The Muslim Quarter of Xi’an is home to one of the liveliest areas—the Muslim Street market! The street has a long history, dating back over 1,000 years and is the hub of the Muslim community in the city. The market is famous for delicious food and trendy products.
I spent some time exploring the markets and was introduced to new foods, local trends and friendly locals.
Check out my guide to visiting the Muslim Street market in Xi’an!
Muslim Street is an historic market road in Xi’an, China that dates back more than 1,000 years! For centuries, merchants, students, and travelers made their way here on the famous Silk Road from Persia, Arabia, and Central Asia to trade their wares and knowledge in this ancient Chinese city.
Some settled here, and their descendants—the Hui people, a Muslim ethnic minority—still sell their treats and souvenirs along this long street paved with blue-gray flagstones.
Exploring the market will take you down two main streets, which together form an L shape. If you’re taking your time, the walk will take you about one and a half hours so bring some water and good walking shoes.
You won’t get too hungry though—there’s a myriad of snacks and treats to grab along the way.
Locals and tourists flock to the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an to try the distinctive snacks. Since the vendors are devout Muslims like their ancestors, that means there is no pork!
You’ll also find no alcohol here as it is forbidden in Islamic dogma. Food stalls and restaurants are packed with cakes, dried fruits, barbecued meats, breads, and candies.
Be sure to try the local specialties like roujiamo (marinated beef or lamb in a wheat bun) and yangrou paomo (pita bread soaked in lamb soup). Also try the persimmon fruit pies and the fried rice with pickled cabbage and capsicum.
There are soup dumplings served with red chili, spicy Sichuan pepper, bean threads, and cold noodles—perfect in the summer!
Don’t leave without sampling a bit of handmade Biang Biang noodles, which are known for their thickness. Food stalls will stretch the noodles and slam them onto tables creating the biang biang sound from which the noodles get their name.
Check out the cool buildings here; some date back centuries. There are the Hanguang Gate from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Niching Gate Tower Cluster of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Taoist City God Temple, and the Grand Mosque. The sheer diversity of buildings speaks volumes about the history of Xi’an as a major cultural crossroad.
The Muslim Street is a great place to pick up your souvenirs and offers a wide range to choose from. You’ll want to stop by the Xibeilou or Jiayongxin souvenir stores while you’re there—this is the definitive place to pick up your miniature terracotta warrior to take home!
How to Get to Muslim Street Market
Walk from the Xi’an City Wall along South Street for fifteen to twenty minutes and follow the Xi’an Bell Tower and Drum Tower to the entrance of the Muslim Quarter.
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