Food Market in Beijing Chaoyang District

by Jeff Crowther

It’s January 18, 2013 at 7:30pm, I just got back from the farmer’s market, which is a 15 minute walk from my apartment in Beijing. I actually have another one that is only a 5 minute walk, but it just doesn’t have the selection like the one shown above. In most Chinese cities shoppers have two options to buy fruits, vegetables, spices, meats and a variety of other foods. One is of course the traditional super market and the other is the local farmer’s market or “food market” (菜市场) as its referred to in China.

My family chooses to buy our fruits and vegetables at the farmer’s market because the prices are very competitive and the food is typically fresher than the super market. Unlike the U.S. where I used to hit the super market about three times a month, the family and I hit the farmer’s market twice a week. This is for a couple of reasons. First, more frequent shopping keeps my house stocked up with fresher food  and second because we have to carry everything back home, we can’t obviously carry as much as I used to with my car. I actually prefer this way of shopping not only for the benefit of having fresher food on hand, but it also allows us as a family to spend some time together as well as get some exercise in the process.

Today when I was at the farmer’s market, I thought it would be interesting to share my shopping experience with those that don’t live in China as well as highlight the costs of food in Beijing as a comparison to what you are paying in your region. Chinese New Year is approaching, which is a well known time of year for price hikes across the board, so the prices listed below are a bit higher than usual.  

So this is what I bought for the equivalent of $6.26 

Five Apples – $1.61

One Head of Brocoli – $0.80

One Small Pumpkin – $0.80

Four Carrots – $0.64

4 St. George’s Mushrooms – $0.80

I also buy shitake mushrooms, which are the same price as the St. George’s

Fifteen Eggs – $1.61

I’d be interested to hear back from you on the prices you are paying for similar items in your country. You can send me an email at I’ll also be posting it on the association’s LinkedinGroup, where you can comment directly.



Comments are closed.