Beijing Restaurants

Since imperial times, Beijing has drawn citizens from all corners of China, and the country's economic boom has only accelerated the culinary diversity of the capital. These days, diners can find food from the myriad cuisines of far-flung regions of China, as well as just about every kind of international food.

Highlights include rare fungi and flowers from Yunnan, chili-strewn Hunan cooking from Mao’s home province, Tibetan yak and tsampa (barley flour), mutton kebabs and grilled flatbreads from Xinjiang, numbingly spicy Sichuan cuisine, and chewy noodles from Shaanxi. And then there are ethnic foods from all over, with some—notably Italian, Japanese and Korean—in abundance.

You can spend as little as $5 per person for a decent meal or $100 and up on a lavish banquet. The variety of venues is also part of the fun, with five-star hotel dining rooms, holes-in-the-wall, and refurbished courtyard houses all represented. Reservations are always a good idea, especially for higher-end places, so ask your hotel to book you a table.

Beijingers tend to eat dinner around 6 pm, and many local restaurants will have closed their kitchens by 9 pm, though places that stay open until the wee hours aren’t hard to find. Tipping is not the custom although some larger, international restaurants will add a 15% service charge to the bill, as do five-star hotel restaurants. Be aware before you go out that small and medium venues only take cash payments or local bank cards; more established restaurants usually accept credit cards.

Yanjing, the local beer, together with the ubiquitous Tsingtao, is available everywhere in Beijing. A growing number of imported beer brands have entered the market, and Beijing has a burgeoning craft beer scene of its own. And now many Chinese restaurants now have extensive wine menus.

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  • 1. Assaggi

    $ | Chaoyang | Italian

    Your mood brightens the minute you walk up the sunny spiral staircase to the rooftop patio, which includes glassed-in and open-air sections...Read More

  • 2. Baoyuan Dumpling

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    This cheerful, homey joint offers dozens of creative dumpling fillings alongside classics such as pork and cabbage. The colorful purple, green...Read More

  • 3. Biteapitta

    $ | Chaoyang | Middle Eastern

    Located upstairs in a dive behind Sanlitun's bar street, this bright and spacious kosher falafel joint is a breath of fresh air. Biteapitta...Read More

  • 4. Café Constance

    $ | Chaoyang | German

    Teutonic timbers frame the facade of this two-story restaurant and bakery that serves specialties and all-day brunch fare from southern Germany...Read More

  • 5. Cafe Zarah

    $ | Dongcheng District | European

    An old oak tree grows up through both levels of this gorgeous courtyard restaurant. The setting is traditional Chinese, but the menu offerings...Read More

  • 6. Comptoirs de France Bakery

    $ | Chaoyang | French

    Part of a small chain of contemporary French-managed patisseries, this is Beijing's go-to spot for Gallic confections. Goodies here include...Read More

  • 7. Crescent Moon

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Heaping platters of grilled-lamb skewers, house-made flatbreads, and other hearty fare feature greatly on the menu here. It's also less flashy...Read More

  • 8. Deyuan Roast Duck

    $ | Xicheng District | Chinese

    Just because this restaurant offers excellent value for the money, doesn't mean you'll have to forego the celebratory experience of having your...Read More

  • 9. Dong Lai Shun

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Founded in 1903, this classic Beijing Hui (Chinese Muslim) restaurant now has branches all over the city. Their specialty is mutton hotpot famous...Read More

  • 10. Feiteng Yuxiang

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Be warned: Sichuan spices can be addictive. This restaurant's signature dish is shuizhuyu , sliced fish cooked in an oily broth brimming with...Read More

  • 11. Hai Wan Ju

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Haiwan" means "a bowl as deep as the sea," a fitting name for an eatery that specializes in big bowls of hand-pulled noodles. A xiao er (a...Read More

  • 12. Haidilao

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Snacks and various forms of entertainment make the long waits to get into this hotpot restaurant almost enjoyable. Once inside, expect bubbling...Read More

  • 13. Home Plate BBQ

    $ | Chaoyang | American

    Ground zero for authentic American barbecue in Beijing, this busy joint grills, smokes, and slow-roasts mouthwateringly tender pulled pork,...Read More

  • 14. In and Out

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    On a tree-lined street in the heart of Beijing's embassy district, this large, Yunnan restaurant, adorned with decorative crafts and paintings...Read More

  • 15. Jin Ding Xuan

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A gloriously gaudy atmosphere is the main draw of this 24-hour dim sum restaurant. It serves all the classics as well as a "pollution menu"...Read More

  • 16. Jing Wei Lou

    $ | Xicheng District | Chinese

    House of Beijing Flavors" makes up for its rather isolated location by having one of the widest selections of traditional Beijing fare in town...Read More

  • 17. Jingzun Roast Duck Restaurant

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Locals and foreigners alike pack this pleasant restaurant for affordable roast duck and tasty, varied Chinese fare with a Beijing slant. The...Read More

  • 18. Jinyang Fanzhuang

    $ | Xicheng District | Chinese

    Reliable, standard Shanxi fare is the order of the day at this slightly out-of-the-way restaurant—dishes might include the region's famous aromatic...Read More

  • 19. Jiumen Xiaochi

    $ | Xicheng District | Eclectic

    You can readily sample your way through culinary history at some of Beijing's oldest and most famous eateries, all grouped under the one roof...Read More

  • 20. Ju'er Renjia

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A convenient pit stop when visitng Nanluoguxiang, this modest little eatery really offers only one option: a set meal of tasty Taiwanese-style...Read More

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