China has a vast culinary scene that can oscillate wildly from province to province and even city to city. One of the best ways to explore the country’s immeasurable number of gastronomies is by surveying the abundance of street food markets on offer.
As the sun goes down across the Middle Kingdom, food stalls go up and vendors prepare for a long night of whipping up some of China’s classic and unique dishes.
The fact that most street food vendors in the country operate at night is the reason why they are referred to as night markets (夜市) in Chinese, as opposed to names that refer to staples on offer. So, now you know!
Below, we’ve listed three of each of Shenzhen’s and Guangzhou’s best street food markets for you to peruse and partake in.
Yantian Street, Xixiang
Located in the city’s Bao’an district, Yantian Street is home to the largest street food market in Shenzhen. The road is so renowned for its markets that parking is prohibited from 4pm to 1am so that vendors can set up stalls for the evening.
The strip brings together delicacies from North and South China, including barbecued oysters, rotisserie chicken, seafood and a whole lot more.
Tiantai Night Market, Futian
This Southeast Asian-style night food market is tucked away in COCO Park in Shenzhen’s Central Business District.
The vast array of culinary delights makes this street food market the perfect choice for foodies and its location allows those burning the midnight oil to enjoy a late-night feast.
Longhua Yifang Night Market
Famous for its plethora of food stalls and lack of repetition, the Longhua street food market has an assortment of cuisines from all over China and beyond.
From barbecued skewers of meat to fish balls and sushi to spicy Sichuan noodles, this one is a must-see for anyone wanting to sample all the delicious small bites Asia has to offer.
Xiajiao Night Market
Located roughly 100 meters from Xiaojiao metro station (exit A) in Panyu district, this street food market hosts a huge variety, including local delicacies like sweet Cantonese soups, traditional Chaoshan snacks and all the fried meat you can get your hands on.
The Xiaojiao night market only runs for three-and-a-half hours from 8-11.30pm.
Bao Ye Road
Great for dinner (or even an early breakfast after a very late night on the sauce) the Bao Ye market runs from 5pm-5am.
We have it on good authority that the Chinese barbecue and Shantou fish stalls are exceptionally good.
Head to Shayuan metro station exit D and walk around 500 meters get there.
Longdong Pedestrian Street
Longdong Pedestrian Street is chock-full of classic Chinese bites, including Shanghai’s pan-fried dumplings, sour and spicy Sichuan rice noodles and sweet treats like red bean cake.
This is a foodies paradise, and even better if you're not sure what to eat, because you can sample tons of different things!
[Images via Xiaohongshu]
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