Sugar Roasted Chestnuts
It’s not yet the time for “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, but that doesn’t stop the sweet and smoky smell of sugar-roasted chestnuts shops wafting in the Beijing air. You can easily pick up a packet from any street vendor, but China Daily suggests the three best shops for you to check out: Qiulixiang, Wanglaotou, and Meilixiang. Due to their long-established popularity, expect long lines of people. Despite the chilly air weaving through the lines, chestnut fans say the wait is worth it.
Roasted Sweet Potato
Just like roasted chestnuts, these smoky sweet potatoes guarantee you a warm, comfortable feeling as you pick them up from the barrel-shaped mobile ovens on vendors’ tricycles. It is also one of the few street snacks where you don’t have to worry about hygiene that much.
Trying to shake off the chill on your way to work? Hot soy milk packaged in plastic cups by street vendors is at the ready. One cup of soy milk will help support your body through the cold and elevate your energy for the day as well as boost your calcium and iron levels. Drinking one cup everyday is recommended by health experts as a source of calcium. The iron in soy milk helps enhance red blood vessel function, ensuring better circulation of oxygen in your blood (which you’ll need in the winter pollution).
Sugar Coated Fruit
Shining by the side streets are vendors with crystalline, sugar-coated fruits, or tanghulu, a popular snack for Beijing locals, especially children. Traditionally, the treat is made from haws coated with sugar. Today, a variety of different fruits are used to add diversity in color and flavor. Tanghulu—with its traditional bright red color—is also the highlight of Lunar New Year’s temple fairs, carrying a meaning of good luck and happiness. Wangfujing Snack Street is suggested as the best place to stroll along with a stick of tanghulu.
Cover image from Wikimedia Commons