A visit to Snack Street in Beijing
Wangfujing Night Food Street or Snack Street as it is called by both locals and expats in Beijing sells all sorts of ‘snacks’…the majority are not to my liking (small animals and bugs etc) but there are also fruit and vegetables on sticks which are very tasty.
In 2012, my friend Tracey, her son and cousin went there one evening after a day out sightseeing. I had been there previously so didn’t go on this occasion; Tracey has kindly provided her photos.
The snacks come from all around China with many flavours and styles. For example you can try Mongolian, Canton, spicy Sichuan and Manchurian ethnic flavours. In the main most food is on sticks including snake, sparrow, starfish, beetles, bugs and other weird things like deep fried crickets and sheep testicles!!
My choice is the candied fruit on a stick; delicious and lovely looking with a sugar glaze over the fruit. Lots of vegetables on sticks too – again so colourful and delicious looking.
The majority of the main area in Wangfujing is pedestrianised and has many shops which is very popular with tourists. There are over 200 shops to visit during the daytime. In the Qing Dynasty, ten aristocratic estates and princess residences were built in Wangfujing. After the residences were built, a water well was discovered and Wangfujing got its name. ‘Wang Fu’ means ‘princely residence’ and ‘Jing’ means ‘well’.
The best time to visit Wangfujing is at night; for the stalls selling snacks. It’s bustling with people and an exciting place to be. So many exotic foods to see and personally I don’t particularly like to see small dead animals on sticks but understand that people will eat most things (or try once) and especially the Chinese who love to eat anything really.
All the food stalls are well organised and there are strict hygiene requirements; each vendor wears a uniform and a little red cap. Each stall has a sign hanging overhead indicating the food they are selling, as well the name of the stall owner. The names of the food that is being sold is, in the main, in both Chinese and English.