8 Best Chinese Street Foods

8 Best Chinese Street Foods

Last Updated on March 2, 2023

Come, let’s go on a journey across the ocean, from the new world to the old world. China with its mountains, deserts, green grasslands, and vast cities. There is no end of things to do, places to explore, and things to eat! No matter where you go, the food is usually the first thing that grabs your attention. To walk into a street market, smell the combination of many different aromas, and see the steam rising from hot pots and pans. Walking from stall to stall, eating dim sum of every sort, steamed food, deep-fried food, sweet snacks, and tidbits. Are you convinced yet? I know I am! Chinese street food typically comes in small to bite-sized portions, so you can pack some up and take them with you on the go. Unsure of what to eat? Try this list of delicious foods that will keep you coming back for more!

TAKEAWAY: Did you know that the Chinese have an expression that says, “Chi fan le mei you? Meaning, “Have you eaten yet?” Food is very important in Chinese culture beyond just eating, such as the growing process, how it is cooked, and how it is eaten. So it is often used as a greeting. 

Are you thinking about visiting China? Here are some great chinese street foods!

1: BAOZI (Steamed white buns)

Baozi are fluffy, white buns, usually with a filling of ground pork, scallions, and sauce. They come in plain, vegetarian, BBQ, or even with custard! When steamed, the tops crack open to reveal the juicy filling that is packed with flavor. Paired with a dipping sauce, they make a perfect meal or snack. They can also be eaten cold, making them ideal for taking along as a lunch or supper. The filling can be beef or chicken as well.

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2: JIAOZI (Chinese Dumplings)

Jiaozi are dumplings and one of the more common street foods. The filling can be pork, chicken, shrimp, or a combination of two. They can be cooked in many ways, fried, steamed, boiled, or added to soup. The dumpling wrapper is made from wheat or rice flour. They’re fat, juicy, and once bitten into, release an explosion of flavors. They’re definitely something you want to add to your list of things to eat.



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Scallion pancakes are made of a soft, stretchy dough that’s been rolled out, filled with chopped scallions, rolled up again, and flattened. They’re then fried until both sides are a deep golden brown. The flavor is salty, a little greasy, and oh so delicious! When pulled apart, they have a flakey texture that melts in your mouth.



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Sesame balls are a popular dessert with a soft, sweet filling of red bean or lotus seed paste. They are made of rice flour, shaped into balls, rolled in sesame seeds, and then deep-fried. Crispy, sweet, and nutty. 

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Tea eggs are soft-boiled eggs that have been lightly cracked all over and then steeped in a flavorful liquid made of soy sauce, cinnamon, tea leaves, and star anise, which gives them a pretty marbled pattern. 



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Chickens’ feet may seem unusual as a food item, but they are quite the delicacy for those who develop a taste for them. They’re very gelatinous and in themselves don’t have much flavor, so they must be cooked for a while first to soak up the sauce and become tender. Give them a try; you might like them!


Youtiao is a Chinese snack made from a soft dough cut and stretched into thin strips and then deep-fried, creating a crispy treat very much like a donut. It can be eaten with rice porridge, (or any other dish) as salty or sweet; the possibilities are endless!

You may also like: 3 Adventurous Things to Do in China



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Rou Jia Mo means meat in a bun, and it is pretty similar to a pulled pork sandwich but with seasonings like soy and oyster sauce instead of BBQ sauce. The buns are made with bread dough and fried in a pan until golden brown. Then, they are stuffed with a shredded pork belly mixture and served piping hot. Good enough for a meal on their own. 

So have fun! Step out and experience the flavors of China. 

About Grace Carnegie

Grace Carnegie is a full time freelance writer with a love for animals and chocolate. When she's not writing, you can always find her cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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One comment

  1. Very informative Blog! Thanks for this and it’s really a must try food, do you have any recommendation for exotic foods that we try?

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