Here is a list of the top ten snack streets and its no coincidence that they are also near to major scenic areas. Also fascinating is that many of them have been famed destinations of the Chī huò (foodie) for centuries.
They really are quite special destinations especially for food and culture lovers offering the chance to try a massive range of China’s most-loved specialty snacks in one location. If you are traveling to one of these areas it’s a must-do experience to go strolling and grazing.
Xi’an 西安 – Huimin Street 回民街
Xi’an Huimin Street is a famous food and culture street in Xi’an. There are a large number of food shops on both sides of the street. There are nearly 300 kinds of special flavor snacks, which make people linger and forget the charm. Here you can eat almost all Xi’an snacks, including: various Kebabs (烤肉串), Paomo (羊肉泡馍) – lamb soup with flatbread, soup dumplings (灌汤包子), spicy sheep hooves (麻辣羊蹄), Water Basin Mutton aka lamb stew (水盆羊肉), Cured beef and mutton (腊牛羊肉), Liangpi (凉皮) – cold noodles, Hulatang (胡辣汤) – spicy soup. Read more about Xi’an
Xiamen 厦门 – Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street 中山路步行街
Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street is an old city block and retains a relatively complete modern history. Many tourists who go to Gulangyu will come and visit. There are all kinds of Xiamen snacks and popular items include Xiamen Glass Noodles (面线糊), Oyster omelet (海蛎煎), Shacha Noodles (沙茶面), Xiamen Fish Balls (厦门鱼丸). Read more about Xiamen and Gulangyu
Shanghai 上海 – City God Temple 城隍庙
Shanghai City God Temple has a history of more than 800 years. From the beginning of the Song Dynasty to the contemporary vicissitudes of life, Shanghai’s City God Temple has become a famous tourist attraction in Shanghai. It is a must to try Xiaolongbao (小笼包) – soupy meat dumpling, Shengjianbao (生煎包)- steamed meat bun, Pear Syrup Candy (梨膏糖), Shanghai Yoghurt (上海老酸奶). Read more about Shanghai
Beijing 北京 – Ghost Street/GuiJie 簋街
Ghost Street is the name of the dining street in Dongzhimen near the Lama Temple. On the street less than 1km long, a series of restaurants, including hot pot, barbecue and other flavors of Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong, and Hunan. It is the most famous of the spicy crayfish (属麻辣小龙虾), grilled fish (烤鱼), spicy snail (辣田螺), chili frog (饞嘴蛙), Roast pigs trotters (烤豬蹄), Steamed chicken with ginger (霸王雞).
Lijiang 丽江 – Sifang Street 四方街
In the beautiful and romantic environment of the ancient city of Lijiang, you can feel the enthusiasm of the people of all ethnic groups wearing colorful national costumes. On the sides of the short and narrow streets, you can eat the national snacks with special characteristics. Dishes to try include Preserved pork ribs (腊排骨), Butter tea (酥油茶), Chickpea jelly (鸡豆凉粉), Goat hot pot (黑山羊火锅), Chicken hot pot (汽锅鸡). Read our intro to Lijiang
Chengdu 成都 – Jinli 锦里
It is natural to mention Jinli in Chengdu snacks. Chengdu Jinli snacks have a wide variety of colors and local characteristics. Going to Chengdu and not going to Jinli for snacks, you will regret it. Tea houses, cafes, bars, inns, etc. and at dusk, Jinli will light up and have a charm, suitable for taking pictures. Dishes to try are Rice cake (凉糕), Sichuan steamed pork buns wrapped in leaves (叶儿耙), Broken heart bean jelly (伤心凉粉), Meat patties (牛肉焦饼). Read our intro to Chengdu
Wuhan 武汉 – Hubu Lane 户部巷
Hubu Lane is located in Wuhan, Hubei Province, a famous historical and cultural city in China. It is a 150-meter-long century-old lane. It is known as the “first lane of Chinese-style snacks”. Its prosperous early stalls have been enduring for decades. Popular dishes are Wuhan hot dry noodles (石婆婆热干面), Chen Ji red oil beef noodles (陈记红油牛肉面), Wanshi rice wine (万氏米酒), Bean Curd Skin Roll (何记豆皮), soup steamed dumplings (麻婆灌汤蒸饺), beef noodles (好来牛肉面) etc.
Nanjing 南京 – Confucius Temple 夫子庙
Confucius Temple Food Street was built in 1997 and is located at the southern end of Confucius Temple. Some of the more famous dishes are Jiang Youji’s potstickers (蒋有记的锅贴) – dumplings, Beef potstickers (牛肉锅贴) from Lianhu Gaotuan Shop (莲湖糕团店), Crispy duck heads (香酥鸭头), Half egg and half chicken (半鸡半蛋的旺鸡蛋) – boiled chicken egg at the embryo stage. Read our intro to Nanjing
Hangzhou 杭州 – Hefang Street 河坊街
Hefang Street is a Ming and Qing antique pedestrian street, where snacks, antique calligraphy and paintings, and shops are gathered. There are many traditional food stalls on the short streets and there are many snacks here including Southern Song pastry (有南宋糕点), aunt cakes (姑嫂饼), Glutinous rice cake or Mochi (姑嫂饼), osmanthus moon cake (桂花月亮糕).
Chongqing 重庆 – Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street 解放碑
The most famous pedestrian street in the city and the area is home to a staggering 3000 stores. Snacks to try include Hot and sour noodles (酸辣粉), Golden roast trotters (金榜蹄名烤豬蹄), Meat Dumplings in Spicy Sauce (抄手), Barbecue (烧烤) – you’ll see open grill stalls everywhere.