Guijie Street, with the feature of characteristic foods, which is located in Dongzhimennei Street, east to the 2nd Ring Road of Dongzhimen flyover, west to the Beixinqiao crossroads, is about 1.5 km long. There are nearly 100 restaurants in Guijie Street which boast large number, all-covering, vivid characteristics, lower price as well as active at night. Given this, Beijing locals dubbed the street Guijie (Ghost Street) for the 24-hour non-stop food service.
Guijie Street used to be a market where farmers sold their commodities. Since 1995, the government broadened the policy of small private business and encouraged the locals to find their jobs by themselves in order to alleviate the pressure of job-hunting, so some laid-off youths who lived here transformed their own houses into restaurants to sell foods and snacks, and step by step, the food street is formed naturally in 1997.
In order to shape the good commercial environment and set up the brand since 1999, Committee of CPC and the Government of Beijing Dongcheng District, guided by the thought of"promote the prosperity, enhance the spiritual civilization, create the nice environment, facilitate the local dwellers", invested to transform the Dongzhimennei Street as a whole, including broadened the street, repaired the old houses, rebuilt the "Temple of Medicine King", named the street as Guijie Street, and made it a spotlight to welcome the guests from both home and abroad with the modern buildings and ancient style. Moreover, in order to enhance the management, the Administration Committee of Guijie Street is set up by the Beixinqiao Street Office in 2000, including the subordinate organizations such as CPC branch of non-state-own enterprises, League Committee, trade union and branch of commerce union. And also, the Association of Food Service of Guijie Street is set up in 2003 with the member of 34 restaurants in order to standardize the operators' conduct and to protect the consumers' legal rights.
Guijie Street gathered lots of cuisines such as Beijing cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Guangdong cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Northeast cuisine and Islamic cuisine, featured spicy lobster, crab and hotpot. The promotional dishes, such as braised lamb, spicy lobster, boiled fish, spicy rabbit, duck's neck, roasted fish and so on, all led the food fashion in Beijing. In 2000, Guijie street was formally named Beijing Characteristic Street-Dongzhimennei Food Street by the Commercial Commission of Beijing Municipality. And till now, it was the only one named by the CCBM. In order to protect the brand in September 2002, Beixinqiao Street Office has registered the brand and the domain name on the Internet, and the website has also been set up in June 2006. The consumers can get informed of the food culture in the street via the most fashionable as well as fastest way. Meanwhile, the website can also propel the food market and promote the development of regional economy. In 2002-2003, Spicy Lobster Festival has been held successfully and lots of guests were drawn for Guijie Street's huge fame. There were about 8000 people on average per day, and 13000-15000 people on weekends and holidays.
Today, Guijie Street is well-known all over China and even in Southeast Asia, because of focus from the whole society and government's construction. Its significance has already overreached the domain of food industry and become a miniature of Beijing's night life and food culture. At Beijing locals' hearts, Guijie Street is already become irreplaceable. Till now, there are 88 stores in the street, 38 in the south and 50 in the north.
Around Guijie Street:
Dongzhimen North Mid-Street: the street was named in 1979 and since 2001, the government of Dongcheng District repaired the old houses and reconstructed into new residences. The entire road was also beautified with green trees.
Russian Embassy to China: used to be prince's residence in Qing Dynasty and transformed into Orthodox Church. In early 1990s, the former USSR's embassy has transformed into Russian Embassy.
Nanguan Park: in late 1950s, the park features date trees and pine trees was formed with 26000 hectares. And now, it is the relaxation and entertainment place for the local dwellers.