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Spicy crayfish is a signature dish of Beijing's Guijie
Spicy crayfish is a signature dish of Beijing's Guijie | © HNBS / Pixabay
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The Top 10 Restaurants In Beijing

Picture of Fran Lu
Updated: 12 July 2018
It’s self-evident that Chinese food is as extensive and profound as its culture, and Beijing, being the capital, has amassed the essence of cuisines nationwide. From restaurants that serve Peking duck and fried bean-paste noodles, characteristic of Beijing, to hot pot restaurants that few would say “no” to, here are the top 10 restaurants in Beijing that we believe you must try.

King's Joy

Restaurant, Chinese, Vegetarian, $$$
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Vegan restaurant King’s Joy is a Mecca for foodies in Beijing. From the classy vegetable and mock meat dishes to the courtyard dotted with a bamboo forest to dry ice special effects that conjure romantic poetry from Li Bai, King’s Joy is obviously trying to make every kuai (yuan) worthwhile. For those who frown upon the complicated names of Chinese dishes, there’s a seasonal set menu priced at 599 RMB ($89 / £67) per person. King’s Joy also provides Chinese afternoon tea, which is 688 RMB ($102 / £77) (860 RMB originally) for two people if purchased online.
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Ms Na

Restaurant, Chinese, Contemporary, $$$
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Just like its traditional and contemporary fusion decor, Ms Na’s dishes have also inventively created new flavors by blending various traditions of Chinese cuisines. It’s hard to recommend a specific dish, because basically all the dishes are great. The balcony is especially worth a visit, as you can overlook the Qianmen hutongs (there are very few places where you can do this).
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Hai Wan Ju

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Hai Wan Ju is a restaurant that few should miss when visiting Beijing for the first time. The restaurant specializes in traditional Beijing bean-paste noodles. Hai Wan Ju is particular about the way the noodles are served: the sides are served separate from the noodles, so you can design your own dish—but don’t forget to drink the noodle broth after finishing the noodles, as it is part of the Beijing tradition. The restaurant also provides other Beijing snacks, such as Pea Cake.
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Quan Ju De

Restaurant with Rooms, Chinese, $$$
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For any first time Beijing visitor, Peking duck is a must try, and for any Peking duck taster, Quan Ju De is the place to go. The flagship of the roast duck restaurants was founded in 1864. Its representational “Roast Duck in Stove” was inherited from the imperial court. Roast duck courses are available at differing prices according to the duck’s quality (from 238 RMB / $36 / £27 per set). The price includes a performance by a chef slicing your duck right at your table. If you order the “Flourishing Peony (Shengshi Mudan),” the chef will place the duck slices in the shape of an elegant peony flower, making sure that you have your Instagram pic of the day. Reservations in advance are highly suggested.
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Huguosi Snacks

Snack Bar, Chinese, $$$
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Other than fried bean-paste noodles and Peking duck, Beijing is also famous for its street food. There’s one place where you can try dozens of traditional Beijing snacks all at once (if you have enough space for them), which is Huguosi Snacks. With nearly a hundred stores in town now, Huguosi Snacks was first founded in the 1950s, when the government assembled several famous street food vendors at temple fairs and created one incredible snack bar on Huguosi Street.
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Yanjing Wangjing Xiaoyao

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Other than slightly high-end restaurants like Quan Ju De, there are also budget restaurants that represent Beijing’s food culture. Chuan (Chinese bbq) bars are one example. Beijingers love gathering together at chuan bars and talking big over a few dozen beers. One of the most famous chuan bars is the chain restaurant Yanjing Wangjing Xiaoyao, which is known for its pig kidney skewers. It invented the process of removing the stinky smells of the kidneys, which especially excites male customers, who believe in the saying, “you are what you eat.” However, due to patent conflicts, there were two Wangjing Xiaoyao brands in the market, so the original Wangjing Xiaoyao added “Yanjing” to its brand name. Meaning “glasses” in Chinese, yanjing suggests that the brand’s founding father, Xu, was a man who wore glasses.
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Huda Restaurant

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Huda Restaurant is not necessarily one of the best tasting spots among all the Sichuanese restaurants in Beijing, but with its specialties—spicy crayfish and sautéed bullfrog in chili sauce—and its open hours that last almost till dawn, Huda deserves the title of the representative of Guijie, the street food of Beijing. It is also one of the birthplaces of modern Chinese 24/7 restaurants. Regardless of its ranking among other competitors, spicy food lovers will fall head over heels for Huda.
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Jubaoyuan

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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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. The top-quality handmade lamb and beef ingredients are spoken highly of by guests. What’s more, its other signature item, the sesame bun, sells out so fast 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.
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Bistrot B

Hotel Restaurant, French, $$$
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Bistrot B, the French restaurant of Rosewood Hotel, provides its customers a harbor from the bustling and stressful life of Beijing with its fresh and green environment and the delicious, high-quality food. Its chef, Jarrod Verbiak, is the student of world-famous chef Daniel Boulud. Like his teacher, Verbiak believes in the significance of sourcing local ingredients. For wine lovers, Bistrot B is even more strongly recommended—not only does it have a professional wine cellar, it also has a unique, must-try cocktail called the Peking Paloma made with tequila, grapefruit and Sichuan prickly ash.
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Mon - Sun:
6:30 am - 10:30 am
Mon - Sat:
11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Sun:
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Mon - Sun:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Moscow Restaurant

Restaurant, Russian, $$$
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Opened in 1945, the Moscow Restaurant (nicknamed “Lao Mo” by Beijingers) features Russian cuisine (obviously). It grew up with the People’s Republic of China, which was founded in 1949, and has been deemed the top Western restaurant in China in the past. Decades ago, the most prestigious experience among Beijingers was to dine at “Lao Mo.” The restaurant now has become more of a nostalgic reminder of a passing era, but it is still a wonderful experience.
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Mon - Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Mon - Sun:
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm