While not always the easiest to find, Jinan's food streets offer both a wide range of cuisines and atmospheres to enjoy them in. Below is a guide to five of the city's major food streets that should keep you well-fed for quite some time.
1) FurongJie 芙蓉街 View In Map
Jinan's most famous food street is also one of its most centrally located. Enter Furong Jie under a wooden arch in the middle of the city's main shopping district. A wide array of stalls, counters and cramped one-room restaurants offer local Shandong cuisine and specialties of nearby regions, as well as standard Chinese staples and Korean and Japanese snacks. Branching off Quancheng Lu opposite the newly-opened Henglong Plaza, Furong Jie takes visitors past an intriguing collection of old buildings and their modern imitations. But it can be hard to appreciate the architecture amid the chaos below, as at peak meal times the narrow street is as crowded and noisy as a commuter bus during rush hour, and is best avoided if possible.
Add: Furong Jie, Lixia District, Jinan
Getting there: Bus No. 3, K50, K54, 101 stop at Furong Jie (芙蓉街)
2) Daguanyuan 大观园 View In Map
A tightly-packed compound sitting between the bustling shopping centre of Renmin Shangcheng and the quiet sobriety of Jinan's financial centre, Daguanyuan offers a more manageable alternative to the madness of Furong Jie. Designed to resemble a South China village, this shopping mall includes a department store, movie theatre and even a functioning Buddhist temple (complete with pushy fortune tellers in traditional costume). But the main attraction here is the food. Fast food chains such as KFC and Dico's line the street-side façade of Daguanyuan, while the inner courtyard features more elegant (and expensive) restaurants offering cuisines from Sichuan, Hunan and several different regions within Shandong. Running in between the two is a narrow labyrinth of alleys packed with simpler food stalls, with more to be found in the backstreet on west side of Daguanyuan.
Add: 34 Xiaowei Er Lu, Shizhong District, Jinan
Getting there: Bus No. 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 13, 15, 18, 29, 33, 34, 35, 43, 49, K50, K51, K58, K59, 67, K92, 101, 103, 104 stop at Daguanyuan (大观园)
3) Huimin Xiaoqu 回民小区
If you're in the mood for barbeque, this is the place to go. The long, soot-encrusted grills that line these streets announce the neighbourhood's specialty, and warn anyone not looking for an evening of chuanr that this might not be the place to go. The wide pedestrian streets in the middle of Jinan's Muslim district are less chaotic than many other food streets, but the brightly-coloured neon signs and endless rows of outdoor tables ensure that the atmosphere here is no less lively. In addition to local Muslim cuisine, the neighbourhood also includes the famous Jasmine Restaurant (茉莉餐厅). A popular spot for Indian and Pakistani cuisine beloved by Jinan's South Asian student population, it also has a devoted following among the general expat community. Most of the restaurants in the area are located around YinhuchiJie (饮虎池街) and Yongchang Jie (永长街), just west of Baotu Spring and not far from the centre of the city.
Getting there: Bus lines 41, 49, K52, K54, 72, 82, K96, K100, 102, 103, 104, 128, 165 stop at Yinhuchi (饮虎池)
4) Shanshi Lu and WenhuaLu 山师东路，文化东路 济南市历下区文化东路
Located at the epicentre of Jinan's university district, these food streets draw crowds not only from the surrounding schools, but attracts visitors from far-flung suburban campuses as well. The selection is decidedly geared to students' tastes, with brightly-coloured storefronts selling candy, roasted nuts, and a creative variety of pan-Asian and Western snacks fused into inventive new creations. Those looking for traditional Chinese snacks – or even a full meal – will likely be disappointed, or at least limited to the surprisingly popular Chongqing chicken.As its name suggests, the area's restaurants are centred along the block of East Wenhua Lu running in front of Shandong Normal University, as well as the two blocks of Shanshi Lu that intersect it to the east.
Add: Intersection of Shanshi Lu and Wenhua Lu, Lixia District, Jinan
Getting there: Bus No. 18, 48, K59, 75, K94, 110, 123 stop at Shanshi (山师)
5) Jinan Meishi Jie 济南美食街 View In Map
The design of this relatively new food street, one block west of the Provincial Sports Center and one block north of Yingxiong Shan (英雄山), shows great ambitions. An ornate traditional arch marks its entrance and giant porcelain vases stand lined up along its length. The atmosphere here is quieter and more peaceful than most food streets, with large sit-down restaurants making up the bulk of business. Many restaurants tend towards the higher end of the price range, though affordable options are also available. Popular cuisines from regions such as Lanzhou and Sichuan can be found here, along with more general hotpot and jiaozi options. The centrepiece of the street is the massive and ornate China Famous Snack City (中华名优小吃城), whose second floor features a long row of fast food-style counters offering local Jinan specialties and more far-flung favourites. But the snack city is still a work in progress, with construction workers continuing to put the final touches on many unopened sections. For diners looking for a more lively eating experience, the food stalls wedged into the crooked alley leading to the Xin Shijie Market (新世界商城) has as crowded and chaotic lunchtime crowd as any food street around.
Add: 34 Jing Shiyi Lu, Shizhong District, Jinan
Getting there: Bus No. 32, 34, 65, 88, K54, K93, K139, 165, BRT 3 stop at Yingxiong Shan Bei (英雄山北)
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Keywords: Food streets in Jinan Jinan Muslim district food street Jinan Daguanyuan food street FurongJie Jinan food street
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