Xi'an has a long history in culinary culture and has developed a unique cuisine with two culinary styles-the traditional and the modern. The traditional is characterized by the Tang Dynasty cuisine while the modern by the Shaanxi cuisine. The traditional recipes include such delicacies as Roast Piglet and Chicken in Bottle Gourd. The local flavour snacks include Steamed Bun Soaked in Mutton Soup and the Fan-Family Cured Meat Broth. Dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty banquet in Xian are two great inventions.
Dumpling or Jiaozi in Chinese is a traditional and popular food in China, especially in the north; also Xi'an's specialty. At the banquet, nearly 20 varieties of dumplings that are steamed and stuffed with different delicious fillings such as vegetables, meats and seafood are served, these dumplings are not only tasty, but also characteristic with their colors and fragrance, style and culture meanings, all these make the dinner so unique that you should not miss it when traveling in Xi'an.
The way of preparing the dish has made you interested already before it is ready to serve: first a bowl and one or two pieces of flat bread will be served, you need to break the bread into tiny chunks all by yourself, and after that, delicious mutton soup will be added in the bowl, now, it is ready for you to enjoy the broth and the break.
Tang Dynasty was one of the most prosperous dynasties and an open era in Chinese history, there were lots of social, economical and cultrual exchanges between China and outside world, as a result, the culinary culture including the imperial cuisine was inevitably enriched. Shaanxi people have tried to research the imperial cuisine of Tang Dynasty making it possible for you to taste typical dishes of Tang Dynasty in some of the restaurants in Xi'an. These dishes are not only tasty, colorful and fragrant with well-selected materials, but also full of cultures and legends with ancient styles. The most famous venues for the Tang Dynasty banquets are Tang Dynasty Palace and Shaanxi Grand Opera Theatre where Tang Dynasty banquets can be combined with Tang Dynasty show.
Xian is known as the “Snacks Kingdom” in northwestern China. The snacks’ styles are classified into Han, Uyghur (Xinjiang) and Hui (Chinese Muslim) etc. Some commons are: Mutton Paomo (crumbled unleavened bread soaked in mutton stew), Roujiamo (Griddle Steamed Bread with Mincemeat Fillings), Qishan Noodles, Chopped Buckwheat Noodles, Liangpi (cold noodles), Hulutou (Crumbled Unleavened Bread Soaked in Broth with Intestines and Tripe), Frying Persimmon Paste, Kettle oil tea, Honey Jelly Cake, Jujube cake, Eight-treasure Rose Mirror Cake, Xinjiang kabobs, Rice Noodles in Earthen Pot, Zongzi (a steamed glutinous rice with delicious stuffings wrapped by bamboo leaves, unlike in the other places of China, Xi’an people eat it with honey.) . A good place to eat these snacks is the Huimin Jie (a famous street closed to the Bell Tower).
Strange Roast Chicken
Chang'an Bajingyan (A banquet of Eight-Scenes of Chang'an)
Roast Pigle and Chickent in Bottle Gourd
Fan-Family Cured Meat Broth
For a list of places to eat in Xian during your tour, please visit our Xi'an Restaurants page.