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.