Beijing is a playground for foodies – and where better to start than by checking out the freshest produce from local stallholders? Indulge in the best of the best with our guide to the best food markets in Beijing.
Ghost Street is a main road in the centre of the Dongcheng district that extends from Dongzhimen to Beixinqiao. The sprawling street connects both sub-districts through a series of shops, restaurants, and of course, food markets. Known for its liveliness and diverse street food options, Ghost Street is where foodies can find everything from seafood to local street food favourites like candied hawthorns, jiānbǐng (Chinese pancakes), and chuàn’r (skewered meat and vegetables).
What sets Sanyuanli Market apart from other food markets in Beijing is its fresh selection of international produce and its variety of dry goods, preserved foods, meats and fish. Locals looking to stock up on fresh ingredients travel from all over the city to Chaoyang district for a visit to the market. With on-the-spot butchers who are able to provide cuts of meat that are unavailable elsewhere, hunks of splayed fish that can be hard to come by, and international fruits, grains and vegetables, shopping at the Sanyuanli Market will prove to be well worth a trip.
Known as one of the oldest streets in Beijing, Wangfujing Snack Street is situated in the heart of Dongcheng district. While it’s surrounded by tourists and locals looking to satiate their hunger during the day, at night, it turns into a bustling market known as the Night Market. As a tourist attraction in itself, the market offers a variety of foods from skewered scorpions and seahorses to pineapple steamed rice. While the street is narrow, the unique and lively atmosphere alone makes it a market worth visiting.
A market fit for the centre of Chaoyang, Chaowai Morning Market is frequented by both locals and tourists. Available to the public from early morning onward, the market is a popular place to visit if you’re in need of household goods as prices are set lower than the average store.
Located in Xicheng district, the Beijing Old Station Food Street is an impressive road lined with endless food stalls. With a special selection of food, hungry travellers can sink their teeth into some of the most exotic and traditional cuisines available in China, including skewers boasting cicadas, seahorses and tarantulas. Both picky eaters and adventurous foodies will find the Beijing Old Station Food Street to be nothing short of an amazing immersion into Chinese culture.
Located in Xicheng, Niujie Mosque Snack Street is a one-of-a-kind street that offers authentic food, mostly halal due to the large Muslim community that lives in the area. Named after Niujie Mosque, which is Beijing’s oldest mosque that was built during the Liao Dynasty in 996 AD, the market offers different types of meat, soups and pastries.
Situated in a warehouse, Zoujiazhuang Shengfu Market is an affordable market offering an energetic atmosphere and affordable goods. Selling some of Beijing’s freshest fruits, fish, vegetables and dried and preserved goods, alongside seasonal necessities like red envelopes and lanterns, the market also has multiple street vendors selling skewered foods.
Jingshen Seafood Market is a haven for seafood lovers struggling to get their fix in Beijing. The market comprises three floors, the first being a fresh seafood floor, the second being a dried seafood floor, and the third being a floor where hungry buyers can opt to have their fresh seafood cooked for them. The sprawling market is packed with every sea creature imaginable, from dried sea cucumbers and fresh salmon to cooked lobster. Potential customers can not only expect locally caught seafood but also imported goods, making it a frequented destination by Beijing’s migrant community.