Best Restaurants in Beijing
The large number of local dishes in Beijing has made for some of
the longest menus in the world. While diners ponder over
traditionally cooked meals or new takes on old favourites, eating
out in Beijing will be like nowhere else in the world. From
ingredients meant for royalty in Imperial Cuisine or more
''mysterious'' fillings in a street-side soup, food preparation in
Beijing adheres to old traditions reflecting culinary styles from
all over China.
Chinese food in Beijing differs dramatically from the fare in
Chinese restaurants worldwide. Beijing''s famous Peking roast duck
is the star attraction with several restaurants devoted entirely to
it. For a chance to sample many different kinds of local food,
visit one of the ''snack streets'', like Donghuamen Snack Night
Market, Guanganmen Snack Street, or Gui Street, all with dozens of
vendors plying their specialties.
Migrants have infused the city''s cuisine with new cultures and
tastes, reflected in the blossoming choices in Beijing restaurants.
This includes western fine dining as many of Beijing''s top hotels
now recruit top internationally trained chefs and international
style restaurants open to enjoy success on their own.
More expensive restaurants in Beijing will generally accept
credit cards, but street vendors and takeaways will expect cash.
While hotel restaurants will sometimes include a 15% service
charge, tipping is not expected in Beijing.
Centrally located near Tiananmen Square, the lovely outdoor
terrace at Capital M is a popular place to have Sunday brunch in
Beijing. The menu offers modern European food including Crispy
Suckling Pig, Hot House-Smoked Salmon, and the restaurant's famous
Pavlova. They offer a special afternoon tea as well, with a
selection of fresh-baked scones, finger sandwiches and pastries
that add up to a perfect mid-afternoon break for tired sightseers.
Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm.
Address: 2 Qianmen Street
Sixty six floors above the sparkling city makes any dish seem
dazzling but the views aren't the only reason to eat at China
Grill. The international menu is a simple selection of fine dining
with both Chinese dishes and grilled western classics. The romantic
ambiance is set by a surprisingly cosy interior surrounded by floor
to ceiling windows for a 360-degree view of the city.
Address: Park Hayatt, 2 Jianguomenwai Street, Chaoyang
This well received new restaurant brings New York bistro style
and French dining tradition together in the old American embassy in
Beijing. Despite international cuisine such as Stuled Suckling Pig
in the Style of the City of Nice, the ingredients are local and
fresh. This is considered one of the city's finest restaurants.
Reservations are advised.
Address: Ch'ianmen 23, Qian Men Dong da Jie
Chinese royalty were renowned picky eaters and ate only
specialty dishes with carefully selected ingredients with even more
carefully selected names. Such dining gave way to its own culinary
tradition that can be enjoyed at the enormous banquet style dining
hall with such imperial classics as 'jade phoenix returning to the
royal'. Choosing from a huge selection of dishes is a fun way to
eat like an emperor.
Address: Beihai Gongyuannei , inside Beihai Park's south
Peking duck is quintessential Beijing and to taste where it all
began head to this famous haunt where the recipe was created more
than 150 years ago. The duck can be prepared a number of ways with
a number of parts, not all of which sound appetizing, but unless
you are a Peking connoisseur the best way to first enjoy this
delicacy is one roast duck straight up.
Address: 32 Qianmen Xi Dajie, Chongwen District
The word is that this modest looking little courtyard restaurant
has a flawless menu. Everything from their
(water spinach) to the spicy signature dish,
the Kapitan chicken, is exquisite and their Malaysian chef takes
great pride in his work.
Address: Doufu Chi Hutong 43
Dao Jia Chang
The word 'chaotic' is often bandied about when travellers
describe this restaurant; the other word you're likely to hear is
'delicious' - in relation to the food. In and among the scrambling,
screaming waiters you'll find the tasty Jingjiang Rousi (shredded
pork rolled in tofu skin with scallion) and Yangrou Madoufu (mashed
tofu and whole soybeans drizzled in lamb oil) well worth a somewhat
distracting dining affair.
Address: Guangxi Men Beili 20
Xibei Youmian Cun
This is a cosy family restaurant with a wholesome atmosphere.
Most of the dishes come with a sizable jug of thick
yoghurt, which can be (if used strategically) a
delicious compliment to your meal; their lamb skewers, cubes and
roast beef are certainly best savoured when stewed in their own
Address: Yayun Cun Anyuan 8 Lou
The inside of Otto's is vaguely reminiscent of a high school
cafeteria; what sets it apart is that this is authentic Chinese
dining at its most affordable. The house specialises in claypot
dishes, the most remarkable of which is their fried rice with
sausage and chicken.
Address: Dongdan Dajie 72
Lily Vegetarian Restaurant
This vegetarian restaurant chain comes highly recommended, even
among the most ardent of meat lovers. Generous servings, at a
decent price, and innovative cooking with a uniquely Chinese flair
keep the locals coming back for more. Try the yam broth with
mushrooms, vegetarian sushi rolls and seasonal organic
Address: Bei San Huan Jimen Qiao, Jimen Fandian, Xicheng &
With a pleasant outdoor garden enclosure, this restaurant is an
ideal lunch venue from which to take in some fresh air. Also, this
pricey eatery boasts a reasonable and generous lunch menu - perfect
for that business lunch. Travellers with more to spend might want
to dine inside the venue, where live music and a late bar will
complement the night out.
Address: Jianguo Men Wai Dajie, inside the China World
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