The Foods of Xi’an Muslim Quarter

The Muslim Quarter is one of the most popular attractions in Xi’an. At sundown, this area really shows its colors with streets packed with food and random products. The area has an incredibly strong scent mixed from all the surrounding kitchens and street food vendors all so close to each other.

Most of these snacks and dishes date back hundreds of years and each with their own story. There doesn’t seem to exist a full list of what everything is in the Muslim Quarter and so I went on to investigate. Below is everything that the Muslim Quarter is popular for and what can be found there. Since this also happens to be one of my favorite spots in all of Xi’an, I’ll be keeping this list updated with more of my discoveries.

Guan Tang Bao Zi

Served extremely hot, it includes beef or lamb with soup inside. A specialty to the city of Xi’an served at Jia San Guantang Baozi Restuarnat.

Beef/Mutton and Bread Pieces in Soup (Niurou/Yangrou Paomo)

Or crumbled pancake in lamb stew. We’ve mentioned this meal here on AOA before. It’s one of Xi’an most popular dish and very traditional, too. For a taste of real Xi’an, you must try this.

Yangrou Paomo

Eight-treasure Rose Mirror Cake (Jing Gao)

Steamed and served on two sticks covered with various flavors including nuts, jam, strawberries, blueberries, apple and more and always dipped in with sugar and sesame. They are in everywhere in the Muslim Quarter. Some even have cute little designs.

Sweets in the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an, China

Shaanxi Cold Noodle (Liang Pi)

A specialty dish in the province Xi’an is located in. The preparation alone makes this dish pretty interesting. A great option for Vegetarians as well. Wikipedia further describes this dish.

Hand Pulled Noodles

This very filling dish can be added with chunks of delicious spiced lamb. It’s one of my favorite meals in China. If you’re lucky enough to see the kitchen, watch them make this meal. An art in itself. There are several variations of this meal and can be in a soup or without. On a cold winter day, the soup option feels so right.

BBQ (Kao Rou)

These are everywhere in the Muslim Quarter. At around 1rmb a stick, they have beef and lamb cooked over charcoal. The chili and cumin flavor is a must. Sit down outside on one of the small chairs and order a dozen pieces while just sitting there and people watching. Make sure to ask for naan bread to go along with the meal.

Stuffed Flatbreads (Bing)

There are a few variations of what it’s stuffed. The dough is fried on a large pan surface and pressed down. Once fried, it’s opened and stuffed with meat. The man that usually makes this for me has fingers of steal because he seems to never get burned by the incredibly hot pan. It’s a very greasy snack. I highly recommend the red chili sauce they smother on.  For only 2rmb, this is a fantastic deal – just prepare for a very large flatbread. (Not exactly sure of the real name of this snack)

Stuffed Flatbreads (Bing)

Xian Huanggui Persimmon Pancakes

Mixed with rose-petals, walnuts, osmanthus sauce, walnuts, sugar, and wheat flour then baked. It has a strong wonderful scent and is quite juicy on the inside. Keep the wrapped on because it’s very sticky.

Muslim Quarter Food

De Mao Gong Crystal Cake

It’s one of the symbols of Qin pastry and known as “the first of Qin pastry.”

Jujube Cake (Chinese Mooncakes)

Easy to find in the Muslim Quarter. Baked little cake that’s full of sugar and goodness. There are a few different flavors. I found the red bean paste to be popular. I especially love these with walnuts in them.

Muslim Quarter Food

Jujube

Just as common as the cake was is the fruit itself, Jujube or otherwise known as Chinese dates. The dates can be found in many of the most common dishes and even drinks.

Dehydrated Everything

Any fruit you can possibly think of has been dehydrated and sold on the streets of the Muslim Quarter. They are brightly lite and can make for a fun stroll around the supermarket. Get a plastic bag and start filling it up with random choices. In the picture below, they have bags already wrapped up for you to buy.

Food Market in China

More pictures of food found in the Muslim Quarter to make you hungry!

Muslim Quarter
Sweets in the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an, China. This snack included two sticks to grab the in and it was very slimy. It looks jello-ish but it's not.
Xi'an Muslim Quarter
Xi'an Muslim Quarter Food
Xi'an Muslim Quarter Food
Xi'an Muslim Quarter Food
Baozi
With over 40 thousand restaurants roaming around the city of Xi’an, there’s an endless menu of selections. Explore and ask around. Eat and be adventurous.

Things that WON’T make you hungry

Frog
Hungry for snake?
Rabbit

39 Comments

  1. LeslieTravel on May 5, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Great photos! That mirror cake looks tasty. Seems like China has a never-ending supply of exotic, tasty eats!

