The Best Chinese Cuisine: all the favorite local grub in China's capital city

At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for Beijing's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for Chinese food in Beijing, we head to Whampoa Club - a reader favorite - or we count on Fangshan Restaurant's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for Chinese cuisine, and if you're looking to concentrate your efforts, start with the vibrant Dongcheng District area.

In Beijing, food is worshiped. Nowhere is this more evident than in the wide array of Chinese cuisine options that dominate the city. From tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurants with no name to the giant, popular eateries that are packed nightly with smokers, drinkers and families trying to suck in a hearty meal.

The city's Chinese food is broken into a few categories for ease. Southern food, which is spicy, vegetable and rice based, is extremely popular with the nationals who are from out-of-town. Of course, the middle dominates the jiaozi scene (dumplings) and they come in many meat and vegetable flavors. Northerners prefer less spicy cuisine, with more of a noodle base. Perhaps the most popular and famous local cuisine is the Peking Duck, which is a whole duck roast in an open wood stove. The duck is sliced and served on a plate with a side of onion, cucumber and small pancake-like cakes. You create your own burrito-style wrap with the duck meat and sides and slather the whole ordeal in duck sauce. This is more than a tradition, it's a way of life for many.

Da Jinsi Hutong 1


This nameless restaurant goes only by an address and is the other half of the "No Name Bar." Soft lighting and gentle waterfalls create a more soothing atmosphere than the usual noisy Beijing restaurant, and the food is excellent. The chef's...  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

Xi Cheng District
Fangshan Restaurant


Beautifully located on the banks of Beihai Lake just northwest of the Forbidden City, this courtyard restaurant serves up imperial dishes once favored by the emperors of the Qing Dynasty. The restaurant was established in 1925 by three royal...  Read More

Fujia Lou


A cheap and cheerful option, but one that offers great value for money. Inside an old grey building with latticed wood screens is a pleasant little Chinese diner. Interestingly, the menu is written on pieces of wood and hung from the rafters....  Read More

Huajia Yiyuan


Locals love to crowd into this diner late at night for the generous portions of home-style Beijing fare. You must try the spicy crayfish ("mala longxia") and the "larou douya juanbing" (pancake rolls of spicy bacon and bean sprouts). Wash it...  Read More

Xicheng West District
Jiuhua Shan Kaoya


Located on the west side of the city, this is a Peking Duck restaurant popular with locals, especially Communist Party officials. Whole ducks, relatively low on fat and crispy, are very reasonable for 88 CNY. They roast only 200 birds a day, so...  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

Xi Cheng District
Whampoa Club


This stunning restaurant was opened by acclaimed chef Jereme Leung who also boasts a Shanghai branch of the same name. Proclaimed as "New Beijing" cuisine, the delicious dishes are inspired by ancient imperial cuisine coupled with modern Chinese...  Read More



Delicious, tender Peking roast duck baked in a traditional oven. This is a more authentic option than the commercial Peking duck restaurants that most tourists are lured to. A very friendly atmosphere in this tiny, family-run restaurant, which...  Read More

Xi Cheng District


An elegant but traditional Chinese restaurant set in an old courtyard house, beautifully located on the south side of Houhai Lake. The restaurant is named after Mei Lanfang, a famous actor from Peking opera who starred in women's roles. Opera...  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.