A neighbour of Sanyuanli Market,
Shengfu is decidedly more local.
The market complex is not as easy
to navigate as the linear Sanyuanli;
a large central warehouse serves
as the primary market space,
with seasonal vendors and street
food vendors spilling out into the
Entrances are positioned on
the four cardinal faces of the
mostly square building, so it can
be difficult to navigate at first, but
it helps to remember the market is
structured to reflect the availability
of electricity. Meat and seafood
vendors are scattered around the
edges, in close proximity to power
sources for refrigerators, alongside
bakeries, nut roasters and grain
vendors. The centre of the market is
fruit and produce stalls.
Don’t miss The seasonal market
and food court. Thanks to its park
location, Shengfu has a cluster of
related markets and food courts.
The courtyard directly south of
the main market hosts seasonal
markets, which means hongbao, red
lanterns and door dressings during
Spring Festival; red flags galore for
National Day and so on. But the real
prize here is the food court: street
hawkers swoop in to serve hungry
marketgoers. We recommend the
roubing (meat pancake) and the
fresh Shanxi daoxiaomian (knifecut
Zuojiazhuang Shengfu Market,
Zuojiazhuangjie Park. Open
This market is the
goods, meats and
seafood. The layout
is simple: the whole
along a thin, straight
with shopfronts on either
side for about 300m. Stalls
are grouped based on the wares:
the entrance is dominated by fruit
vendors, then come dry goods and
preserved foods stores, which give
way to meat and fish vendors at the
middle of the long building. Past
the meat and seafood you’ll find
imported dry goods, dairy, frozen
and canned food. The vegetable
vendors and wholesalers fill up
the end of the building; finally
followed by kitchenware and
Don’t miss Le Fromager de Pekin.
This local producer puts out
fantastic soft cheese made right
here in Beijing. Expect import prices
but flavour and quality worthy of
Sanyuanli Market, 1 Xinyuanjie,
Dongsanhuan. Open 9am-7pm daily.
The only morning market in
downtown Chaoyang, Chaowai
Morning Market is just a stone’s
throw from expat haven
Sanlitun but receives very
little attention from
foreign residents of
the area. The market
features all manner
of common Chinese
fish, local meat,
fruit and nuts as well
as household goods
and kitchen supplies at
considerably lower prices
than other markets in the area.
Don’t miss The sesame seed
roaster. Look out for the stall on
the southeastern side of the main
market. Alongside roasted seeds
(from 8RMB) you can find freshly
ground sesame paste by the jar –
perfect for hotpot at home, making
your own tangyuan or even sesame
Chaowai Morning Market, east end of
Chaowai Beijie. Open 7am-2pm daily.
Wangjing Street Market
In the centre of all things Korean in
the capital, this open market is the
biggest one stop-shop for anything
you could want from the peninsula.
From Korean baked goods and
noodles to imported barbecue cuts
of beef short rib and more styles of
ssami sauce than you can shake
a stick at. Don’t miss the seafood
stalls; when it comes to freshness,
variety and price the shellfish, squid
and octopus here are hard to beat.
Don’t miss Kimchi corner. The stalls
towards the rear of the street
specialise in traditional Korean
preserved and pickled vegetables.
These staples of the Korean diet
vary widely in content and flavour.
Make sure you sample before you
buy; some are dangerously spicy or
otherwise salty beyond belief.
Wangjing Street Market, North
Gate, Wangjing Stadium Park. Open
7am-8pm (precise times vary).
Leave bargaining for the Silk Market
When it comes to foodstuffs, if you
aren’t buying in bulk don’t expect to talk
your vendor down. It’s considered a bit
rude, if you can believe that.
Get a second opinion
If you think one vendor is overcharging,
check with another vendor or two to
see if the first price is far off. Shopping
around is more than acceptable, but a
bit of tact can go a long way.
Don’t like the look?
If you don’t like the look of those special
peppers you had your heart set on, ask
if they have better looking (and tasting)
ones in the back. Hai you bie de ma?
(还有别的吗?). You might even gain
face for your discerning eye.
Loyalty has its rewards
It’s a simple fact: repeat customers
get preferential treatment. If you buy
from the same vendor at least once a
week you’ll see real benefits. Expect
recommendations, reserved choice
cuts and discounts – not to mention
the convenience of having a grocer
who knows what you like and buy