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. Dali Courtyard

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    This beautiful courtyard restaurant serves refined Yunnan food. What's more, the menu is fixed, so this is an excellent choice for those who...Read More

  • 2. Din Tai Fung

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    This Taiwanese restaurant specializes in beautifully crafted xiaolong bao— steamed dumplings that are filled with piping hot, aromatic soup...Read More

  • 3. Migas

    $$ | Chaoyang | Spanish

    Migas is a whirlwind adventure in rustic Spanish gastronomy. The setting is glitzy, and the atmosphere is spirited, especially after 9 pm, when...Read More

  • 4. Sake Manzo

    $$ | Chaoyang | Japanese

    Beijing’s best all-round Japanese izakaya- style restaurant is the place to go for frothy mugs of Asahi draft, sublime soba noodles, and some...Read More

  • 5. Alameda

    $$ | Chaoyang | Brazilian

    Serving contemporary European fare with a Brazilian twist, Alameda is housed in a funky outdoor mall behind the hubbub of Sanlitun's bar street...Read More

  • 6. Bellagio

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Like other branches in this popular chain of glitzy, see-and-be-seen restaurants, this one dishes up Taiwanese favorites to a largely young...Read More

  • 7. Bottega

    $$ | Chaoyang | Italian

    You probably didn't come all the way to Beijing for pizza, but you won't regret having it at this restaurant. The Neapolitan owners ensure that...Read More

  • 8. Café de la Poste

    $$ | Dongcheng District | French

    Although good, the French food at this cozy bistro seems beside the point: people come for the nighttime revelry. The bar doesn't close till...Read More

  • 9. Café Sambal

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Malaysian

    Inside a cozy traditional courtyard house, this mainstay of Beijing's international dining scene offers some of the city's best Malaysian and...Read More

  • 10. Ding Ding Xiang

    $$ | Haidian District | Chinese

    Hotpot restaurants are plentiful in northern China, but few do it better than Ding Ding Xiang, a self-proclaimed "hotpot paradise." Diners order...Read More

  • 11. Ding Ding Xiang

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    ...Read More

  • 12. Hani Geju

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    More familial than fancy, this cozy restaurant serves Yunnan staples such as Bai-minority goat cheese with bacon (smoked in-house), potato balls...Read More

  • 13. Karaiya Spice House

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Hunan cuisine, or xiang cai , is famous for its extensive use of colorful chili peppers, resulting in a "dry heat" rather than the more aromatic...Read More

  • 14. La Pizza

    $$ | Chaoyang | Pizza

    An Italian pizza-man can often be seen working the massive brick oven at this glass-enclosed corner joint in Sanlitun, popular with Italian...Read More

  • 15. Lei Garden

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Bright and bustling on any day of the week, Lei Garden really packs them in on Sunday afternoons for dim sum amid glamorous surroundings. The...Read More

  • 16. Madam Zhu's Kitchen

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    This sprawling basement venue offers a whirlwind culinary tour of Chinese regional styles in a brightly lit space decked out with sofas, green...Read More

  • 17. Makye Ame

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Fluttering prayer flags lead up to the second floor entrance of this Tibetan restaurant, where a pile of mani (prayer) stones and a large...Read More

  • 18. Middle 8th

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    In the heart of Sanlitun's shopping and dining district, this trendy Yunnan restaurant, known as a celebrity haunt, is a great place to wrap...Read More

  • 19. Nola

    $$ | Chaoyang | American

    This is the only place in Beijing—perhaps all of China—to get genuine New Orleans grits, jambalaya (peppered with dark sausage), traditional...Read More

  • 20. Peking Duck, Private Kitchen

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Instead of the banquet-style scene found in Beijing's more traditional roast duckeries, the setting here is more laid-back, with diners lounging...Read More

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