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. Assaggi

    $ | Chaoyang | Italian

    Your mood brightens the minute you walk up the sunny spiral staircase to the rooftop patio, which includes glassed-in and open-air sections...Read More

  • 2. Barolo

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | Italian

    Well executed Italian food in plush surroundings makes this luxury hotel restaurant as appropriate for a power lunch as for a romantic dinner...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Cepe

    $$$$ | Xicheng District | Italian

    The Ritz-Carlton's flagship restaurant stands out from the many other high-end Italian restaurants in the city for its focus on mushrooms. A...Read More

  • 5. Mercante

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Italian

    Bologna-based chef Omar Maseroli and his Chinese partner are the proprietors of Mercante, a slow-food-inspired slice of Italy in a tumble-down...Read More

  • 6. Mio

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | Italian

    Playful creativity is the hallmark of this upscale Italian restaurant in the Four Seasons. Tokyo-based Spin Design Studio has taken colored...Read More

  • 7. Opera Bombana

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | Italian

    Although this Italian restaurant is in a shopping mall, it has a gorgeous interior and serves decadent food. Langoustine carpaccio, Wagyu beef...Read More

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