Written by Brian Bergey
We know this is a big claim, but we are confident that we have, in fact, found the best place to enjoy Rou Jia Mo in Xian. Many people believe these burgers are pretty much the same no matter where you go, however, we have learned that there is a lot to consider when determining what makes a good Rou Jia Mo.
王魁腊汁肉夹馍（Wang Kui La Zhi Rou JiaMo）has been in business for 40 years. Located outside of the city wall east of the main east gate, they say that their stewed pork has been stewing the entire time.
The first thing that makes their burger the best is their Mo (bread). It’s getting harder and harder to find bread that isn’t factory made and shipped to shops around the city. Even if the dough is made on-site, it’s unlikely that it’s still baked over hot coals just like it’s been done for hundreds of years. Wang Kui prepares everything fresh on the premises, and their coal heated oven contraption means your bread is always the hottest and freshest it can be. You can sit and watch the Mo bake for hours while the family-run staff constantly flip and turn the bread as it bakes.
The meat is just as important as the bread, and Wang Kui’s meat is the juiciest and richest meat we’ve tried. Keep in mind that they do use pork, unlike the dried beef that you’ll find in Muslim quarter. It took me a long time to realize that you can order different cuts of meat when you order Rou Jia Mo, and this place is no different. Simply tell them that you prefer more or less fat and you’ll get a hand chopped piece to your liking. You can also order an extra plate of meat on the side, just in case you want to throw some in your Liang Pi or eat it on its own.
Finally, after enjoying dozens of burgers, we have realized consistency is a huge factor. We want to know that we are going to get the best burger every time we go, and Wan Kui La Zhi delivers just that. In every single one, the bread is hot, the meat is tender, and the texture and taste is perfect.
We know there are a lot of good burgers in town, but this shop is our favorite place to take our friends to when they’re visiting Xi’an. Beyond the amazing taste, it’s a great place to take photos and see this dish prepared the same way they have been doing it for 40 years.
If you decide to visit, post some photos on social media and tag it with #lostplate so we can take a look!
Do you want to find more amazing local food? Join a Lost Plate Food Tour and find many places like this (and unlimited beer!) from the comfort of your own private tuktuk!
What you need to know
Address: 碑林区东关长乐坊八仙庵 (Beilin area, Dong guan, Chang le fang, Ba xian an)
Directions: From the east gate, head east on Dongguan ZhengJie. Turn left on the 2nd street (Gengxin Lu). After one block, the road ends so turn right onChanglefang. The shop is located on the southwest corner of Changlefang and DongxinJie, look for a red signboard.
Price:6RMB for normal, 7RMB for less fat, 10RMB for “priority burger”
Brian is from the US and has lived all over the world finding good food and adventure everywhere he lives. In Xi’an he works for an American software company and co-owns Lost Plate Food Tours, a tour company aimed at introducing foreigners to the best local food in the city. To find out more about their tours, check out www.lostplate.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.