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Guijie Street
Travel in Beijing

Guijie Street

Red lanterns, traditional courtyards, hundreds of restaurants along the street ......This is Guijie Street (guǐ jiē 簋街), Beijing's famous eating street, known to locals as 'Ghost Street'. Eating on Ghost Street is about more than food and drink, it's a way of life for many Beijingers.

Tucked behind Beijing's Inner Dongzhimen (dōng zhí mén 东直门) Street, "Ghost Street" stretches 1,442 m from Dongzhimen cloverleaf junction in the east, to Jiaodaokou East Street in the west. Along the street there are more than 150 shops, including 100 restaurants, making it one of the most unique streets in Beijing.

Guijie Street

The name of the street is said to derive from Beijing's old "Ghost Fairs". These fairs mainly sold groceries, vegetables and fruit ran from late at night until dawn. The traders' kerosene lamps formed a ghostly sight from which the name "Ghost Fair" derived. Another explanation is that I the bustling Inner Dongzhimen Street was filled with taxi drivers eating late - night snacks, and most shops didn't put up their shutters until the dawn while some stayed open all night. Later, the Commerce Commission changed the Chinese characters of "Ghost Street" into "Gui Jie". The pronunciation is the same but the meanings are completely different. Gui refers to a round- mouthed food vessel with two or four loop handles in ancient China. This name weakens the ghostly overtones and enhances the eating character of the street.

The structure of Guijie Street is like a dumbbell - bigger both ends and smaller in the middle. Restaurants at the ends are flourishing businesses, but the center area is rather dull. The reasons for this may be that it's inconvenient to transport goods to the middle of the street, and there are not so many stores in the middle.

Reasons for loving it
What Guijie presents is beyond the normal dining experience. It has become the microcosm of the nightlife and food culture in the capital of Beijing. Beijingers are obsessed with Guijie for ten reasons:

Guijie Street

The charm of the character gui
Three or five years ago, the character gui wasn't understood by many educated people because it was rarely used in daily life. However, nowadays many people not only known how to read it but also know what it means. The pronunciation of gui in Chinese is the same as the word for ghost, adding a touch of suspense and mystery to the street's atmosphere.

The temptation of "spicy little thing"
altGuijie's speciality dish 'spicy little thing' is what first comes to many people's mind when they think of Ghost Street. "Spicy little things", short for "spicy peppery little lobster", is a dish of lobsters fried with a lot peppers and chilies. Besides "spicy little things", spicy crabs, scorpions and stewed red mutton are all specialties first invented and popularized in Guijie Street.

Nice waiters
Besides "spicy little things", the name Guijie Street conjures up images of great service by well trained handsome waiters and waitresses in floral clothes. Stepping out of your car, you will immediately be warmly welcomed and led to a restaurant by several boys, and as soon as you enter several sweet-voiced girls will ask what they can do for you.

The most vivid reflection of nightlife in Beijing.
It's not easy to find somewhere that's open all night after a busy work day in this cold, windy city. Guijie Street's 100 restaurants serve specialties from Sichuan, Shandong, Guangdong, and Hu'nan provinces including everything from hotpots to barbecues making it a favorite spot of night owls. . During weekends, thousands of people indulge themselves in beer and "spicy little things" until midnight, and then go home to sleep.

Location:1,442 m from Dongzhimen ( dōng zhí mén 东直门 ) cloverleaf junction in the east, to Jiaodaokou East Street in the west




altThe best rest in “Ghost Street”
1. Best Place for Spice
One of Guijie’s original restaurants, this is the place to come for “ma xiao,” the nickname for Gui Jie’s “spicy prawns.” At 6 yuan each, spicy food lovers can eat their fill. With three adjoining courtyards and large private rooms, this is the must-go-to location fro old Beijing ambiance.
Price: Less than RMB100 per couple

Add: No.183 and No.253

+86 (0)10 6407-6570 

2. Best Place for a Night Owl
Literally “the house of light and flame”, this is the place to be at 4am after a night of partying. Open 24 hours, Ming Hui Fu offers almost all the Gui Jie specialties: Peking duck (88 yuan), Sichuan Shuizhuyu (42 yuan), spicy kaoyu and chuan’ers, as well as the gold medal winning “grilled chicken on bamboo” (48 yuan).
Price: RMB100 for a couple
Address: No.199-No.201
Tel: +86 (0)10 6401-3636

3. Best Malatang ( má là tàng 麻辣烫 )
Xiao Dong Tian
“Malatang,” meaning “spicy and hot,” is a Sichuan street food with a devoted following of spice addicts. The concept is similar to hotpot, only you don’t cook it yourself. Veggies, tofu, meat balls and even chicken livers arrive on chuan’ers stewing in a spicy hot broth. All you need to do is dig in until your tongue is numb.
Price: Less than RMB100 per couple
Add: No.269
Tel: +86 (0)10 8404-9556


 4. Best Hotpot

Best Hotpot

Little Sheep
The number one brand of Mongolian style hotpot, Little Sheep, is so popular that they opened four restaurants in Canada and four in the US within the past year. The mutton comes straight from Inner Mongolia, is always fresh and is cooked in a rich broth which brings out its best flavors.
Price: RMB100 for a couple
Add: No.209
Tel: +86 (0)10 8400-1669