It's summer. It's hot, sure, but this is the time of year to find that perfect spot out of doors where you can pull that shirt up (or take it off altogether) and order up some cheap eats and a cold pitcher of beer. Just outside the Bell Tower is a great place to do just this, and it's probably the best spot in town to get Wonton. There are four restaurants, the biggest being Wangxian Lou (望仙楼). Here, there is a wide range of dishes to choose from. Lots of people order crayfish (xiao long xia) for you local folk, crawdads for you American Southerners, mudbugs for you Brits). And they've got cheap, cheap pitchers of beer, a mere five kuai. These places are open 24 hours, and they are so popular that the area is packed even in the early morning hours. People drive here from all over town just to get a midnight snack. After 10pm, things really liven up. That's when the tables spread out from the restaurants or when the owners of the restaurants are allowed to set up in the area across the street and people start flocking in. This includes all of the cart vendors. Along with the fare at the restaurants, you've got you some Stinky Tofu, Mutton Kebabs, Grilled Squid, Snails and other choice street food. There were also some oysters being grilled up, but we steered clear of them. Not really a place to try your luck with shellfish. So, if you are in the mood for some good, cheap late-night grub, this is the best place to get it. Oh, and we should also mention that they've got people lined up at breakfast time as well. Definitely a cheap eats hot spot!
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