytellers, bonsai shops, teahouses, and an array of small eateries
- Location: at the east end of the pedestrian street next to Wu Mountain
- Recommended dishes: dingsheng cake (定胜糕), stinky tofu (臭豆腐), shortcake (油酥饼), mutton sumai (羊肉烧卖) and lotus root starch (西湖藕粉)
- Recommended restaurants: Tai Ji Teahouse (太极茶楼), Xi Le Yuan (西乐园), Chinese medicine at Hu Qing Yu Tang (胡庆余堂) and Bao He Tang (保和堂), and Wang Run Xing Restaurant (王润兴)
Other food streets in Hangzhou: Hedong Road, Jingzhou Road, Gaoyin Street, Jinjiang Seafood Snack Street, and Baochu Road
Check out more about the food and restaurants in Hangzhou.
6. Jinli Ancient Street — Chengdu
San Da Pao, a sweet sticky rice snack
Chuan (Szechuan) Cuisine (川菜) — hot and spicy
- One of the busiest commercial streets during the Shu Kingdom (221–263) known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'
- Sells local handicrafts, souvenirs and snacks
- Permeated with traditional Chinese-style teahouses, inns, opera stages, artworks, hotels, restaurants, bars, and cafés
- Shows: Chuan Opera performances, shadow puppetry shows, and hand puppet shows
- Location: 231-1 Wuhouci Street, to the east of Wuhou Memorial Temple
- Recommended dishes: San Da Pao (三大炮), sticky rice balls (汤圆), wontons (馄饨), and Three Kingdoms dishes (三国菜)
- Recommended restaurants: San Guo Cha Yuan (Three Kingdoms Teahouse 三国茶园)
Other food streets in Chengdu: Wuhouci Street, Shaxi Line, Yangxi Snack Street, Funan New District Hotpot Street, and Caotang Food and Entertainment Circle
Click here to get more information about Chengdu food and restaurants.
7. Pozi Street — Changsha
Spicy chicken lobster
Xiang Cuisine (湘菜) — aromatic, sour and spicy
- One of the oldest streets in Changsha
- The top draw of Changsha's nightlife
- Sells folk crafts and holds traditional performances
- Recommended dishes: Four Dishes from One Duck (一鸭四吃), Three Layer Chicken (三层套鸡), Changsha rice cakes (米糕), Changsha milk cakes (奶糕), stinky tofu (臭豆腐), glutinous rice dumplings (糯米糍), and spicy chicken lobster (口味虾)
- Recommended restaurants: Fire God Palace (火宫殿)
Other food streets in Changsha: Steamed Vegetable Street and Jar Street
See our Changsha food and restaurants page for more.
8. Nanbin Road — Chongqing
Chuan Cuisine (川菜)
- A leisure and hotpot paradise for locals and tourists
- Includes flower shops, handicrafts stores, teahouses, and scores of local restaurants
- Recommended dishes: Chongqing hotpot (重庆火锅), tea-smoked duck (樟茶鸭), dry-stewed fish (干烧鱼), chicken with spring water (泉水鸡) and dandan spicy noodles (担担面)
- Recommended restaurants: Yuxin Chuan Cai (Yuxin Chuan Cuisine Restaurant 渝信川菜) and Ba Wei Tang (巴味堂)
Other food streets in Chongqing: Jiefangbei Central Business District (解放碑), Bayi Street, and Chongqing night markets
Read more about the food and restaurants in Chongqing.
Travel with China Highlights and Taste Delicious Chinese Food
Want a trip to enjoy Chinese food? See our recommended Chinese food tour for inspiration:
Our tours can be customized. If you are not interested in the above tour, we at China Highlights can help you design a tailor-made tour.