A Stroll Through the Muslim Street Food Market of Xi’an

When I visited Xi’an last year, I thought the Terracotta Warriors would be pretty much the only interesting thing about the place. You can definitely chalk that one up to my ignorance. Later I learned that not only Xi’an was the starting point of the Silk Road, but also that the city had been home to a large Muslim community for centuries, which has resulted in a fascinating mix of cultures.

The Muslim Quarter of Xi’an boasts several mosques, including the Great Mosque which I found totally captivating (keep your eyes open for an entry on it).

In this part of the city you will also find a large street food market collectively known as “Muslim Street”, despite it encompassing several streets near the Great Mosque area. This is the place you want to come to if you’re in the mood for some Muslim-Chinese cuisine, and one of the most lively atmospheres I have found in any of the street night markets I’ve ever visited.

(All photos are © 2014 Fernando Cortés-Cabanillas. Please contact me if you wish to use them.)

So what was the food like?

Ok, I have a confession: I was so full after an amazing dumpling banquet at nearby De Fa Chang restaurant that I couldn’t even taste one of those dishes in the market. However, if you like dumplings, I highly recommend you go to this place and have one of their set meals.

For 100 yuan (around €14, or $16) each, we got a meal consisting of several big trays with different kinds of delicious dumplings of all sizes and fillings (meat, veggie, with soup, sweet). If you’re still hungry, the price includes all you can eat of the two or three basic dumpling types. As a dumpling lover, I was a happy camper, I can tell you!

 

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