Muslim Quarter is the best known food street in Xian. Actually it is the general name of the several streets close to each other: Beiyuanmen, Bei Guangjijie, Xiyangshi, Dapiyuan, etc. Local people call that area as “Fangshang” or “Huifang” which means living community of Hui people. The main streets of the Muslim Quarter are paved with bluestone and have vibrant trees on both sides. The buildings next to the streets are all built in the Ming and Qing architectural style. The restaurants and eateries here are mainly run by Hui People who have faith in Islam. In Muslim Quarter people could meet the best cooked beef and mutton.
The local area is most famous for food. When the night falls, the Muslim Quarter would be more bustling. Actually the whole Muslim Quarter has the unique charming scenery at night. The two sides of the street are full of various street stands and eateries. And you will meet many century old restaurant brands.
Muslim Quarter is the welcomed sites among tourists from other cities, it is also loved by local people when they spend their night life. Most street stands sell pastry, dried fruit, glazed fruit, and snacks. At the summer night you will find the street stands are often full of clients. The flavor of toast mutton will make your mouth watering. Having your favorite snack in your hand and measure the street with your foot is too much satisfying!
The cultural relics like Hanguang Gate of the Tang Dynasty, The Taoist City God Temple, and the Buddhist Xi Wutai are all spread in Muslim Quarter. And the Guangming Lane here preserves the site where Japanese troops bombed Xian.
Ten Mosques built in various style in history dot in the Muslim living community. And the most famous one is the Grand Mosque in Huajue Lane. That Mosque was originally built in the Tang Dynasty in 1200 years ago. In the later Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, and Qing Dynasty repair works were carried for many times and finally the Mosque got its present layout.
Muslim people living here are quite good at food making. They used secret ingredient to cook delicious snacks and food: Pita Bread Soaked in Lamb/Beef Soup, Dry-cured Beef/Mutton, mutton sweetbread, Rice cake with honey, cold noodles, Lamb pita, eight-treasure porridge, Spicy Soup, rice noodle, dumplings, garlic chive pita, Beef noodles, buckwheat noodle, dried persimmon, baked sesame seed coated cake, etc. Hundreds of different snacks can be found in the Muslim Quarter.
How did the Muslim Quarter came into being? It is said in the Tang Dynasty when the travelers from Western came to Changan, they would be arranged to stay in the area the government prepared for the foreign visitors. That area is today’s Muslim Quarter. Some foreign people earned their life here by running business and live there for many years. And sometime they married local lady so they may live their till their death. Nowadays people living in Muslim Quarter are mainly later generations of those foreign travelers.