Summer is in full swing, and in Xi’an that means soaring temperatures and a rise in humidity. This presents challenges and if you are coming here from cooler climates
The year of the ox has arrived! Xi’an has changed so much post-pandemic. New restaurants, hotels, and other establishments have emerged on every block, while the tired businesses of yesteryear have closed their doors and bid farewell. Also, now that the roads are all repaved, traffic has started moving too! We are of course talking about Beilin District – not Gaoxin, where there seems to be a perpetual jam and endless T-junctions.
First a quick disclaimer:
The path isn’t completely finished yet (expected official opening time check the miniapp). The road surface is 95% done, but the Rest Stations are most still under construction as well as the side decorations. The actual ongoing construction work and the locals using it with cars and scooters can actually be a hassle sometimes.
Role models is an ongoing series where a successful female role model is interviewed in order to inspire and motivate others who may wish to do the same.
While it seems like the Craic Irish Pub has been around forever, in reality it has only been a year since they first opened their doors starting this month. While many of us have passed through their doors more times than can be counted, many of us may not be as familiar with the people behind the magic. So, in an effort to better get to know this mainstay of the Xi’an scene, we sat down with the staff of the Craic to find out more about them.
Summer is a season that often reminds me of meat. Whether barbequed over open flame or served up on a big platter, summer always feels like the right season for skipping the carbs and going straight for the good stuff. There are many cuisines in China’s north and northwest regions that are famous for their high quality and quantity of meats, not the least of which is the food of Gansu. However, if most people were asked to name some dishes from that province, most would not be able to think any further than beef noodles.
Craft Breweries have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many small micro-breweries popping up all over the country. With the increasing popularity, a few names have made it big, and have begun spreading to other cities in China, including Xi’an. One of the most recent additions to the Xi’an scene is Boxing Cat Brewery.
This restaurant is called “Third Floor Mala Hot Pot” in Chinese for a reason – it is on the third floor, and their hot pot is spicy!
We weren’t surprised by this. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the wide international beer selection and how spacious the rooftop was. Deck chairs, flower planters, expansive shade umbrellas, and outdoor lighting made the space welcoming and comfortable, especially now that summer is here. Add in the beer, and you have a bona fide beer garden on a rooftop.
The first time I heard of this bar, I mistook it as people not wanting to tell me. Fortunately, the confusion was short-lived, as I found myself knocking on the door of said bar only a few weeks later.
Spearheaded by the duo of Jason and Henry, ‘Don’t Tell’ is the new cocktail bar on the block. It’s nothing like what I’ve experienced before. A modern cocktail bar with a wine focus. What sets it apart from the rest you ask? You’ll have one of the most passionate mixologists making cocktails for you. And it’s probably the most intimate bar experience Xi’an has to offer.
Once you’ve lived in one place long enough, you end up going through the motions of adapting to everyday life and just being able to fit in. In retrospect, there may have been times I’ve tried so hard to fit in and to understand the different types of people around me that it eventually broke away pieces of my old self, leaving me longing to hold on to the things I’ve loved doing before. One of the things I always found comfort in was playing the part of an audience to a live musician or band, regardless of how big or small a following they had.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived at Fuji was that the environment was innovative and had a kind of night club-like vibe. We could easily imagine such a restaurant in some trendy neighborhood of Tokyo. The restaurant just opened in May, but it was quite full even though we arrived later on a Wednesday evening.
While brunch has become a mainstay of many of the coastal cities in China, Xi’an has long lacked anything approaching the leisurely gourmet experience that is a nice brunch. While there are many great breakfast foods, and plenty of 5-star hotel buffets for you to stuff your face at, the brunch experience, a.k.a. sweet or savory breakfast style foods and some sort of boozy accompaniment that will help ease out the aches of a night of overindulgence or as a way to kick start a fine weekend.
Coffee has been around for so long that it seems that there is little to no room for innovation. For the coffee purist, there would seem little to be no need to do so, but for shops looking to bring in more customers, the next big thing is a priority. FOOM Coffee, also known as BakeWorks, has settled on an interesting trend – charcoal lattes.
It’s safe to say that cocktails have taken Xi’an by storm. There are more cocktail bars than any one person would be able to visit, and there are new bars opening all the time, even as older bars close. But even with the vast variety, bars can sometimes start to feel…generic. It’s always the same drinks, mixed in very similar ways, without out much in the way of theme or originality. It’s often that I walk into a bar and recognize every single drink, and every single bottle on the wall. So, it takes something unique to impress me.
As the National Games are approaching soon, I thought it best to include a recipe for this month’s issue focusing on shared food.
Many of us think of a fondue being made and served in a pot, however, the vehicle of choice here is an entire loaf of bread that’s been disemboweled and stuffed with cheese. The inner bits removed are torn into chunks, anointed with olive oil and baked in a hot oven until crispy. These bronzed morsels are used to dip into the fondue. This is an ideal oozing, gooey pull-apart treat that’s great for sharing whilst watching the games and certainly a crowd pleaser.
Diets are one of those things that everyone loves, and hates, to talk about. Many of us are on one, or have some kind of dietary restrictions for tons of different reasons. A lot of people also love to have a nice drink; a cocktail here or there to take the edge off. And being knowledgeable about drinks, people often come to me with questions or request about drinks they can have while sticking to their diet. It’s tricky trying to balance both of those lives. I wanted to make an article to help people figure out how to drink responsibly (for their health, the rest is on you). It would be super easy to list a bunch of low-carb, sugar-free, healthy cocktails but you could easily look up list after list of these. I figured, as someone who knows craft cocktails, I could give you some techniques and tips on how to make your own drinks suitable to your diet. So, let’s dive right in.
Sometimes it feels like there is nothing new to do in Xi’an. Our casual routines and set patterns lead inevitably to a sense of boredom that can feel difficult to overcome. However, there is more going on in and around Xi’an than most people realize, and it would be a shame not to give the different activities happening around the city a shot, even if it is just to temporarily relieve the ennui. Since the National Games are now upon us, we decided to pick out a few different sports-based activities that you can try out in Xi’an.
Shuyuan Men is an area of Xi’an located just inside of the South Gate, running along for a few hundred meters until eventually terminating close to the Forest of Steles near Wenchang Gate. This area is often visited by tourists, who come looking to pick up some trinkets or calligraphy – something to take home that looks like it has some cultural value. And, indeed, Shuyuan has become the home of some of Xi’an’s various artists, especially those that specialize in the ancient Chinese art of calligraphy.
Money and budgeting is one of the things on most people’s minds. Whether it is due to a change a of jobs when the income is tight, or whether you are just trying to save as much as possible to send back home, many people will reach times when they need to pull down on the purse strings and really save some money. So all of this begs the question, how much does it cost to live minimally in Xi’an.
As many ultra-endurance races got postponed this year and travelling is still very complicated, expensive, and includes many risks, me and some friends decided to set up our own challenge here in China. We came up with the idea to cycle along the Great Wall from west to east and called it Great Wall Ride (GWR).
I took the train with my bike and met my friends from Beijing in Jiuquan, who flew there. Whenever possible I prefer to take the train over a flight, because I rather carry/handle my bike myself rather than trusting airlines with it. Once we had met up, we were ready to begin the trip.