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Every visit to the Muslim Quarter, there’s something I haven’t tried yet. It never ends there! I could eat all day in this area.

  2. LeslieTravel on May 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Great photos! That mirror cake looks tasty. Seems like China has a never-ending supply of exotic, tasty eats!

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Every visit to the Muslim Quarter, there’s something I haven’t tried yet. It never ends there! I could eat all day in this area.

  3. Claire on May 5, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Great pic of the bunny browsing the leafy veggies. At least, I hope it’s a bunny.

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      Yeah, it’s a bunny. It was cute how confused the kid was.

  4. Claire on May 5, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Great pic of the bunny browsing the leafy veggies. At least, I hope it’s a bunny.

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      Yeah, it’s a bunny. It was cute how confused the kid was.

  5. TravelnLass on May 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Goodness but such a tempting array of edibles (and esp. the amazing contrast of tempting-NOTs!) All topped off with a sweet Peter Cottontail serenely munching his lunch.

  6. TravelnLass on May 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Goodness but such a tempting array of edibles (and esp. the amazing contrast of tempting-NOTs!) All topped off with a sweet Peter Cottontail serenely munching his lunch.

  7. goteresago on May 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    OMG the snake picture. Holy moly. The first pics look amazing though!

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      I wonder how many sales that lady makes for selling snakes.

  8. Transcendental Gypsy on May 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    OMG the snake picture. Holy moly. The first pics look amazing though!

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      I wonder how many sales that lady makes for selling snakes.

  9. Adrienne on May 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Yum, I love food photos!

  10. Adrienne on May 7, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Yum, I love food photos!

  11. Anthony on May 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Pancakes in beef soup. Interesting?!? This something I will definitely have to try. Love all the food photos in this post 🙂

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Worth it! Super filling though.

  12. Anthony on May 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Pancakes in beef soup. Interesting?!? This something I will definitely have to try. Love all the food photos in this post 🙂

    • Michael on May 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      Worth it! Super filling though.

  13. justin on May 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Nice photo’s essay. I will be in xian soon and now i know what to expect.

    • Michael on May 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

      When are you coming by? Let me know if you want to meet up!

  14. justin on May 8, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Nice photo’s essay. I will be in xian soon and now i know what to expect.

    • Michael on May 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

      When are you coming by? Let me know if you want to meet up!

  15. roy | roymarvelous.com on May 10, 2011 at 2:59 am

    So random having a rabbit in that pic. Ha!

  16. roy | roymarvelous.com on May 10, 2011 at 3:59 am

    So random having a rabbit in that pic. Ha!

  17. SZQZ on October 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Love Xi’an..one of my favourite cities in te world..I lived in China in the late 1980’s ..teaching English..did you ever try in the muslim quarter: finely chopped beef, in a bun(well..pita like..but thicker than a pita)..with green onion and a bit of vinegar..whenever we travelled there, the muslim quarter was our first stop! 
    I miss China..I dream of it..

    • Michael on October 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      YES!! Loved these so much!
      I can’t even imagine how different China must’ve been back then. Going back now will feel totally different I’m sure.

  18. SZQZ on October 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Love Xi’an..one of my favourite cities in te world..I lived in China in the late 1980’s ..teaching English..did you ever try in the muslim quarter: finely chopped beef, in a bun(well..pita like..but thicker than a pita)..with green onion and a bit of vinegar..whenever we travelled there, the muslim quarter was our first stop! 
    I miss China..I dream of it..

    • Michael on October 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      YES!! Loved these so much!
      I can’t even imagine how different China must’ve been back then. Going back now will feel totally different I’m sure.

  19. Jen Ryder on May 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

    This article was awesome, thanks for putting it together. We’re heading to Xi’an in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to check out the Muslim quarter and stuff ourselves silly!

    • Michael on June 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Hope you enjoyed Xi’an! Missing it greatly.

  20. Jen Ryder on May 16, 2013 at 6:53 am

    This article was awesome, thanks for putting it together. We’re heading to Xi’an in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to check out the Muslim quarter and stuff ourselves silly!

    • Michael on June 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Hope you enjoyed Xi’an! Missing it greatly.

  21. Angela on October 3, 2013 at 11:46 am

    wonderfully mouthwatering, thanks for the brilliant info!

  22. […] The Foods of Xi’an Muslim Quarter […]

  23. shakir farah on April 28, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Micheal, thanks for sharing this beautiful artistic culture. I am a professional cook and I love ethnic foods

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  25. […] The Foods of Xi’an, China Muslim Quarter […]

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