Article By Tim King
We have finally made it out of the fridge and onto the stove! The time is right for some al fresco dining, which in China is usually sitting on the sidewalk on tiny stools, but I digress. Sometimes, the best option for a meal in the evening is getting a couple of skewers with friends and drinking cheap beer until you burst. While you can’t really throw a stone in this town without hitting a barbecue joint, we decided to do some digging and find some of the very best around Xi’an.
01 MAFENG BARBECUE 马峰烤肉
Just inside the Muslim District you can find Mafeng Barbecue. Currently number one on Dazhong Dianping (though a troll through the comments will reveal that not everyone is in consensus about that), you’ll find a true-to-form Hui-style barbecue restaurant. It’s a small place and rather local, so you’ll be pretty much relegated to bread and meat, but oh, what great bread and meat.
15#, Xiaoxuexi Xiang, Miaohou Jie.
02 PEILAO BARBECUE 裴老大烤肉
Speaking of local, Peilao Barbecue has been a Xi’an institution of grilled meat ‘n’ stuff for over 30 years now, and their continued popularity amongst the Xianese people is proof positive of their quality. It’s a little hard to find, tucked into the heart of Lijiacun as it is, but your search will not go unrewarded.
150 meters West of 323 Hospital, Jian She Xi Lu.
Phone: 180-4942-0612 136-7926-4340
03 BIG SKEWER BARBECUE 大串烤肉
When a restaurant in China heralds itself with a big red banner strapped across the back of a stainless steel grill, it’s tough to know what to expect. Big Skewer is a no-frills experience, but they’re renowned for sausage, wings, crayfish and, of course, the eponymous gigantic skewers they use when preparing everything.
South corner of Tie An Yi Jie.
04 TWO LEGS OF LAMB 二道木烤羊腿
While lamb is a staple at many barbecue places, few specialize in it. It’s right there in the name of the restaurant: you could just get some barbecue, or you can order up a 2kg lamb leg for the whole group.
North of Dian Zi Si Lu and Dian Zi Xi Jie intersection.
05 CRISPY PORK BELLY 脆皮五花肉
Bacon is still a tricky prospect in these parts, but pork belly is becoming more popular. If you’re down for some of that, grab 25RMB and head to Jiandong Street to find this little shop that specializes in, as it says in the very literal name of the store, crispy pork belly.
6#, Jiandong Jie.
Know more Xi’an top five? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.xianease.com and leave a comment.