Wuhan Hu Bu Xiang Snack Street
You can say a lot of negative things about Wuhan’s pollution, traffic congestion, and weather but when it comes to street snack food it ranks up there with the best. The crown jewel of the Wuhan street snack food has to be at Hu Bu Xiang Snack Street. This little street, the length of half a standard block and the width of two people at times, is all part of the tourist experience of Wuhan and will probably be featured in any travel writing about the city. I figure Wuhan only offers about one, maybe two days worth of standard tourist excitement and this is a perennial destination. Because of its central location, transportation options, proximity to the Three Gorges area and lack of most things interesting, Wuhan is basically a pit-stop for most travelers. If Anthony Bordain was to film an episode of Layover here he would basically spend his first morning by walking up to view Yellow Crane Tower from the street (no real reason to pay admission and go inside) so the video crew could grab their b-roll, walk a few meters to the famous Hu Bu Xiang snack street for an assortment of goodies, spend the day at Wuhan University or East Lake (China’s largest urban lake), and take in a music show at Vox followed by more street food at a night market and more drinks at ex-pat / local hangout Wuhan Prison. You could consume the next 24-hours basically by sleeping in and trying to take a bus from one side of the city to the other, which I’ve been told could take upwards of six hours.
Let’s not get hung up on the faults of Wuhan, and instead partake in the greasy goodness it has to offer. Anybody will tell you Wuhan is known for its breakfast street food, and in my opinion Hu Bu Xiang is the epicenter of the magic. Yes there are plenty of fantastic noodle and re-gan mian (hot dry noodle) shops all over town. But, even if locals say Hu Bu is not what it used to be, there is no better collection of street food energy in Wuhan than this little strip just east of the Yangtze River. They say it’s breakfast food but go there anytime during the day and you will not be disappointed.
Some snaps from my last visit.