It’s no secret that food is a runner-up on our list of passions in life (others being travel, chocolate & wine), so what better place to be in than China?! The restaurants serve some amazing dishes; from tofu to chicken to noodles and frog, China has it all…literally.
Even though we love eating at the very affordable and delicious restaurants here, one of our favourite places to enjoy a meal is on the street! Street food is cheap, quick and authentic. We love the local vendors who serve us our daily snacks and we always come back for more.
Here’s a list of our favourite street-side food stalls:
1. The Cold Noodle Lady. This little mobile noodle cart is the best. She serves up cold, flat noodles with loads of garlic, chilis, peanuts, shaved cucumber, tofu, cilantro and soy. This is a great snack on a hot day.
2. The Soup Guy. Soup with blood, intestines, noodles and tofu…may not sound all that appetizing, but it’s delicious! Call us crazy, or call us Chinese, but whatever, it’s great.
3. The Couple With The Fresh Bread. This adorable couple is out on the street every day serving freshly baked bread in their fire-heated kiln. It’s a great stop on the way home from work and tides us over until we can make dinner.
4. The Meat Man. Slabs of fresh mutton are grilled over burning hot coals at this street-side shop. Just name your price and he’ll weigh the meat, and cook up the appropriate amount, seasoned with cumin, salts and spices, it makes for a fabulous snack on its own, or, added to a stir-fry.
5. The Vegetable Lady. There must be about 10 identical stalls all side-by-side at the vegetable market, but what drew us to this one, and what makes us continue to come back is the friendly smile we receive every time we go there! The woman is so sweet and knows us well enough by now to throw more than one plastic bag our way. We always leave with bags full of produce and a massive smile on our faces.
6. The Woman With The Oranges…But Now, The Mangoes. Every time we bike past her, all we hear is “Nǐ hǎo!” Even if we’re not stopping to buy anything. She filled our bags with fresh mandarin oranges in the winter and is now in supply of ripe mangoes!
Last but definitely not least…
7. The Wrap Lady. We have been eating here since we first arrived in Yangzhou. Wraps are stuffed with chicken, scrambled egg, cilantro, green onion, spices and 2 different mystery sauces (which are delicious) and are then fried on her hot grill. She also has round breads that Nick always requests she fills with some extra chicken!
She is full of smiles and we’ve gotten to know her well – and with our limited knowledge of the Chinese language, that means: we know she has said hello, she is married, Happy New Year, the wraps cost 6rmb and she is cold. What more could we possibly need to know?!
Eating anywhere in China is a true delight and the more frequently we go to a particular stall or restaurant, the closer we get with the owners. They always light up when they see us hungry wàiguóréns coming their way!
What are your thoughts on eating street-food? Is it a good idea, or not so much? Leave a comment below!
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