13 Best Foods to Eat in Muslim Street Xi’an China

Have you been wondering what to eat in Muslim Street Xi’an China? I’ve got you covered!

As I wandered down the bustling narrow alleys of Muslim Street in Xi’an, China, the aromatic scents of spices and grilled meats filled the air.

Muslim Market Xian China

Known as the hub for authentic Chinese Islamic cuisine, this vibrant neighbourhood offers much to discover beyond the terracotta warriors – especially for the food-loving traveller.

During my recent trip, I set out to sample 13 signature dishes, so that you know what to eat in Xi’an’s Muslim Street, also known as Huimin Jie.

Along the way, the welcoming locals and recommendations that made my culinary adventure unforgettable. From tantalising noodles to sweet treats, Muslim Street delivers true flavours of the Silk Road.

Don’t have time to read the whole article? This epic Xi’an: Gourmet & Street Food Tour with a near-perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating.

Kabobs at the Xian Muslim Quarter

What To Eat In Muslim Street Xi’an China

Kabobs at the Xian Muslim Quarter

1. Biang Biang Noodles (Biang Biang Mian)

The star of Xi’an’s culinary scene is Biang Biang noodles. The noodles are made from wheat flour, oil and egg. Which contribute to its chewiness and is an inch and a half wide from the stretching of the noodles.

These thick, chewy noodles, sporting a signature red chilli sauce and perfect crunch, can be found everywhere along Muslim Street. Legend has it that the noodles were created by a homesick traveller craving his wife’s homemade noodles.

Biang Biang refers to the sound of noodles against a wok when they’re being made. Be sure to try them at least once when visiting Muslim Street. The cuisine here reflects Central Asian and Middle Eastern influences blended with Chinese styles.

2. Xi’an Meat Roujiamo (steamed bread sandwiches)

No food tour in Muslim Street Xi’an is complete without Roujiamo, Xi’an’s beloved meat sandwiches famously known as “Chinese hamburgers.” These grab-and-go street eats feature braised meat stuffed between circular buns similar to pitas. Locals typically enjoy Roujiamo for breakfast or lunch.

The bun is made of leavened bread which is baked in a traditional furnace. The meat is slow cooked in a stew containing 20 spices and seasonings, which adds to the unique flavour of the meat. The bun is crispy and has a flaky quality to it; the meat is chewy and packed with flavour.

You’ll find roujiamo being prepared fresh daily all along Muslim Street. While traditionally lamb or beef, some vendors offer creative fillings like duck, pork, or quail eggs for the more daring foodie. Pair your roujiamo with some Liangpi noodles for a satisfying combo.

3. Liangpi Noodles

Liangpi features chewy rice and wheat noodles served cold with tart vinegar dressing and savoury toppings like shredded vegetables, eggs, bean sprouts, peanuts, and pickled greens.

Their unique texture comes from stretching the gluten until rice noodles form. Travellers seek out liangpi to cool down from Xi’an’s hot summers.

For the quintessential Muslim Street experience, grab liangpi in a bowl or wrap and enjoy it while wandering the bustling market street.

4. Fried Potatoes

Muslim Street in Xian China

Continuing my quest for Xi’an’s best street food, the aromatic scent of frying potatoes stopped me in my tracks. Fried potatoes might seem like a simple snack, but Muslim Street’s spuds pack some serious crunch.

Vendors fry wedges of potatoes until golden and crisp then toss them in a mixture of salt, cumin, crushed chili and loads of chopped cilantro. They make a perfect accompaniment to rich kebabs or hand-pulled noodles. Just follow your nose to find these moreish morsels.

5. Hot and sour dumpling soup (Suantang Shuijiao)

Suantang Shuijiao offers the best of both worlds – the comforting flavours of wonton soup coupled with the numbing spice of hot and sour soup. These dumplings stuffed with juicy pork and chives bathe in a pool of rich broth singing with white pepper, black vinegar and chilli oil.

Restaurants in Xi’an have their own brand of dumplings to what you’re used to from you’re local Chinese. They specialise in mutton dumplings bathed in hot and sour soup.

The meat in the dumplings are tender and are an explosion of flavour. With sesame seeds, chopped leeks and cilantro to give a flavourful kick to the broth, giving it a unique aftertaste.

Be warned – this Xi’an specialty is not for the faint of heart.

6. Skewers Everywhere – (Rouchuan)

Skewers Everywhere

You will not be able to walk two feet along the Muslim market without passing a stall selling skewered meat (beef, mutton, lamb’s liver, chicken wings, sausages). No, Xi’an Street food tour is complete without grilled skewers!

Rouchuan refers to small pieces of meat threaded onto wooden skewers then charred over hot coals. Lamb reigns supreme but you can also find chicken, beef, seafood and vegetables. Grab a handful of skewers then take a seat at one of the small tables spilling onto the street.

