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. Da Dong Roast Duck

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    You won't go wrong with the namesake dish at this world-famous eatery. Dadong's version features crisp, caramel-hued skin (over meat that's...Read More

  • 2. Made In China

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Inside the glassed-in kitchen of this Grand Hyatt restaurant, white-robed chefs artfully twirl floury noodles and efficiently hook beautifully...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Ding Ding Xiang

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    ...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Noodle Loft

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Watch the dough masters work in a flurry while you slurp your noodles at this bright and ritzy restaurant. A seat at the bar lets you observe...Read More

  • 11. Old Beijing Noodle King

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A lively, old-time atmosphere and hand-pulled noodles are the hallmarks of this chain. Try the classic zhajiang noodle, served in a ground...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Qin Tangfu

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Pull up a tiny stool for stick-to-your-ribs goodness at this rustic haven for Shaanxi fare. Hearty wheat-based specialities include roujia...Read More

  • 14. Sheng Yong Xing

    $$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Of the branches in this classy, Beijing chain of Peking-duck restaurants, this one is the most popular thanks to a prime location in the Sanlitun...Read More

  • 15. Siji Minfu

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    This excellent restaurant, part of a local chain, says "yes" to seasonality and no to "MSG." Folks line up for over an hour to get a taste of...Read More

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