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. Alameda

    $$ | Chaoyang | Brazilian

    Serving contemporary European fare with a Brazilian twist, Alameda is housed in a funky outdoor mall behind the hubbub of Sanlitun's bar street...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 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. Crystal Jade Palace

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    At Beijing's only outlet of a successful Singaporean restaurant brand, you'll find some of the city's most reliable Cantonese, a cooking style...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Ding Ding Xiang

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    ...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Haidilao

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Snacks and various forms of entertainment make the long waits to get into this hotpot restaurant almost enjoyable. Once inside, expect bubbling...Read More

  • 10. Jin Ding Xuan

    $ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    A gloriously gaudy atmosphere is the main draw of this 24-hour dim sum restaurant. It serves all the classics as well as a "pollution menu"...Read More

  • 11. Jing

    $$$$ | Dongcheng District | International

    East–West fusion cuisine is served in an ultramodern setting: there are polished red wooden floors, gauzy curtain dividers, and theatrical open...Read More

  • 12. Jing Wei Lou

    $ | Xicheng District | Chinese

    House of Beijing Flavors" makes up for its rather isolated location by having one of the widest selections of traditional Beijing fare in town...Read More

  • 13. Lei Garden

    $$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Bright and bustling on any day of the week, Lei Garden really packs them in on Sunday afternoons for dim sum amid glamorous surroundings. The...Read More

  • 14. My Humble House

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Asian

    After a year or so in the restaurant wilderness, this much-heralded contemporary Asian eatery is now in Parkview Green, one of the city's most...Read More

  • 15. Red Capital Club

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Occupying a restored courtyard home, and hiding a Cold War–era bomb shelter down below, the Red Capital Club oozes nostalgia for the early days...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Sureño

    $$$$ | Chaoyang | Mediterranean

    Housed in the city's hippest hotel, this chic, sceney eatery with an open kitchen is a great spot for people-watching over a glass of wine and...Read More

  • 18. Susu

    $ | Dongcheng District | Vietnamese

    Tucked away down a dim alley north of the National Art Museum, this hip hutong eatery has quickly gained a following for Beijing's best Vietnamese...Read More

  • 19. Taj Pavilion

    $$ | Chaoyang | Indian

    Since 1998, Beijing's best Indian restaurant has been serving up the classics, like chicken tikka masala, palak paneer (creamy spinach with...Read More

  • 20. Three Guizhou Men

    $ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    The popularity of Guizhou cuisine and its trademark spicy-sour flavors prompted three artist friends from the province to set up shop in Beijing...Read More

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