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. 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. Yotsuba

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Japanese

    This tiny, unassuming restaurant serves arguably the best sushi in the city. The seafood is flown in from Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market; the daily...Read More

  • 4. Cai Yi Xuan

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    Asian-style orbs bounce light across the gold and marble furnishings and plush rouge carpets of this dining room at the Four Seasons hotel....Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 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. Huang Ting

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    Beijing's traditional courtyard houses provide an exquisite setting at this elegant hotel restaurant. The walls are constructed from gray hutong...Read More

  • 9. Jing Yaa Tang

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    In the belly of the Opposite House hotel, this high-end Peking duck restaurant gently guides laowai (foreigners) through the crowd-pleasing...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Lost Heaven

    $$$ | Dongcheng District | Chinese

    The city’s finest Yunnan restaurant is in an elegant compound just east of Tiananmen Square that was once used by the former U.S. legation....Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 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. Paulaner Brauhaus

    $$$ | Chaoyang | German

    Hearty German food like pork knuckle and various wurst is dished up in heaping portions at this bright and spacious hotel restaurant. Wash...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Transit

    $$$ | Chaoyang | Chinese

    This is one of Beijing's hottest contemporary Chinese restaurants, and we're not just talking about the chilies. Located in the upscale Sanlitun...Read More

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