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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Still Thoughts

    $ | Dongcheng District | Vegetarian

    Though there's no meat on the menu, carnivores can still sate their hunger on mock Peking "duck," "fish" (made of tofu sheets with scales carved...Read More

  • 8. Duck de Chine

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    At what is hands-down the city's tastiest destination for Peking duck, the lacquered skin is simply more aromatically flavorful than the competition...Read More

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