eating cheaply in beijing

Old Jan 29th, 2008, 01:52 AM
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eating cheaply in beijing

I'm visiting Beijing for the first time next month and was wondering if anyone could recommend any great cheap, popular restaurants (not only Chinese)within close proximity of downtown Beijing. Looking forward to what you can share with me. Thanks.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 02:51 AM
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I'd like to recommend a restaurant called "Kejia Cai" which is located on the southeast bank of the Qian Hai lake. This restaurant specializes in Hakka cuisine Hakka is a small ethic group living in central China). The cuisine has become very fashionable in Beijing. The restaurant is very reasonably priced, the food is very tasty and very different, and you won't find many tourists there. Here's an article about the Hakka and their cuisine:
http://en.ihakka.net/TopicDetail.asp?ID=6026

The specialty of the house is "mizhi zhibao luyu" which is fish baked inside an aluminum foil bag and swimming in a delicious sauce. When we were there, we noticed that almost every table ordered at least one portion of this dish.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 05:49 AM
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If you don't mind eating outside there are two food markets off Wanfujing St. One south of the Foreigners Bookstore with tables, and a night one north of it (both off on the west side) with lots of different kinds of food on sticks you eat standing up.
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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Just stay within food safety guidelines and almost anywhere you'll find inexpensive restaurants serving good food.

Drink only bottled water.

don't open your mouth in the shower.

Brush your teeth only with bottled water.

Don't eat anything raw, such as salads or fruit.

Eat only food that has been thoroughly cooked, this means avoiding dishes like the popular "white chopped chicken" which still has blood on the bone.

Take Purell along with you and "wash" your hands often - the way you would at home.

I'm certain the other Fodorites can come up with other precautions.

Enjoy your visit!
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Old Jan 29th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Forgot to mention that in smaller restaurants, if you have a language problem, you can go into the kitchen and point at what you want, and it will arrive stir fried and delicious. Haven't tried that in Beijing, though, although I have used the "point at neighbor's food" technique there - results aren't always what you expect, but usually interesting.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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There is a small restaurant (looks kind of dingy and you may not think it is a restaurant) across the street from the Pearl Market that we tried in November. Food was excellent and very reasonable. I'm sorry I don't know the name of it but I believe the door is red. It was crowded.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Another tip to the "dingy" restaurant - as you are facing the Pearl Market, cross the street that is to the left of the Market and go straight across to the restaurant.
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