The Wangfujing Snack Street (王府井小吃街) is the most vibrant at night, hidden in alleys behind tall corporate buildings. The street is a foodie’s paradise that features all sorts of local delights, providing a quick sampler of everything, whether it’s only for a quick bite or a proper meal.
The biggest and creepiest fascination I found at the snack street was the deep fried creatures – star fish, sea-horses, crickets and bats.
Some were much more menacing looking like the black, giant scorpions and the centipedes with their feet so distinctly visible I could almost imagine their crawling movement, giving me an uncontrolled shiver.
Despite the intimidating look, I thought to myself, hey, it’s not like everyday I am going to get a chance to eat deep-fried centipedes or deep-fried cricket so I told myself I must try something. After surveying a few different stores, I narrowed my choices down to two things – small scorpion and the funny looking insect. The starfish and seahorses didn’t look as scary but I thought they might be endangered or something so they were out of my list.
Buying the insects was the easy part. It was chowing them that took me forever to prepare myself, mentally. In the end, I closed my eyes, didn’t even dare to touch the insects with my hand, I asked Gary to pull the insects from the skewers and throw them into my mouth.
The scorpion was crunchy, salted and certain parts of it was mushy – I think the guts must be bursting in my mouth. The funny insect on the other hand, was crunchy, like eating really thoroughly fried chicken skin and it was just as flavorful as KFC. If they weren’t so obviously-insect-looking, I think I would happily eat lots of them.
Here is another funny looking insect.
Another shocking food I found was the deep-fried sparrows. I never knew sparrows could be eaten!
While Wangfujin Snack Street has its share of shocking food, the local delights and snacks from other provinces are the most abundant here too. This noodle-y looking thing is the cow stomach (爆肚, “baodu”).
One of the vendor serving cow stomach does it in his unique way – he serves the cow stomach while chanting at the same time.
Pan-fried glutinous rice (煎灌腸) was a bit plain and tasteless to me.
I highly recommend this cray fish, most commonly done “mala” (spicey) style, which is also commonly found on “Ghost Street” in Beijing.
Here’s a few more snacks: stuffed eggs,
xiaolongnao (meat buns),
Leg of lamb,
and Turkish sharwama.
There’s plenty of dessert for the sweet-toothed: dragon floss candy (龍鬚糖),
sugar coated fruits (糖葫盧),
fried chestnut with sugar (糖炒栗子),
and fried ice cream.
Besides eating, there’s entertaining opera shows,
an old well from the Ming Dynasty,
and lots of shopping!! Enjoy more shopping photos below 🙂
Getting there: Wangfujing MRT Station.