Ghost Street is a main road in the center of the Dongcheng district that extends from Dongzhimen to Bexinqiao. The sprawling street connects both sub-districts through a series of shops, restaurants, and of course, food markets. Locals know Ghost Street for its liveliness, as well as diverse street food. Foodies venturing to this famous street can expect everything from seafood to local street food favorites – candied hawthorns, jiānbǐng (Chinese pancakes), and chuàn’r (skewered meat and vegetables) await hungry adventurers.
Wangfujing Snack Street
Known by many for being one of the oldest streets in the city of Beijing, Wangfujing Snack Street is a food street situated in the heart of Dongcheng district. By day, it’s busy with tourists and locals looking to satiate their hunger and explore the area’s long history. By night, it turns into a much more bustling market known as the Night Market. Once the sun has set, Beijingers looking to barter for and dine on street food crowd around stalls with friends and family to enjoy a diverse selection of exotic food.
What sets Sanyuanli Market aside from other food markets in Beijing is its fresh selection of international produce and its variety of dry goods, preserved foods, meats, and fish. Beijingers looking to stock up on truly fresh ingredients travel from all over the city to Chaoyang district for the opportunity to purchase food here. With on-the-spot butchers who are able to provide cuts of meat 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.
Beijing Old Station Food Street
Located in Xicheng district, the Beijing Old Station Food Street is an impressive road lined with food stall after food stall. With a selection unlike almost anywhere else, hungry travelers 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.
Chaowai Morning Market
A market fit for the center of Chaoyang, Chaowai Morning Market is frequented by Beijing’s expat community, as well as the city’s locals. At Chaowai Morning Market, interested buyers can get their hands on locally grown and caught food – shoppers can purchase anything from fruit to fish from local vendors. What sets this market aside from others in the city is its selection of household goods for sale – with prices set lower than the average store, buyers looking to purchase kitchen supplies can do so here, and for a good price! The early bird catches the worm at Chaowai Morning Market, so be sure to be out the door in time to shop here – the market’s hours are from 7am-2pm, unlike most markets which are open all day.
Niujie Mosque Snack Street
Standing out among the traditional Chinese food markets scattered across China’s capital is a food street that’s one-of-a-kind. Niujie Mosque Snack Street is known for its deliciously authentic Muslim fare – hungry expats and locals visiting here can dig their teeth into traditional dishes, as well as non-traditional, but still Chinese-influenced foods. This food market’s name was derived from the antiquated mosque – the oldest of its kind in Beijing – that sits on its street. For hungry history buffs with a hankering for delicious Muslim cuisine, Niujie Mosque Snack Street is a must-visit.
Zuojiazhuang Shengfu Market
The sister market to Chaoyang’s Sanyuanli Market, Zoujiazhuang Shengfu Market (open 7am-2pm) is a more localized spot, selling equally fresh produce and dried goods. Unlike Sanyuanli Market, Zoujiazhuang Shengfu Market sells locally grown and caught food, rather than importing and selling international fare. When shopping here, buyers can expect some of Beijing’s freshest fruits, fish, vegetables, and dried and preserved goods, alongside seasonal necessities like red envelopes and lanterns, and street food vendors selling favorite skewered foods.
Wangjing Street Market
For all things Korean, Wangjing Street Market is the place to go. Selling everything from baked goods to kimchi to beef short ribs, this spot is a one-stop shop for Korean goods. Shopping here not only means having an incredible Korean purchasing power, but also means having access to some of the highest-quality Korean cuisine in all of Beijing – vendors provide buyers with the opportunity to both purchase goods to bring home, as well as munch on freshly prepared food from stalls in the vicinity. Open 7am-8pm.
Jingshen Seafood Market
For seafood lovers struggling to get their fix in Beijing, struggle no longer – Jingshen Seafood Market is a shopper’s one-stop shop for all things seafood. 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 – dried sea cucumbers, fresh salmon, and cooked lobster being just a few of the sea items they offer. Prospective buyers here can expect not only locally caught seafood, but also imported goods, making it a frequented destination by Beijing’s expat community.