The role of food in Beijing's social scene cannot be overstated. Kitchens continue to fire up dishes until the wee hours of the morning, with many restaurants serving food 24/7. For those prone to late-night munchies, Beijing is the most accommodating city, with everything from street food to high-end cuisine available at all hours of the day. This culinary culture is also reflected in Beijing's night markets—lively outdoor spaces packed with vendors who fry up everything from tasty old Beijing snacks to insects and scorpions.
Donghuamen Night Market. Photo: focus.cn
However, Beijing's post-Olympic culinary landscape looks significantly bleaker than before, as urban management continues to sweep the streets and chase out food vendors. This has resulted in the closing or down-scaling of many of the city's most popular night markets, leaving a meager selection of markets to choose from. Nowadays, the only remaining night market in the city center is the ubiquitous Donghuamen Night Market by Wanfujing, but a few others exist in outer suburbs including the Baodao Night Market in Shijingshan District and the Puhuangyu Night Market in Fengtai District.
1) Donghuamen Night MarketView In Map
Although some would consider the Wangfujing Snack Street as a night market, the real star of the show is the Donghuamen Night Market, situated only a few streets away. The market originally came about in 1984, starting from east of Donghuamen Street to the north of Chenguang Street, and in the process collecting over 600 specialty snacks. In 2000, the People's Government of Dongcheng District rebuilt the market, in hopes of maintaining good foreign relations and spreading the night market culture. The updated market integrates traditional snacks from all over China, with modern booths, that look cleaner than the usual night market stalls.
Famous for its variety, history and shock value, Donghuamen Night Market is frequented by many tourists, and thus is often so packed that people moves in herds. However, it's still worth checking out, for it offers an expansive menu of Beijing traditional cuisine as well as more shocking snacks for the adventurous. For those more into traditional snacks, the rich familiar fare include tripe, dumplings, squid, fish etc. on sticks, as well as sweets like fried cakes with sugar and all sorts of sugar-coated fruits. For the daredevils and adventurers, unfamiliar and exotic fare includes sea urchins, tarantulas, snake, liver, starfish galore.
Expect the prices to be higher, ranging anywhere from 10-40 RMB per snack, as the place caters more to foreigners and tourists than your normal run-of-the-mill night market. A nice surprise is that the price is always negotiable, especially since many booths sell the same "something" on a stick, and so you can usually get 2 for 1 deals or bargain down to lower prices. The best time to visit is during the winter months when the crowds are more sparse, especially during the weekday.
Add: Donganmen Dajie, Wangfujing, Beijing (east of Nanheyan Dajie Dong)
Opening hours: 16:00-21:30
Getting there: take line 5 to Dengshikou station
2) Puhuangyu View In Map
If you find yourself hungry at night and in the south of Beijing, consider traveling to Puhuangyu along Anlelin Lu and Jintai Lu to find a small night market hidden amongst restaurants, shops and fruit & veg stalls. You'll usually find a throng of people sitting on small stools and dwarf tables outside restaurants and chuanr places, enjoying a few rounds of local beer and gossip, old and young alike. They crowd together to keep warm in the cold weather, while sharing a few tales among friends and savoring the likes of various kebabs ranging from 0.5-2 RMB. Especially during the non-winter months, locals can be spotted until 03:00 in the morning. The night market offers a wealth of fresh seafood including clams, oysters, shrimp, mussels, and more, all grilled to perfection. I especially love the clams and oysters filled with cellophane noodles and this exotic garlic sauce that hits just the right spot (6-10 RMB/item). Savor two or three of those and you'll be going back for more.
Add: near Puhuangyu Wumei Market, Fengtai District, Beijing
Opening hours: 19:00-late
Getting there: get off at Puhuangyu (Line 5) in the South, Exit C or D; night markets are on Anlelin Lu and Jintai Lu, near the Temple of Heaven Holiday Inn
3) Baodao Taiwanese Night MarketView In Map
A bit off the beaten track, Baodao Night Market is a fairly new attraction located all the way over in Shijingshan District. Also known as Taiwan Street, the 500-meter long street opened in 2009 and is lined with restaurants and booths selling Taiwanese specialties. Choose from hundreds of snacks, such as stinky tofu, congee, egg rolls, steamed dumplings and much more. Built to mimic traditional Taiwanese buildings, the street is just as much a tourist attraction as it is a dining destination.
Add: C1, Taiwan Street, Lugu Dajie, Shijingshan District, Beijing
Opening hours: 11:00-22:00
Getting there: take Subway Line 1 to Babao Station
Warning：The use of any news and articles published on eChinacities.com without written permission from eChinacities.com constitutes copyright infringement, and legal action can be taken.
Keywords: Night markets Beijing night food markets Beijing late night dining Beijing
How do you ensure that children stay interested in and enjoy their reading time? YCIS Beijing Primary School Curriculum Coordinator Jennifer Mills offers three tips on how to make reading fun and beneficial for your child.
During his tenure at Yew Chung International School, Dr. Wickham has shared his passion for insects through both hands-on demonstrations and interactive experiments, some of which you can even conduct at home with your own children. The easiest and least supply-intensive of these experiments is ...
Children in YCIS Beijing Primary School have the opportunity to explore Beijing with their teachers, discovering different aspects of traditional Chinese culture through field trips to cultural sites around Beijing that align with what they’re studying in class.
The Primary Art teacher at Yew Chung International School of Beijing tells you how to foster your childs creativity.
If you’ve just moved to China or are looking to jump-start your language learning, YCIS Beijing Secondary School Chinese Curriculum Coordinator Jessica Sun have some essential tips that will make sure you’re learning the right way.
China has become somewhat infamous for the abandoned sites left strewn throughout the country in its rush towards urban development. Some of the eerie destinations listed below take the prize as the top five most notoriously abandoned places in China.
hello dear How are you today i hope you are ok please My name is Miss helen I come across your profile today at (echinacities.com) and It was so good to me. So i decided to stop on it and let you know that i am interested to have a relationship with you. Please contact me at my email address (email@example.com)
Feb 11, 2014 07:53 Report Abuse
All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate. Please use the Classifieds to advertise your business and unrelated posts made merely to advertise a company or service will be deleted.
Please login to add a comment. Click here to login immediately.