After a hearty breakfast at the hotel buffet, I decided to take a walk down the street outside our hotel to find a different street vendor than the one from a few days earlier. Don’t judge me! I was fueling up for a long day of walking through the Forbidden City and around the 798 Art District. That, and the fact that I really wanted to try more street food.
After a short walk, I stopped at two adjacent vendors. There were several locals at each vendor, so I figured this was a good place to get an authentic Beijing breakfast. At one stand, I watched two women order the same thing, so I decided to give it a try. It was a freshly made flour and egg pancake with spicy sauce, sautéed vegetables, lettuce and a sweet pork sausage that resembled a hotdog. It is “hand food” and is eaten like a taco. When I pulled out my money, the vendor showed me a “4” followed by a “5” with her fingers, but I did not understand. One of the women who went ahead of me smiled, took my ¥5, put it in a container on the cart, and handed me a beautiful 5 jiao note. I thanked her (“Xie xie”) and made my way to the next vendor. I learned later that the 5 jiao is equivalent to ¥0.5, so the breakfast “sandwich” was ¥4.5 ($0.72). And it was delicious!
At the other stand, I ordered millet congee in a cup from a selection of about six different warm beverage choices. According to our guide, millet congee is basically corn porridge, although I do know that millet is not corn. Either way, it was good as a different culinary experience, but I would not drink it every day. Because it is so thick, the straw was easily twice the diameter of a regular drinking straw. The congee set me back ¥3 ($0.48).
Street food breakfast
So, I had a very satisfying and filling street food breakfast for $1.20!