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Best Noodles in Xian, China

Article by Lost Plate Food Tours

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In Xian, noodles are reign supreme. You won’t find rice in these parts due to the climate, Xian is all about noodles and they come in every shape, size, and flavor. Walking through the streets will show you just how seriously local people take their noodles; it’s a whole city that only finds fresh hand-made noodles acceptable- no excuses. Explore and see shops pulling the fresh dough into long strands of noodles and cooking them made-to-order. Shops selling factory-made noodles don’t survive in noodle country, so here’s our list of the best noodles in Xian.

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 noodles are 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- some bowls have just one super-long noodle!

While these traditionally originated in Xian, they are no longer as popular as they used to be with locals. Chefs don’t like to prepare traditional biang biang noodles because they are difficult to cook evenly, and many patrons think they are too messy to eat compared to the hundreds of other options in the market. However, you can still find shops selling the old-school version along Muslim Street in the city center, including the a local Muslim family’s shop that we feature on our Xian Evening Food Tour by Tuktuk.

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.

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 and aroma, topped with a spicy chili sauce, meat, and vegetables.

Lost Plate Recommendation:
Name:  Cháng qīng bōcài miàn (长青菠菜面)- Changqing Baiwei Barbecue Air Courtyard

Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 AM-2:00 AM
Location: 50 meters south from the intersection of Yongning Road and Caochangpo Road.
Tell Your Taxi Driver: 永宁路与草场坡交叉口摩登主场南50米
Google Map; Baidu Map

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: Xiào jiā miànguǎn (肖家面馆)- Xiao’s Noodle Restaurant

Opening Hours: Daily 10:30-20:00
Location: 50 meters to the east from the intersection of Tianshuijing street and Bingjiao Alley.
Tell Your Taxi Driver: 甜水井街与冰窖巷交叉口东50米
Google Map; Baidu Map

5. Goat Noodles (羊肉面)

Anything prepared with meat broth just adds so much to the final flavor, 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 so order extra meat (like we do) because it’s just that good together.

Lost Plate Recommendation
Name: Wángèr Yángròu Miànguǎn (王二羊肉面馆)- Wang’er Mutton Noodle Restaurant

Open Hour: Daily 10:00-21:30
Location: #161 South University  Road
Tell Your Taxi Driver: 大学南路161号
Google Map; Baidu Map

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