Beijing has thousands of eateries of every description in all areas of the city, ranging from typical, traditional Chinese holes in the wall to market stalls and food courts to full-blown Western restaurants. Chinese noodles and rice dishes are ubiquitous while the very best local places offer expensive yet delicious Beijing roast duck and shark fin soup.
Cuisines from across China (the historic eight cuisines) can all be found in Beijing, with spicy Sichuan food being particularly popular among the locals. The best Beijing roast duck (Peking duck) can be had at Quanjude or Bianyifang and although over the top, Beijing Imperial Court food is best had at the Beijing Hotel.
Snacking is a pastime among Beijing residents and there is always the opportunity to pick up a bite on the street, either within the many markets or along the swankiest looking of thoroughfares. There are scores of McDonald's and other Western fast food joints.
Perhaps the coolest street in all of Beijing for dining, Ghost Street is home to around 100 restaurants along a traffic-free thoroughfare lined with red lanterns. It goes for a mile along Dongzhimennei Dajie and is for lovers of crayfish and hot pot. Ghost Street is about as atmospheric as you can get and is best visited at night.
Sanlitun Pub Street is particularly popular with foreigners as it is home to familiar restaurants and an array of bars and pubs. John Bull Pub near Jianguomen subway station is particularly popular with British visitors and expats.
This is one of the best areas in the city for trying out the famous Beijing roast duck, but at reasonable prices compared with the city center roast duck eateries. It is a major station on the Beijing subway and a good area for hot pots.
Almost all shopping centers come with a food court or two that are generally located in the basement. They typically feature many stalls side by side, usually operate on a token system and are cheap. The Oriental Plaza's food court along Wangfujing is particular good, as is the food court at China World Mall.
All markets also come with a plethora of food stalls day and night, although they tend to come alive at night, and offer convenient and cheap dining. It can be a bit of a gamble whether or not you pick up a bout of Beijing belly, but sticking to the busiest and cleanest looking places usually ensures a stomach trouble-free holiday. Donghua Men Night Market is the best known, while Longfu Si Jie is also good.
Many of Beijing's parks now contain noted restaurants that make a nice change to dining in the bustling city. Ritan Park is one of the most convenient parks and has many tourist-friendly restaurants, including the Bai Family Mansion with its pretty garden and extensive menu.
Wenjing Jie, 1
Phone: +86 10 6401 1879
Beijing's most well-known Imperial Court cuisine restaurant opened in 1925 and has seating for 500 guests in three areas. Fangshan Restaurant serves hundreds of Imperial dishes in lavish surroundings, yet is expensive.
Made in China (Grand Hyatt hotel)
Dong Chang'an Jie, 1
Phone: +86 10 8518 1234
This place has some of the best Beijing roast duck in the city and also does some of the tastiest Sichuan-style dishes in the Chinese capital. It is a lively restaurant in nice surroundings.
Chuan Jing Ban Canting
Gongyuan Tou Tiao, 5
Phone: +86 10 6512 2277
Sichuan cuisine is loved throughout Beijing and this busy restaurant is one of the best places to try it out. Prices are cheap in comparison with virtually any other popular eatery and the quality is assured. It is best to get here early.
Whampoa Club Beijing
Jin Rong Jie Jia, 23
Phone: +86 10 8808 8828
Whampoa Club features excellent northern Chinese cuisine by renowned Hong Kong-born chef, Jereme Leung. The food is creative and tasty and you can eat in the main basement dining room or dine in private. There is also a stylish bar onsite.
Find more information about Beijing and hotels in the area:
Beijing hotels | China hotels