The Muslim Street or The Muslim Quarter, is a paved road with blue-gray flagstones and shaded by trees, along which the archaized stores of the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties are in line, and they're all operated by the Hui ethnic people.
Just as its name implies, the Mulim Quarter is the hub of the Muslim community in Xian City, Shaanxi Province. Located to the north of the West Street in the city center, the quarter covers several blocks inhabitated by over 20,000 Muslims. There are about ten mosques in this area, among which the Great Mosque in the Huajue Lane is the most famous and popular.
Muslim food and souvenir market is another feature of the area. The Beiyuanmen Muslim Market located just to the north of the Drum Tower is a great choice after the sightseeing in the city center. About 500 meters (about 547 yards) in length from south to north, the street can be reached through the archway under the Drum Tower.
This street is paved with dark colored stone with green trees providing heavy shade during summer; the buildings on both sides of the street are modeled on the styles of both the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Some of the constructions are restaurants; while others are stores. But here there is one thing in common: the owners are all Muslims.
Walking along this twisted, narrow street which is aligned with stores on both sides, you can see that Muslim men with white hats sit inside the stores and talk leisurely with each other. Artwork stalls in Muslim QuarterIn front of the doors of some stores, old men with white beards sit on the cane chairs enjoying the tender touch of the sun and having fun with the little children running along the street.
The main goods of these stores are authentic hand-making Muslim food which tastes very good. While still there are small stores selling the special local products of Shaanxi Province and yet others provide you with exquisite souvenirs.
It is stated that once you have been to the Beiyuanmen Muslim Street, you won't feel regretted for the snacks of Xian. Crumbled Unleavened Bread in Mutton Stew (Yangrou Paomo) is a very distinctive snack of Xian, and is extremely delicious. Fried rice with pickled Chinese cabbage and little capsicum is extremely savoury.
And it is a real enjoyment for you to eat it on a hot summer's day. Roast beef, mutton or lamb is another snack that can make your mouth water. After broiling on a charcoal fire with some flavorings on the meat, it is ready for you to enjoy. While the most famous snack on this street is the steamed stuffed bun of Jiasan. The main ingredients of the steamed stuffed bun here are beef or mutton mixed with the soup decocted from the bones of sheep or cattle.
There are also a great many other snacks to be found along this street, such as preserved meat, casserole, various noodles, and so on. They are waiting for you to enjoy.