Beijing snacks, combining varied flavors from different nationalities like Han, Hui, Meng, Man and court snacks from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), include many kinds and form the characteristic of their own.
It is said that there are over two hundred kinds of snacks in Beijing, including dishes going with wine, such as Quick-Fried Tripe (Bao Du), Boiled Sheep's Head (Bai Shui Yang Tou), Flour-Pastry desserts, like Pancakes with Meat-Fillings (Rou Mo Shao Bing) and some other snacks for breakfast or as midnight snack, like Sticky Rice with Sweet Fillings (Ai Wo Wo) and Rolling Donkey (Lu Da Gun). What local Beijing people, especially elder ones like most are Mung Bean Milk (Dou Zhi), Fried Liver (Chao Gan) and Filled Sausage (Guan Chang).
There are also lots of famous Restaurant selling snacks. Fangshan Restaurant sells Sticky Rice with Sweet Fillings and Pea-Flour Cake (Wan Dou Huang); Donglaishun Restaurant sells Cream Fried Cake (Nai You Zha Gao). In many Restaurant you may find some other things special.
In fact, there are too many places for snacks in Beijing for you to make a decision which one to go to. Generally speaking, there are four places popular of this kind. One is Duyichu Restaurant, sitting at 36 Qianmen Dajie, Chongwen District. It was opened in 1738, and is famous for its Shao Mai, which has both attractive appearance and delicious taste. Another is Nanlaishun in Xuanwu District, where you can find about seventy kinds of snacks. The third place is Longfu Temple (Longfu Si) Snacks Restaurant which mainly sell Islamic Snacks. The fourth one is Evening Market Snacks Street near Donghuaemen, Wangfujing. It is a place where most common people go to have snacks. Fangshan Restaurant is a place where snacks of royal family are available.
Apart from what are mentioned above in fixed places, you can find many other kinds along roadsides. For example, Sugar-Coated Haws on a stick (Bing Tang Hu Lu), which is sold everywhere in cold days and is one of the daintiest snacks. It looks brightly red, bearing a little sour and sweet. You can also try Roast Sweet Potato (Kao Hong Shu or Kao Bai Shu). Eat it when it is still hot, it is fragrant and sweet. I bet you will never forget it.
Shish kebab (Yang Rou Chuan) is another good choice. Xingjiang Shish kebab is a snack that is popular not only in Beijing but all over the country. Mutton is strung together on a skewer and roasted over a charcoal. It is continually turned and when it is done, salt, pepper and zi ran, which is a special Xinjiang seasoning, are sprinkled over it. It is a little salty, a little hot but hasn't any unpleasant taste.
If you have enough time you may saunter around and drop in small Restaurant, especially when the bigger ones have closed. You will find that it won't cost you much for your dinner, which is really good. You will find steamed bread, steamed dumplings, dumplings, noodles, and family-style dishes, which you probably couldn't see in bigger ones.