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. It’s one of Xi’an most popular dish and very traditional, too. For a taste of real Xi’an, you must try this.
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.
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.
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 some to be large.
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.
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. Many have walnuts inside.
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.
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.