When planning your China Travel trip it is worth researching the varieties of local food available to see what dishes and cooking styles appeal to you. For adventurous eaters or those on a strict budget planning to travel to Beijing, you should definitely check out the variety of street food available within the city.


There is quite a variety of street food available, although some items may only be for sale during certain months of the year, or at certain times of the day. This ranges from breakfast items, drinks, desserts and main meals. Those looking to find the more exotic offerings should check to one of the Night Markets in Wangfujing (however, even though called ‘night’ markets, they do tend to close up around 10pm).


Some types of Street Food on offer in Beijing:

Chuan’r (Meat Kebabs)

These are skewers of barbecued meat with spices. They are available in beef, pork and chicken amongst others with the most popular being lamb. Chuan’r originate from Xinjiang in the west. They are often found at night markets as well as down side streets and roads around the city, although less often in the direct centre.

Xianer Bing

This is a savoury pancake, stuffed with various fillings. The most popular is minced beef or pork, but there are vegetable versions on offer.


A safe bet for even the pickiest eaters, noodle stands are available across Beijing. Most commonly found at the night markets, outside hotels and by metro stations. These can be found with meat and/or vegetables added, and there are usually varying spice levels.

Ice Cream

Various flavours of ice cream can be found throughout the city, locations are all over the place, including inside the Silk Market. It is recommended to visit a stall that is nice and busy to ensure a good quality result!

Jiaozi and Baozi

These street snacks, more commonly known in the west are filled dumplings. The name differs with the method used to cook them and flour used. The standard filling is pork, but other meat alongside seafood and vegetarian fillings are common.

Jian Bing

A common, filling breakfast item with a very low price tag. Jian Bing is a pancake filled with egg, cilantro and onion, spread with a fine layer of bean paste and fried dough before being wrapped up. There are usually other ingredients available, although it may take some good hand gesturing skills to get what you want. These are often seen each morning outside hotels, residential areas and office buildings.

Grilled Vegetable/Meat Skewers

These are usually available all year round, well into the small hours of the evening. Popular varieties include skewers of mixed vegetables, grilled corn, chicken wings and potato slices. Often seen in the nightlife districts of Sanlitun.

Fresh and dried fruit

Same as the skewers of meat and vegetables,  fruit is easy to find in the city alongside sellers at tourist sights such as The Great Wall. It is very cheap for a nicely sized portion, and you can usually mix varities of fruit together. Plenty of selection at night markets and around Sanlitun area. Take care with all fresh fruit as it is recommended to rinse with bottled water before eating.


Hongshu are sweet potatoes baked in their skins, commonly seen around mid afternoon. These are often found in side streets and around hutongs, and are also available at Olympic Park, just outside of the square.

Caramelised fruit skewers

These are popular throughout the city and come in many flavours including strawberry, kiwi and apple. Similar to toffee apples seen at home around halloween, these sugary delights are found all over, with a large selection at Wangfujing night markets and Tianan’men Square.


In addition to these there are many other foods available to sample throughout the city. Similar street food is available throughout China, so if you are planning to travel to Shanghai or another Chinese city you will find more options there, probably differing slightly for local tastes.

Jack Li

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