Updated October 19, 2017
In Xian, Noodles are King! You won’t find rice in these parts, it’s all about noodles and they come in every shape, size and flavor. Walking through the streets in any area of the city will show you just how serious local people take their noodles, and you’ll only find hand-made noodles here. As you explore, you’ll see shops pulling fresh dough into long strands of noodles and cooking them made to order. Shops selling factory made noodles don’t survive in noodle country.
1. Biang Biang Noodles
This is where it all began! “Biang” is the most complex Chinese character in the entire language, and you won’t find it in a dictionary because it only exists in the streets of Xian. Biang Biang noodles are named after the sound made when the large belt-like noodle dough is slapped against the counter as they are pulled. The result is an extremely long, thick noodle topped with chili, pork and vegetables like carrots, potato and greens. Don’t forget your camera as it’s likely the longest noodle you’ll ever have!
The truth is, while these traditionally originated in Xian, they are no longer popular with locals. Chefs don’t like to prepare them because they are difficult to cook evenly, and locals think they are too difficult and messy to eat. However, you can still find shops selling these along the touristy Muslim Street in the city center. “New-age” varieties of Biang Biang Noodles are very popular all over town; they basically cut the long noodles into more manageable eating lengths!
2.Cold Noodles (凉皮)
There’s no doubt you’ll see bowls filled with shiny white noodles as you meander through Xian’s streets and restaurants. These chilled noodles can be made with either rice or wheat flour and are doused in a bright red chili sauce and topped with bean sprouts before served. This dish is equally iconic as Xian’s Chinese Burgers which are often enjoyed hand-in-hand, literally.
You’ll get to see first-hand how these are prepared and have a try of these special noodles during your Xian Evening Tour!
3. Spinach Noodles (绿菜面)
In ancient times, emperors used expensive Chinese medicinal herbs when preparing dishes which gave them a green color. In an effort to be like royalty, the locals did the same using more readily available ingredients like spinach. The result is a beautiful green color, topped with a spicy chili sauce, meat and vegetables.
You’ll have to join our Xian Evening Tour to find our favorite spot for these incredible noodles!
4. Oil Splashed Noodles (油泼面)
This one is for all of your senses! As if fresh hand-pulled noodles made to order isn’t enough, these noodles are topped with dried chili flakes. Hot oil is then poured on top which causes the chili to sizzle while creating a thick chili sauce that soaks throughout the bowl. It’s almost as amazing to watch as it is taste, and the shop mentioned below is a true hidden gem.
Lost Plate Recommendation
Name: This very rustic hole-in-the-wall doesn’t actually have a name, but it’s known locally for having the best Dried Skin Noodle (皮干面)
Location: From the Hanguanmen gate at the south wall, ead north on Tianshujin Jie. Take a right on Bingjiao Xiao and walk about 100 meters. The shop will be on your right.
Tell Your Taxi Driver: 含光门里，甜水井往北，冰窖巷里50米
Map: Click Here
5. Goat Noodles (羊肉面)
Anything prepared with meat broth tastes better, and these noodles are no exception. Long, hand-pulled strands of spaghetti-like noodles are prepared with a seasoned and slightly spicy meat broth and large chunks of boneless goat meat. You have to trust us on this one, the rich broth tastes incredible and you’ll probably end up following our recommendation to order extra meat because it’s just that good.
Lost Plate Recommendation
Name: Wángèr Yángròu Miànguǎn (王二羊肉面馆)
Location: From the southwest corner of the city wall, head south on Taibai North Road for one city block, and then head west on Daxue South Road. After one block, the road will end and the shop will be on the west side of the road across the street.
Address: The intersection of Daxue Nan Lu and Xigongda Lu
Tell Your Taxi Driver: 大学南路与西工大路的路口
Map: Click Here