Amazing Street Food Muslim Street Xian

Street Food Muslim Street

If you love good food served on the street then street food Muslim Street in Xian, China is pretty much the mother load. And by that I mean potentially one of the best street food streets in the world. Yep, big words on Xian from the street food guy.

Muslim Street, or rather the Muslim quarter is an area of Xi’an, the former capital of China that lies within the city walls. Not just this, but it is right next to the old Drum Tower. This means it is tourism ground zero.

What the Muslim Street Xian?

As stated this is where the Muslim people of Xian traditionally lived within the city. In this context though its means the Hui muslims group. The hui look almost exactly the same as Han Chinese and it is believed that they were in fact Han that converted to Islam.

This means that they very much have their own culture and indeed cuisine, whilst existing through the Middle Kingdom. Unlike their cousins in Xinjiang they are not looking for any kind of independence and there are generally not ethic issues with them. I’ll leave that at that…..

At the Muslim Quarter you can check out the Drum Tower, as well as do what every other Chinese girl is doing and get dressed up in silly clothes. Alas this is not just a Xi’an thing, but was also seen in Yangshuo and Xing Ping

Muslim Quarter Address;

Hui Ming Jie (Muslim Street)

Opposite Drum Tower

Downtown Xi’an

Shaanxi Province

Peoples Republic of China

In fact there is much more than just Muslim Street, with the whole area having many streets, most of which are not particularly aimed at tourists. You can even find a beer on Muslim Street.

Street Food Muslim Street Xian

While there are a few activities on this street for the most part everything is all about food, soft drinks and candies. And boy is there variety, much more in fact than there was pre-Covid. In this respects you will see lots of similarities with other food tourist places in China, such as downtown Guilin.

China inb this respects is very good at assimilating and giving the people what they want, whether it is particularly authentic, or not. One example of this, which I think might have actually made me sick was a huge stick of spicy octopus. Now I have waxes lyrical about squid in Cambodia and Hua Hin, but while both of them are on the sea, Xi’an could quite literally not be any further away.

This though does not mean that they should not be tried, but rather one should probably concentrate on the must try foods of the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an.

Street Food Muslim Street must try dishes

So, there are definitely a huge array of must try street food dishes on Muslim street, but in the interests of this article I will give just 5 – although there could easily have been much more.

Chinese Lamb Skewers (Yang Rou Chuan’r, 羊肉串儿)

Quite simply a must all over China, but their best here, or in Xinjiang. These are not the tiny skewers you find with Yangshuo street food, but big hearty meat on stick. Spiced as you like, with me getting huge one with a drink for just $3 yesterday.

Yang Rou Pao Mo

By far the most famous dish in the area has you getting a bowl of noodles and lamb after which you are given bread that is hard as rock, but then broken up and thrown into the mix. A weird dish and not my favorite, but still must try when you visit these parts.

Spicy Cold Skin Noodles Liangpi – 凉皮

Not a complete Muslim street dish, but alongside Yan Rou Pan Mo probably the second most famous. And of course readily available within the quarter. Does what it says on the tin with 凉皮 quite literally meaning cold noodles. I really like this spicy dish and just regret I did not make more of it when lived here. Sam same, but different to Pyongyang Cold Noodles.

Eight Treasure Rice Mirror Cake

Street Food Muslim Street street food

Previously I had a bit of distain for Asian desserts, before I was one over by Khmer cuisine. Desert wise there are actually tons of things to choose from here, from Ice-Cream to locally made nougat. Most in fashion though are rice cakes. This variety features jam, nuts and sesame seeds.

Sour Plum Drink (Suan Mei Tang – 酸梅汤)

Street Food Muslim Street street food

Quite literally not just one of my favorite drinks on Muslim Street but in the world. Known as workers soup this sour plan drink has long been a favorite of the locals and beyond. Comes as powder, as wells fresh in a glass on Muslim street. Success has now been to such a level that you can even buy it in cans, sadly pretty much only in Shaanxi though. So good I will give this its sons article (as well as a liquor test).

One aiming resource for the recipes to some of these dishes is The Wok of Life.

Can I get this food anywhere else in Xian?

While the Muslim quarter is to one extent the epicenter for this, it should be remembered that the Hui are all over China. This means that there are Hui Muslim restaurants all over China, and in particular in Xian. Most of my nights out back in the day consisted of eating sweet BBQ at a Hui joint, while also knocking back lots beers.

And with the popularity of these Chinese delicacies, as well as Rou Jia Mo Xian style restaurants can now be found north to south and even as far as Dandong.

Overall you cannot beat the amazing Street Food Muslim Street in Xian. Remember though spice is less easy on the way out than it was on the way in…..