Bizarre foods in Beijing


Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods (photo:

Yes, I’m a fan of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods – a show that takes being adventurous with food to the new level of audacity. I haven’t watched it much lately but I know that Asia has been among his frequent culinary destinations. In a Beijing-focused episode he visited the two most famous street markets that were also my favorite food spots in the city: Wangfujing Snack Street, in the hutong just west off the posh Wangfujing Street, and Donghuamen Night Market also off Wangfujing further north. Both provide a unique opportunity to enjoy excellent street food, mix with a lively crowd of tourists and locals, and challenge yourself in ways you have not been before. Zimmern’s signature phrase is: ‘If it looks good, eat it.’ Many stalls in these Beijing street markets pose another question – what if it looks, uhm, scary? Should you still eat it? Zimmern’s answer – yes! My answer – let me take some photos first and then I’ll decide how far I’m willing to go =)

My street food journey through Beijing began at the entrance to Wangfujing Snack Street marked by a colorful arch
Wangfujing Snack Street Stepping through it is like stepping into a different dimension, full of bright colors, exotic smells, and excited crowds
Wangfujing Snack Street
…and the encounter with bizarre foods begins right away. Freshly fried sea horse, scorpion, or starfish anyone?
Wangfujing Snack Street
More scorpions – and bigger!
Wangfujing Snack Street
This steam-emitting drink was a local hit
Wangfujing Snack Street
If strange foods are getting to be too much, focus on the stalls with more familiar fare – like dumplings
Wangfujing Snack Street
Mmm, fresh coconut! (and some kind of nut I’m not familiar with =)
Wangfujing Snack Street
Delicious fruit mix on a stick
Wangfujing Snack Street

Now off to Donghuamen Street and its culinary treasures…
Donghuamen Night Market
Seafood and animal organs ready to be fried to order
Donghuamen Night Market
Cool-looking mushrooms
Donghuamen Night Market
Giant green grasshoppers
Donghuamen Night Market
Skewered lizards and… really not sure what!
Donghuamen Night Market
All the stalls list foods and prices, along with English translations, which is great. But some translations are a bit lacking or don’t really clarify much… “Palatable cake”?
Donghuamen Night Market
Silkworm grubs (left) is something I did try and – to my surprise – enjoyed quite a bit
Donghuamen Night Market
But I’m not brave enough for THIS! Anybody tried? Do share the experience!
Donghuamen Night Market
In case your stomach is turning right about now, let’s bid goodbye to the many food wonders of Donghuamen Night Market with a more familiar sight =)
Donghuamen Night Market

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: littlegirlstory recommended MUST READ posts | littlegirlstory

  2. Pingback: Travel theme: Big | Sandstone and amber

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