Accommodations and Dining

Restaurants and Cuisine

Thousands of eating options are available to the visitor to Beijing, with restaurants representing every conceivable style, culture and cuisine. from fine dining to street food and everything in between.

As the capital, Beijing is an apex of the eight classic cuisines of China: Shandong, Sichuan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan and Anhui. Each style has been shaped by the climate, geography, history and culture of its region of China.

Shandong cuisine, also known as Imperial Court cuisine, is marked by it elaborate food preparation methods and presentation, often including carved vegetables. It is marked by use of shallots and garlic, seafood, meats and offal. The Beijing Hotel is famous for this style of cuisine. Sichuan cuisine is well known for its strong spicy flavors including peppers, garlic, ginger. Gong Bao Ji Ding is a famous chicken dish in this style. Some famous dishes in Guangdong cuisine are: roast suckling pig and chrysanthemum fish. Fujian cuisine includes many types of seafood and the most famous of its dishes is fo tiao qiang, “Buddha jumps over a wall”, which is a type of shark fin soup. Jiangsu cuisine originates from Yangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing and emphasizes braising and stewing. Zhejiang includes such dishes as braised fish in vinegar and shrimps cooked in tea. Stewed fins and “immortal chicken” are classic Hunan dishes. Anhui cuisine comes from the region around the Yangtze and Huai Rivers, as is famous for braised turtle with ham.

(Peking Duck) Chinese-style roast duck - "Peking Duck"

One of the most famous dishes associated with Beijing is roast duck with a crispy skin and delicious aromatic meat. The best known restaurants for roast duck are Quanjude, an enormous restaurant with 41 dining halls that can cater to 2,000 diners located near the Hepingmen Gate (Peace Gate) and the four locations of the Bianyifang restaurant.

Hot pot, a type of Chinese fondue with steaming broth and mutton, is another well-loved dish in Beijing, particularly in the winter. Barbeques, cafeteria restaurants and buffets are other staples. A popular barbecue is Baiwanzhuang Barbecue Restaurant, and well-known cafeterias are: Golden Jafuar, Amazon and Max's Cafeteria.

(Chinese tea eggs in a pot with cracked peel) Chinese tea eggs in a pot with cracked
peel.

Beijing has many excellent vegetarian restaurants including the Merits and Virtues Vegetarian House, Gong De Lin, in Chongwen District and the Lotus in Moonlight Vegetarian Restaurant with branches in Chaoyang and Haidian Districts.

Teahouses are a popular venue for enjoying snacks, candies, tea and other drinks while listening to Chinese opera or watching folk performances. One of the most famous teahouses is the Lao She Teahouse on the southwest side of Tiananmen Square.

Street food can be memorable in Beijing, with scorpions, rat or lizard kebabs, seahorses and brains available among some of the extraordinary offerings at street stalls and open air kitchens.

(a variety of dim sum) A variety of dim sum.

Other Asian styles of cuisine are well represented in Beijing with many popular eateries for Japanese, Korean, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese food.

If you have a yearning for western-style international cuisine, Beijing has restaurants representing almost every style of cooking, including: French, Italian, American, German and Spanish. There are also familiar western fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s and KFC, around the city as well as many other Japanese, Chinese and curry fast food locations.

Frommers has an extensive list of restaurants at: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/beijing/201_inddin.html, which includes the style of cuisine, address and telephone number, the closest public transportation connections, prices, examples of signature dishes and the restaurant’s Frommer’s rating.