The Best Restaurants in Xi'an
Collected by Emily Chu, AFAR Local Expert
Pack your hunger: the streets of Xi'an are packed with dumpling shops and noodle carts and wonderful smells that will keep you distracted planning about your next meal.
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, China, 710001
You can't visit Xi'an without having a dumpling feast. Defachang is considered one of the best dumpling houses in the region. Call ahead to request the 18-course dumpling banquet so you can sample the many varieties. One of my favorites is this...
127 E 1st Rd, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Xincheng Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710005
Muslim noodle restaurants are ubiquitous all over China, but Xi'an, with its large Muslim population, has a far better class of them. Most restaurants have photos of the various dishes on the wall, and all you have to do is point. My personal...
China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Yanta Qu, XiaoZhai ShangYeJie, 兴善寺西街55号 邮政编码: 710065
I got really excited when I saw this humble canteen at the Daxingshan Temple, next to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and near the Westin. (I lived in Macau for a year and ate at least one meal a day at one of two Buddhist vegetarian restaurants in...
334 East St, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
If you're tired of chicken and pork restaurants with happy animals looking delighted to get eaten, the Angry Squid is for you. Squid is insanely popular in Xi'an, even though it's hundreds of miles to the ocean, and Angry Squid seems to be the...
80 Nanyuanmen, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
You can't talk about Xi'an without talking about biangbiang noodles, a unique Shaanxi food. The character for biang is one of the most complex among noodles, and is achieved by kneading the dough 58 strokes. With all the hype about the giant...
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
This Shaanxi staple is a must-try while in Xi'an, especially if you're there during the height of hot, sizzling summers. Liangpi, or "cold skin" noodles, are thick cold rice noodles doused with savory sesame sauce and crispy, thin shreds of...
China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Yanta Qu, DaTang TongYiFang, Yanta W Rd, 雁塔西路大唐通易坊4号 邮政编码: 710061
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but this is a really good Korean restaurant. Inside, the friendly staff have nice picture menus with a huge selection of Korean favorites. The kimchi is fresh, and we figured we couldn't go wrong with...
Ci'en E Rd, QuJiang ShangQuan, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710061
Awa Shanzhai serves very tasty food. Their service is good and they have picture menus for easy ordering. But whereas with most Chinese restaurants it's easy to figure out the cuisine (Sichuan, Guangdong, barbecue, hotpot, and so on), the funny...
China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Yanta Qu, GaoXin ShangQuan, 高新区科技路徐家庄附近（近白沙路） 邮政编码: 710065
Delhi Darbar is an excellent Indian restaurant in Xi'an. I usually order palak paneer and malai kofta when trying a new Indian restaurant, because unlike curries, it's really hard to make these without fresh ingredients. (In China, you either need...
China, Shaanxi, Xian Shi, Yanta Qu, GaoXin ShangQuan, 高新一路 邮政编码: 710065
This is a slightly odd place. It's in the middle of a commercial area, with no restaurants in sight. If you get to the right block, it's actually behind a large building. You have to knock and be let in like a speakeasy. Once inside, it's a pretty...
172 Lianhu Rd, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710002
A little Vegas in China. The hotel has this amazing dumpling banquet and Tang Dynasty Show several times a week. The food was amazing. All of the dumplings were shaped to look like what they were filled with—little ducks for the ones filled with...
1 Ci'en Rd, QuJiang ShangQuan, Yanta Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
If you're looking for something a touch classier than a man grilling octopus on the back of his scooter, this dedicated street food area is for you. It's on the west side of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and has a lot of the Chinese street food...
The magic potato may be the singular most perfect food on the planet—the pinnacle of mankind's culinary ability. While by no means unique to Xi'an, the stalls dotted around the city that sell this delicacy sure know how to make it. A magic potato...
16 Lianhu Rd, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
Shi zi bing, 柿子饼, are kind of flat balls of glutinous rice and persimmons, stuffed with things like red bean or black sesame paste, and deep-fried. They're only about 2 RMB each and are so ridiculously tasty that you'll be tempted to eat more than...
128 N Guangji St, BeiYuanMen XiaoChi YiTiao Jie, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
I'm of the belief that all food is better on a stick, and Xi'an did not disappoint in this respect. There are women everywhere selling little desserts on sticks. These desserts are made of rice that's been pounded and steamed in cute little...
In Xi'an we not only ate dumplings (jiaozi), we learned how to make them. Chef Jin makes about 3,500 dumplings a night, which explains why her super power is to make dumplings lightening fast. Seriously, if you blink you’ll miss it and you...
Nanliu Alley, ZhongLou ShangQuan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
There are many night markets in Xi'an. One of the best is in the ancient city, near to the old Drum and Bell Towers. It's the perfect starting point for an evening walk through town or just a great option for fresh, authentic, and cheap food.
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