The Best Restaurants for Hot Pot in Beijing
Ready for some spicy hotpot | © Mala Spicy Hot Pot
The Chinese believe that it’s no proper winter without hot pot. And no matter which part of China you are in, you can always easily find a hot pot restaurant around the corner. As the hot pot style varies by location, there are dozens of traditional Chinese hot pot styles and more newly created contemporary hot pot styles in China, but the most famous ones are always the Sichuan and Chongqing spicy hot pot, the Beijing copper hot pot, and the Chaoshan beef hot pot. The good news is that you can try them all in Beijing
Chongqing Shibati Hot Pot
Speaking of Chongqing Hot Pot, the first thing that comes to foodies’ minds is its signature nine-slot spicy red oil hot pot. Though having nine slots, the soup is the same because the slots are connected at the bottom of the pot – legend has it that the slots are to prevent people from confusing each others’ ingredients. Chongqing Shibati allows you to choose spicy scales of your hot pot, and has all the traditional Chongqing hot pot ingredients like beef tripe, goose intestines, and duck blood.
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Beijing is not lacking in traditional copper hot pot restaurants, but the most popular ones are no doubt the two Jubaoyuan branches on Niu Jie. Its top-quality handmade lamb and beef ingredients are spoken highly of by guests. What’s more, its other signature item, the sesame bun, is so fast-selling that the restaurants have put a cap on the number of buns each person can buy. Remember to reserve a table in advance, because otherwise you are going to wait in a long line to get a table, especially during dining hours.
Yi Lan Yi Shan
Diner, Chinese, $$$
Yi Lan Yi Shan is a typical “fly restaurant,” a term originating in Sichuan dialect to refer to the small diners with a less satisfactory environment but super delicious food. The restaurant is specialized in spicy Sichuan food, and particularly the Leng Guo Chuan Chuan (Skewers in Cold Pot), a mutation of hot pot invented by Sichuan vendors to make it more convenient for customers.
Jiu San Zhuo
Restaurant, Diner, Chinese
Jiu San Zhuo, or “Only Three Tables” in English, has only three tables in its small restaurant in the Caochangdi Art Zone, but it doesn’t stop foodies from crossing the whole town just to have a Beijing copper hot pot meal here. Its mutton and beef are supplied by the same company as Jubaoyuan, and its homemade sesame sauce dip couldn’t go with the instant-boiled ingredients in a better way.
Shantou Baheli Haiji Beef Hot Pot
This chain restaurant is the first choice of locals who crave Chaoshan-style beef hot pot. It is said that the beef ingredients are all from freshly slaughtered ox on the day. The most favored ingredient are the beef balls, which are all hand-made to make sure of the chewy taste. The Chaoshan-style interior décor also tries to bring customers into the local atmosphere of the Guangdong Chaoshan area.
Pengran Siji Coconut Chicken Hot Pot
The coconut chicken hot pot is a recent darling of hot pot lovers in China, especially among women, who believe that such a hot pot has beauty benefits. It’s originally the Hainan cuisine coconut chicken, but more than the coconut chicken because you can put other ingredients into the dish like you do with other hot pots. The restaurant also features other coconut dishes and desserts.
Bayuepan Sour Soup Hot Pot
The fish in hot and sour soup is a unique hot pot dish in Guizhou Province in southwest China, and it can be found in Guizhou or Yunnan restaurants in Beijing. Bayuepan is a restaurant that specializes in the fish in hot and sour soup, with its soup so thoroughly stewed from the Guizhou pickled chilis and Guizhou cherry tomatoes that you just cannot stop having one more bowl of it.
Haidilao Hot Pot
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Haidilao is probably the most famous hot pot brand among the Chinese, thanks to its branches distributed across the globe, and the can’t-be-more-thoughtful service from its staff. It seems like the waiters are everywhere: no matter if you feel uneasy with the hot steam that fogs your glasses, or suddenly find out that there’s only 10% left on your phone battery, the Haidilao waiters will pop up in a timely fashion with a glass wipe or a battery charger like mind readers. If you go to Haidilao alone, they may even sit a doll on the opposite seat to make you feel less lonely. The food? Who cares about the food when the service is so amazing – just kidding, the ingredients are from the top suppliers in town as well.