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. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Chef Too

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Diner

    Straightforward American grub is served at this restaurant in a cozy, family-friendly cottage near Chaoyang Park. During the day, diner-style...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 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. 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. 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. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Juicy, whole ducks roasting over fragrant pear wood greet you upon entering this simple courtyard restaurant in a ramshackle hutong neighborhood...Read More

  • 20. Nice Rice

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A peaceful hutong is the setting for this welcoming Hunan restaurant, whose signature dish is Chairman Mao's favorite: hong shao rou (braised...Read More

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