Beijing Noshery

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An old photograph in my files (from about five years ago):

Hùguó sì xiǎochī Fùqiáo diàn 护国寺小吃阜桥店
("Nation Protecting Temple snacks Fuqiao branch")

This particular snack shop is probably located near West 2nd Ring Road Rd. just inside Guang'an Gate. Hùguó sì xiǎochī 护国寺小吃 ("Nation Protecting Temple snacks") is a category of small shops selling traditional snack food that are found in many locations scattered around Beijing.

The present location of the store was formerly the site of a famous temple fair in the western part of the city where the most famous "small eats" food brands flourished. In 1956 a state-owned traditional snack store was established.
(Source; see also here.)

Noshery (cf. "eatery") is derived from "nosh", from Yiddish נאַשן ‎(nashn), from Middle High German naschen ‎(“nibble”) (which is also the parent of German naschen).  (Wiktionary)

It's curious that, on the signs of some Hùguó sì xiǎochī 护国寺小吃 ("Nation Protecting Temple snacks") shops, where the word "noshery" appears on this Fuqiao shop sign, there is Arabic writing.


This is because these are halal shops run by Chinese Muslims (Hui).


  1. Leo said,

    October 23, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

    The Arabic says al-Maṭˤam al-Islāmī, "the Islamic restaurant." It's often found on Muslim restaurants, just like 清真 qīngzhēn ('pure and true;' Islam), to mark it as a place to eat halal. And yes, the Arabic does not seem quite right and would sound more normal as Maṭˤam Islāmī, "Islamic restaurant," without the definite articles.

  2. Rubrick said,

    October 23, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

    Nothing linguistic to add, but gosh I'm enamoured with the word "noshery" now.

  3. Leo said,

    October 23, 2015 @ 6:25 pm

    All the other delightful variants of naschen start with schl- or schn-, possibly onomatopoetically: schlickern, schnausen, schneken, schnösen, schnökern, schnucken, schnuppen. Distribution map of regional variants:

  4. Kathryn Hellerstein said,

    October 25, 2015 @ 9:48 pm

    A delicious inter-cultural combination! Neither melting pot nor tossed salad– something better. What was the house specialty?

  5. Victor Mair said,

    October 26, 2015 @ 7:14 am

    @Kathryn Hellerstein

    If you want to see what they eat in those shops, see with your own eyes here.

  6. Kathryn Hellerstein said,

    October 26, 2015 @ 7:40 am

    What a feast! I hope we can try it out next time we're in Beijing. I remember the delicious lunch we had at a halal restaurant in Kaifeng 4 years ago! But that wasn't called a Noshery!

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