The very best restaurants in Beijing for enjoying a meat-free meal

Chinese Meals:

Nearly every Chinese restaurant offers vegetarian options. Chinese meals are designed to have one meat dish and several vegetarian dishes of differing properties. One bitter, one sweet, one bold and one cleansing. Ideally, you'll also have a staple like rice of noodles with your meal. Thus, you can still have a group meal as a vegetarian without having to order your own platter. Check out Dao or the Golden Cat Dumpling City for vegetarian meals that will suit even a picky group of diners.


Beijing's cafes are happy to offer vegetarian options, especially for lunch. Le Cafe Igosso, Cafe Samba and Made in China all offer great little vegetarian options for lunch or a light dinner. The great thing about cafes is their propensity to offer healthy options plus a little bit of a more relaxed vibe. You'll find sandwiches, soups, and appetizers all free of meat at any of these delightful cafes.

International Cuisine:

Cheff Too, an American eatery, has a few healthy vegetarian options on the menu that will make you smile. If you need a taste of the homeland without compromising and chowing down on a burger, then this little restaurant. For a taste of Mexico, hit Peter's Tex Mex for a delicious vegetarian burrito or taco. Or Nuage, a Vietnamese restaurant, offers delicious cuisine with some vegetarian options, plus a great view of the lake. Or take a stroll down fusion lane with a dip of the vegetarian options at The Courtyard or La Taverne. Finally, the vegetarian sushi rolls at Hatsune will drive you up a wall. Don't miss out on the best dining in the city just because you're avoiding meat. These options, and others, are happy to cater to your moral choice to avoid the flesh of other animals.

Fresh sashimi and long sushi rolls are the favorite fare at this modern Japanese restaurant. Highly recommended is the 119 Roll, with bright red tuna topped with a divine spicy-sweet sauce. Hatsune offers an inexpensive fixed price lunch on...  Read More

Peter's Tex-Mex Grill

Nicely decorated eatery with a definite Texan-Mexican theme. Burritos, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas compete with grilled chicken, burgers, barbecue and fries. Pleasant family atmosphere. There's a second branch at Hairun International...  Read More

Golden Cat Dumpling City

Beijingers love "jiaozi" (dumplings), and they come here in throngs for the choice of no less than 30 different fillings at this simple yet delightful courtyard diner. From traditional pork, fish, lamb and beef to pumpkin and eggplant, some...  Read More

La Taverne

If you are looking for a modest French bistro, cozy and inexpensive, then La Taverne will be the one. Dishes are generally not as rich and creamy as at other French restaurants in Beijing. Recommendations include the pan-fried sea bass, the...  Read More

An open-kitchen restaurant specializing in Beijing cuisine, located inside one of the city's major hotels. All the local street food is served here, except that it's guaranteed fresh and elegantly presented. Try some of the small dishes as...  Read More


This Vietnamese restaurant is a bit overpriced, but nevertheless an excellent location for a full night on the town, with a dancehall-cum-jazz club downstairs. The rooftop offers beautiful views over Houhai Lake whereas the first floor can be...  Read More

Chef Too Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Chef Too

A modest diner gaining repute in Beijing for its steaks, which are some of the best in the capital. Try the filet mignon or the pork chops. Salads are fresh and the desserts are homemade. Chef Too does a great Sunday brunch too and is popular with expats.

The Courtyard

One of Beijing's best-known and most exquisite restaurants, The Courtyard is often described as specializing in fusion cuisine; however a more apt title would be "East meets West" cuisine. The menu features treats such as jumbo shrimp with...  Read More

Chaoyang East District
Le Cafe Igosso

After so many rice dishes in Beijing, you might find yourself with an aching for pasta. This cute little Italian is located at an ugly junction, but is lovely inside. You are invited to sip a cocktail or a martini in the second floor bar while...  Read More


Ever heard of Taoist cuisine? Well, apparently, the Zhengyi school of Taoism in Sichuan province created vegetarian dishes for longevity and virility. Now they have brought the mystic recipes to Beijing. Set inside an old archway, you'll find a...  Read More


Meet Lauren Johnson

Lauren has been living in Asia for the past five years. She holds a master's degree in Asian history. Lauren spends her free time reading, writing and traveling and visiting zoos in every city possible.

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