My favourite skewers were the breaded squid looking thing.

7. Braised Sheep’s Hooves

This is a unique thing to eat in Muslim Street Xi’an. While not for everyone, braised sheep’s hooves have a dedicated following in Xi’an, especially among Muslim Street locals. Gelatinous and rich with collagen, they’re believed to boost joint health and keep you looking young.

Sheep hooves braise for hours in a savoury broth singing with anise, cinnamon, chilies and whole garlic until fork tender. Gnaw the skin and cartilage off the bone then enjoy the luscious meat inside.

8. Pao mo – bread and mutton soup

bread and mutton soup

Given Muslim Street sits inside Xi’an’s ancient city walls, the neighbourhood’s cuisine also shows Silk Road influences from abroad. The mouth-watering bread and mutton soup dish called Pao Mo offers the perfect example.

Turkic traders likely introduced early versions of this carb-loaded soup bowl combining savoury broth, tender meat, and doughy buns.

This humble street food starts with broth slow simmered for hours until creamy and rich. Tear up some flat bread then submerge it in the fragrant soup blanketing juicy chunks of mutton and slick noodles. The bread soaks up all the rich flavours like a fluffy, doughy sponge.

9. Fried Liangfen (Green Bean Jelly)

Looking for something refreshing? Then seek out liangfen, chewy green bean jelly that gets fried until crispy and golden. Vendors chop liangfen into strips or cubes then fry it with salty youtiao crullers, doubling the crunch factor.

The nutty jelly and crispy fried dough join forces with the perfect salt and sweet balance. An addictive snack you won’t be able to stop munching.

10. Pomegranate juice (shiliuzhi)

Pomegranate juice

Quench your thirst with a cup of sweet and tangy pomegranate juice, known as shiliuzhi. Pomegranates grow in abundance near Xi’an. Vendors juice the ruby red seeds then stir in rock sugar and cooling mint.

The tart yet sweet nectar provides welcome relief from the oppressive summer heat. Or opt for a warming cup laced with ginger in winter. However, you take it, this ruby red elixir bursts with flavour.

11. Hammered Candy

While Muslim Street offers many savoury snacks, I satisfied my sweet tooth with a street-side candy vendor specializing in unique colourful sweets.

While strolling Muslim Street, the rhythmic “ding ding ding” of hammered candy being made by street vendors will catch your ear. These Chinese rock candies get their name from the hammering method used to shape them.

Vendors repeatedly smash globs of bubbling hot liquid sugar into thin sheets which get folded and stretched until golden and brittle. Flavours like sesame, peanut, ginger and jujube tantalise your tastebuds with just a lick.

12. Persimmon Doughnuts

Persimmon Doughnuts

As autumn arrives, persimmons ripen across the Xi’an countryside. Locals make the most of this seasonal fruit, even turning them into doughnuts! Persimmon dough fries into golden, crispy rings then gets tossed in sugar and sesame seeds for extra crunch.

The sweet jelly-like fruit combines with doughnut goodness for the ultimate seasonal treat. And they cost just a few yuan, ideal for wandering nibbles.

13. Wonton Soup and Tomato Egg Noodle Soup

While Muslim Street specializes in halal cuisine, some small eateries cater to Han Chinese tastes too. Look out for wonton soup swimming with plump pork dumplings or mixes it up with tomato and egg noodle soup.

This uncommon combination sees hand-pulled egg noodles bathing in a sweet and tangy tomato broth with silky ribbons of egg. Budget-friendly Street food fare at its finest.

Where Is Muslim Street in Xi’an China

The Muslim Street market is located at the end of what was once the Silk Road and was considered the cultural and political capital of China.

The main street food area is known as Huimin Street or Muslim Quarter. It’s the main street with a few smaller intersecting roads.

The Xi’an Muslim Street food is the collective name for several streets, including Beiyuanmen Street, North Guangji Street, Xiyangshi Street and Dapiyuan Street. In the Muslim Quarter, you’ll find a mix of both Chinese and Middle Eastern culture.

The Xi’anese cuisine not only has one of the world’s longest culinary histories but also one of the richest too, due to the influence of its large Muslim population since 7th Century AD.

The Drum Tower acts as the entryway to the Muslim Quarter and is located in the Northwest side of the ancient city walls.

Best Things To Eat In Muslim Street Xi’an China

Hopefully this gives you a taste of what to expect when visiting Muslim Street in ancient Xi’an. But nothing beats wandering this vibrant pedestrian avenue lined with food stalls yourself, nose and taste buds on high alert.

The sizzle of grills, the doughy aroma of bread baking, spices perfuming the air – it seduces all your senses. So, leave plenty of room in your stomach to graze the afternoon away on Xi’an’s delectable street food scene.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *