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Shaanxi Cuisine’s distinct use of salt, vinegar, capsicum and garlic make for a sour, spicy flavor in local dishes. Its history is said to be as long as the nationís civilization, retaining the dining characteristics of the Qin, Han and Tang dynasties. At present, the cuisine generally falls into the Guanzhong (central Shaanxi), Shannan (south Shaanxi) and Shanbei (north Shaanxi) geographic categories. In Xian, the Guanzhong cuisine plays a vital role in the locals’ daily lives while Shannan and Shanbei dishes lend variety to the mix for gastronomy.

What to eat

Dumpling dinner is almost an alternate name for Xi`an cuisine. Whether traveling in the north or the south of China, one delicacy tourists are sure to find is the dumpling (Jiaozi). A universal favorite, the Chinese dumpling has a long history and is an essential component of celebratory meals such as those prepared for the Chinese Spring Festival.

Yang Rou Pao Mo also known as Crumbled Unleavened Bread Soaked in Mutton Stew, is a local dish that is enjoyed throughout Shaanxi Province but is particularly popular in Xi’an City as a traditional nourishing meal. Not only do the locals enjoy it regularly, visiting celebrities are also a fan of it.

Cold noodles are a local dish in Southern Shaanxi and Central Shaanxi. The cold noodles made in Central Shaanxi are generally made from wheat flour that is steamed while those made in Southern Shaanxi are made from rice flour. Cold noodles are served after they are mixed with gluten, bean sprouts, sliced cucumber, chili oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic sauce. Sometimes, they can be served as a hot snack after they are stir-fried with sliced meat, sausage and greens.

Qianxian Guo Kui is a well-known baked snack in Qianxian County that is thick in the middle. The wheat flour is mixed with a minimum amount of water and then baked over low flame so that it is easy to store and holds up well during travel because it contains very little moisture. Crisp and tasty, itís a good gift for friends and relatives.

Huanggui persimmon pancakes are a specialty in Xi’an. They are made of Lintong fire-crystal persimmon, wheat flour, osmanthus sauce, rose petals, walnuts and sugar and then baked until golden colored on both sides.
Crystal pancakes are a traditional Shaanxi pastry bearing an 800-year history. According to legend, in the Northern Song Dynasty, Kou Zhun, a famous official received for his 50th birthday an intricate wooden box with 50 crystal-clear pancakes. The red paper sheet that covered the cakes read, ìPenetrating are your eyes, and pure is your heart; being able to tell the loyal from the wicked, you are upright from the start.” The name of the sender: “an old man from Weibei.” Kou’s chef later learned how to make the pancakes which Kou called ‘Crystal pancakes’ a name still in use today.

Qishan noodles with ingredients have a long history and became well-known as early as the Qing Dynasty. The noodles are hand-made of quality wheat flour. Other ingredients include pork shreds, day lily, egg, wood fungus, and bean curd which are flavored with a variety of spices. Qishan noodles originated in Qishan County, hence its name.

Where to eat

De Fa Chang Dumpling Restaurant
Address: 3 Xidajie, Bell Tower Square, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-87214073

St. Louis Portugal Restaurant
Address: 1st Floor, Building Rose, 25 Keji Road, Hi-tech Zone, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-88318888

Lao Sun Jia
Address: 78 Dongguan Zheng Street, Beilin District, xi’an
Tel: 86-29-82403168

Grand Hong Kong Abalone Shark Fin Restaurant
Address: 3 Gaoxin Road, Nan Erhuan, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-88220622

Tang Dynasty Palace
Address: 74 North Chang’an Road, Yanta Disctict, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-85261633

Guo Li Ren He
Address: 1 North Chang’an Road
Tel: 86-29-85238866

Jia San Guan Tang Bao
Address: 93 Beiyuanmen, Muslim Quarters
Tel: 86-29-87257507

Tong Sheng Xiang
Address: North Side of Bell Tower Square, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-87218711

Bei Yuan Men Street
Address: Bei Guang Ji Street, Xiyang Lianhu District, Xi’an

Xi’an Restaurant
Address: 298 Dongda Jie, Beilin District, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-87680883

Qin Dynasty’s Jar
Address: 21 Lao Dong South Road, Beilin District, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-84968888

Yuezhen Xuan (Hanguang Branch)
Address: 142 Hanguang Dasha, Huancheng Nan Road
Tel: 86-29-88411333

Fanji ZHubashi Branch
Address: 53 Zhubashi Street, Beilin Disctrict, Xi’an
Tel: 86-29-87283817

Small World Café
Address: 90 East part of South Huancheng Road
Tel: 86-29-82226341

Address: 11F K.T. Tower, No. 1 of Xihua Gate, North Main Street
Tel: 86-29-87201501

Melaka Bar and Restaurant
Address: 15 Datang Shopping Street, West Yan Ta Road
Tel: 86-29-85245932

Hai Di Lao Restaurant
Address: 11 south section of the Yan Ta Road, Beilin District
Tel: 86-29-85536971


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