Beijing cuisine was formed by drawing lessons from Shandong cuisine, imperial court dishes, and halal dishes. Additionally, in recent years Beijing has seen a large number of restaurants of Xinjiang cuisine spring up, so it’s hard for the city to run out of good halal restaurants. It’s no exaggeration that the best halal restaurants in Beijing are the best in China as well.
The restaurant established in 1853 was widely considered as the best halal restaurant in Beijing – just like the reputation of Quanjude among all the Peking roast duck restaurants. It was originally in Tianjin, and was invited by the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to settle in Beijing in the 1950s. Maybe it’s because of its experience in Tianjin that the restaurant is especially good at dishes made from river fish, in addition to its equally brilliant beef and lamb dishes.
This restaurant, hidden in a residential compound near the famous halal food street Niujie, is one of the best restaurants in Beijing for halal Peking roast duck. Other specialties include roast lamb skewers and oxtail. It is said that the service at the restaurant is not very considerate, but believe me, that’s quite normal for some non-touristy restaurants in Beijing.
What are halal restaurants in Beijing best at? The answer is thrilling to carnivores – meat. You may often find ready-to-eat halal meat stores on Beijing streets, but probably none of them are as famous as the Li Xiao Lao Shao Bing near the Chaoyang North Road. Its signature dish, the beef bun, is simply food from heaven.
Speaking of Beijing’s halal restaurants, the mutton copper hotpot is a must-try, and speaking of the copper hotpot restaurants, Ju Bao Yuan is second to none. The hand-chopped mutton slices both look good, with a deliciously pink color, and taste extremely tender. Its sesame seed bun is also so popular that the restaurant puts a limit on the number of buns that each guest is allowed to buy. The two branches of Ju Bao Yuan on Niujie are famous for their long lines, so it’s better to reserve early before you go.
There’s probably no lack of Siheyuan (traditional Chinese courtyard) restaurants in Beijing, but a Xinjiang cuisine restaurant in a traditional Chinese courtyard might not be that easy to find. You can either choose to sit in the rooms, which are booths for separate groups of diners, or in the courtyard, which is the common area, and feel free to enjoy the roast beef and lamb and the classic Xinjiang dish, Big Plate Chicken, served by the friendly waiters.
If it’s the first time you are trying Xinjiang food and you don’t want to take a lot of risks, then the Xinjiang Bazhou Jinsite restaurant is a fool-proof choice, because it’s the restaurant of the Beijing Office of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Classic dishes like mutton skewers, spiced chicken, and naan are needless to say top-notch, and its homemade yoghurt is said to be much thicker than the other restaurants.
The restaurant is the perfect demonstration of “a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover.” Though officially known as the university canteen in Wudaokou, it has a good reputation among foodies around Beijing for its genuine taste and low price.
One of the oldest halal barbecue restaurants in town, Barbecue Ji is famous for its signature barbecue lamb – you can only go there and taste for yourself to know how good it is. If you go to the branch by the Yindian Bridge in the Houhai area, you can enjoy the tender lamb along with a robust river-side view. The restaurant also sells ready-to-cook food through a small window on the first floor.
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