Xi'an is not only a birth place of brilliant culture, but also a food paradise. Visitors to Xi'an usually end up spending a lot of time on street food. Xian's local cuisine is well known throughout China for its diversity. No matter which city you go, you can always find some Xi'an style dishes and snacks. It is believe that visitors who want to get a close look at the lifestyle in Xi'an should start with its food.
Xi'an cuisine is rich in the northwest flavor, with wheat flour as the main material. Among the local cuisines, Beef & Mutton Paopo, Tang Dynasty Banquet and Dumplings Banquet are the most well known local food, known as "three treasures".
Dumpling Banque-Jiaozi Banquet
Jiaozi are Chinese dumplings. They consist of various ingredients wrapped in a thin dough covering. Jiaozi can be found throughout China, but the ones in Xian are special. The Jiaozi served in a Jiaozi banquet are made of only the finest ingredients and come in an unbelievable variety. There are also several cooking styles for the Jiaozi, steamed, fried, and boiled. The appearance of Xian's Jiaozi set them apart from Jiaozi found in other parts of China.
The Jiaozi served in the Banquet are works of art. The Jiaozi in Xian's Jiaozi Banquets can look like butterflies, penguins, leaves, goldfish, ducks, golden ingots, flowers, clouds, and pearls. Many visitors find it hard to eat them, until they try their first one. Once they find how amazing the Jiaozi are they have no problem eating the little works of art.
Basically, 32 different types of dumplings for each customer, but if one would like to taste more, there are also a lot options, more than 120 types are waiting for diners.
Xi'an is filled with many wonderful dishes and meals. Some of the other popular dishes are: Mutton Paomo: (Steamed Bun Soaked in Mutton Soup), Xi'an Hot Pot, Roujiamo (steamed bread with mincemeat fillings), Xi'an Kabobs, Liangpi (cold noodles), Guan Tang Baozi (Juicy Bun) and many others.
If you are interested in Xi'an local snacks, Muslim Snack Street, right behind the Drum Tower, is on the top of our recommendation list that you should visit.
Mutton Paomo, (Steamed Bun Soaked in Mutton Soup) A very famous local Xian dish with a long history is Mutton Paomo. The dish consists of mutton soup with a loaf of flat bread crumbled into it. The mutton is usually cooked with scallion, ginger, wild pepper, aniseed, fennel, cinnamon and other seasonings. Before eating, the bread is broken into pieces and put into an empty bowl. The waiter then adds the mutton soup. The mixture is eaten along with mutton soup, pickled garlic cloves, cabbages, cooking wine, vermicelli, and salt.
Xi'an Hot Pot: You might have heard about the Sichuan Hot Pot, but have no idea about Xi'an Hot Pot. However, hot pot is very popular in Xi'an. In the winter time, the city of Xi'an becomes a Hot Pot city. At present, there are over 600 Hot Pot restaurants in Xi'an, and if including those small street ones, the number will easily up to thousands. There are many kinds of hot pots available in Xi'an, like traditional hot pot (little spicy), new style hot pot (close to Sichuan hot pot), fat beef hot pot (tasty and nutrition), fish and mutton and shrimp hot pot (local people's favorite), seafood hot pot, and many other flavors.
Roujiamo (steamed bread with mincemeat fillings) Fried pork or beef stuffed in pita bread, sometimes with green peppers and cumin. It is very similar to the hamburger, thus the name "Chinese Hamburger.،±
Xi'an Kabobs: Kabobs were introduced from Xinjiang, but Xi'an kabobs are very different from the Xinjiang kabobs in flavor. Besides with the cumin powder they also with some chili powder and other many condiments so they taste a little bit spicy. Mutton, beef, pork, and fish can be the raw materials of the Xi'an Kabobs. They look oily but not too greasy.
Liangpi (cold noodles): Cool noodles, made of rice or wheat, taste spicy and great. Liangpi (cold noodles) is a famous summer snack and known for its white color, thin shape, and smooth surface. It is eaten along with garlic, ginger, pepper, sauce, vinegar, bean sprouts, capsicum flour, salt, sliced cucumber, caraway, chicken essence, sesame oil etc.
Guan Tang Baozi (Juicy Bun): It is one of Xian's most famous specialties. A filling of ground beef and chopped vegetables is mixed with gravy before the paper-thin skin is sealed, making these dumplings delightfully juicy.