Since eating out is somewhat of a national sport in China, you will find yourself doing the same most of the time. Therefore, here is a list of my Beijing top picks:
Dim Sum, 金鼎轩, close to the Lama Temple
A westerner's favorite: 烧麦
This restaurant is a Beijing mainstay right next to 雍和宫 subway station. It is spread out over three floors, open 24 hours and gets so busy that you may have to wait for a long time for a table during the main business hours. The wait is worth it though, as the place serves some real nice food at fair prices. As with every successful restaurant venture, this one has also become a franchise but the nicest one is still in 雍和宫. Try the 烧麦.
Morel's, between the north 工体 intersection
If you fancy some red meat try Morel's
A Belgian restaurant close to 三里屯, Morel's offers some of the best steaks in town. The prices are also good (high for Beijing standards but low for western standards) so that there is nothing in the way of a night of indulgence. Go for the 100 RMB lunch special including a starter, main and dessert.
Annie's, almost everywhere in east Beijing
An Italian restaurant chain serving reasonably priced Italian classics, such as pizza, pasta, risotto etc. The food itself is ok (an Italian friend of mine actually hates it) but its sheer convenience makes up for that. You can find outlets all over the east of the city and they even deliver to most places.
Beijing Duck, north of the 美术馆
Everyone seems to be serving Beijing Duck but there are just a few who do it really well. There are the upscale usual suspects, such as Dadong and Quanjude (just google them). But for a real insider's pick visit 老宅院 north of the National Art Museum of China. They have one of the best Beijing roast ducks in the city and, again, at a great price.
Duck, plum sauce, onion, cucumber rolled into a small pancake
The eatery around the corner, close to the Sinology Institute
There is an eatery around the corner from the Sinology Institute called 和厨. They serve up some real good noodle dishes and should be on your list of places to check out. Try the 油泼面 and 回锅肉. They are among the best I have ever tasted.
Useful Chinese words
- 金鼎轩 famous Dim Sum place close to…
- 雍和宫 Lama Temple
- 烧麦 type of Dim Sum, pork and shrimps in a batter
- 工体 Worker's Stadium
- 三里屯 Sanlitun bar street
- 美术馆 National Art Museum of China
- 老宅院 best roast duck restaurant
- 和厨 eatery around the corner from the Sinology Institute
- 油泼面 oily noodles, not soupy
- 回锅肉 twice fried pork belly with black beans, onions and peppers