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. 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

  • 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. 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. 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

  • 5. Brian McKenna @ The Courtyard

    $$$$ | Dongcheng District | Contemporary

    With its unique perch overlooking the Forbidden City’s moat, the Courtyard made a name for itself as Beijing’s most romantic restaurant. Under...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Hatsune @ the Village

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Japanese

    Fusion-style California rolls are the name of the game at this hip and trendy Japanese eatery in the heart of Sanlitun. At this Beijing institution...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Mosto

    $$$ | Chaoyang | International

    A hit with the cosmopolitan crowd, this casual fine-dining restaurant rarely fails to impress. The open kitchen turns out innovative, good-value...Read More

  • 10. One East

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | American

    Contemporary fine dining with a major North American influence brings business travelers to the Hilton's flagship restaurant. In addition to...Read More

  • 11. Saffron

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Spanish

    An early pioneer in the uber-chic Wudaoying Hutong, Saffron is still going strong, with refined Mediterranean food served in a romantic courtyard...Read More

  • 12. Taverna+

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Mediterranean

    Refined Mediterranean dishes are a marked contrast to the industrial-chic interior of this former factory. The young, well-heeled crowd fuels...Read More

  • 13. The Southern Fish

    $$$$ | Xicheng District | Chinese

    At this achingly hip Hunan restaurant on the quieter side of town, the specialty is fengminiurou, a honey-cured beef that's stir-fried with...Read More

  • 14. Capital M

    $$$$ | Dongcheng District | Eclectic

    This is one of the few restaurants in the capital with both stunning views and food worthy of the divine setting in front of Tiananmen Square...Read More

  • 15. Lai Jin Yu Xuan

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A gem tucked inside Zhongshan Park on the west side of the Forbidden City, Lai Jin is known for its Red Mansion banquet, based on dishes from...Read More

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