Abstract To avoid the inhibition from both of waste oil and high concentrations of cationic elements, anaerobic digestion of food waste in a dual solid–liquid (ADSL) system was examined in this present paper. Results from batch test indicated that a higher methane yield could be obtained in the ADSL system. The methane yield of food solid waste (FSW), food liquid waste (FLW) and raw food waste (RFW) were 643, 659 and 581mL/g-VS, respectively. In semi-continuous anaerobic digestion, the optimum organic loading rates (OLR) for FSW, FLW and RFW were 9, 4 and 7g-VS/L/d, respectively. The total methane production of RFW and ADSL systems, based on 1kg-VSRFW, were 405 and 460L, respectively, indicating that the methane production increased by 13.6% in the ADSL system. The optimum C/N ratio, redistribution of metal element and lower content of waste oil in FSW explain the higher methane production.