top beijing restaurants

5 Must-Try Beijing Restaurants According to a Local – Best Beijing Local Restaurants

By Audrey Tao

Beijing is one of the largest and most historic capitals in the world, and the culinary scene is one of the best and most diverse in China. As a melting pot of cultures from all over the country, Beijing’s local food is known for being eclectic with a mix of many different types of cuisines from throughout China. From Pekin duck to dumplings, we have compiled a list of the best Beijing local restaurants that are both loved by locals and are foreign-friendly. You won’t find big touristy places on this list…we’ve compiled a list of shops where locals eat that are off the beaten path and almost as good as places we visit on our Beijing food tour where we visit a handful of local spots all around the city by private tuktuk.

Nice Rice (百米粒)

For those who don’t know Hunan province, located in Southwestern China, everything is as spicy as it gets. Just by hearing its name, Nice Rice may sound like a casual urban Beijing café, however when you walk inside you will find an array of traditional Hunanese spicy & savory dishes from pepper fried pork to spicy stir-fried cauliflower served in a pot over a flame. In a place like Beijing where spicy food isn’t traditionally part of its cuisine, Nice Rice turns things up by infusing spicy southern flavors into the food and topping it with the best rice in Beijing.

What To Order:

干锅菜花 (gān guō cài huā) Dry pot stir-fried cauliflower

石锅烧猪蹄 (shí guō shāo zhū tí) Stone pot braised pig hand

香芋蒸排骨(xiāng yù zhēng pái gû) Yam steamed ribs

农家小炒肉(nóng jiā xiâo châo ròu) Home style fried pork

茭白牛肉丝 (jiāo bái níu ròu sī) Cane shoots fried beef

Where it’s located: Dongsi Area

Show Your Taxi Driver: 师傅,我要去 东城区东四二条23号, 谢谢

Map: click here 

DianShanYunShui Yunnan Cuisine (滇山雲水 )

yunnan cold rice noodles

Yunnan, the southwestern most province of China bordering Cambodia and Vietnam, is not only known for its breathtaking natural views, but also its food. Although Yunnan food has become increasingly popular in Beijing, when you walk into the restaurant and you see an entire row of local Yunnan goods on display, along with with an entire staff speaking in the local Yunnan dialect, you know you are in good hands. Hidden inside the hutongs, Dianshan Yunshui has a small storefront similar to those restaurants nearby, but inside you’ll find an open courtyard decorated with Yunnan drapery, art, and photography. The options feature an explosion of flavors including sweet, sour, and spicy in dishes like their famous rice noodles, grilled fish, and baked tofu.

beijing yunnan courtyard

What to order:

大理鸡丝凉拌米线  (dà lî jī sī liáng bàn mî xiàn) Dali rice noodles and shredded chicken

香草铁板烤屏豆腐 (xiāng câo tiê bân kâo píng dòu fū) Vanilla wrapped pan seared tofu

生焖姜柄瓜 (shēng mèn jiāng bîng guā) Stewed Yunnan green pumpkin

小锅米线 (xiâo guō mî xiàn) Rice oodles with mixed vegetables

Where it’s located:next to the Wangfujing area

What to show your taxi driver: 师傅,我去报房胡同25号,谢谢

Map: click here

Siji Minfu Roasted Duck (四季民福烤鸭)

Famous not only for its roasted Peking ducks, Siji Minfu is also one of the most common places to catch celebrities, movie scenes, but most importantly the best view of the Forbidden City. Forget about the big chain Peking duck brands you might research like Dadong or Quanjude. Siji Minfu offers a personal touch and sense of place. With its peaceful setting right on the corner of the Forbidden city and its modern interior design complete with two wood-fire ovens with incredible duck roasting opportunities, Siji Minfu has an exquisite vibe (without a huge price tag) rather than the noisy crowded duck place on the corner of Chinatown.

What To Order:

特选香嫩烤鸭 (tè xuân xiāng nèn kâo yā) Deluxe fresh roasted duck

杏仁宫廷豆腐 (xìng rén gōng tíng dòu fu) Imperial almond cheese/pudding

老北京炸酱面 (lâo bêi jīng zhá jiàng miàn) Beijing soy bean paste noodles

宫廷小吃拼盘 (gōng tíng xiâo chī pīn pán) Imperial dessert platter

Where it’s located: Forbidden city

What to show your taxi driver: 师傅,我要去南池子大街11号故宫东门旁,谢谢

Map: Click Here

Jin Ding Xuan (金鼎轩)

For something more modest that won’t necessary break your wallet, try the 24/7 operating Jin Ding Xuan restaurant which has a few locations throughout Beijing, with the biggest one between the Temple of Earth and the Yonghe Lama Temple. On the outside, Jin Ding Xuan may look like a temple itself with its mammoth size of over four flours, but inside you will discover that it actually is heaven on earth for foodies. Although Jing Ding Xuan is famous for its dim sum, its ever growing menu is like a book and offers solid dishes from all over China.

jin ding xuan restaurant beijing

What To Order:

招牌虾皇饺: (zhāo pái xiā huáng jiâo) Signature shrimp dumplings

担担面 (dàn dàn miàn) Dandan spicy noodles

羊城叉烧酥 (yáng chéng chā shāo sū) Barbeque pork pastry

糯米鸡(nuò mî jī) Sticky rice with chicken

咸蛋黄流沙包 (xián dàn huáng líu shā bāo) Sweet and salty egg buns

Where it’s located: Temple of Earth, Yonghegong Lama Temple Area

Show Your Taxi Driver: 师傅, 我要去和平里西街77(近地坛南门 ), 谢谢

Map: Click here 

Da Xian Jiaozi Yuan Xin (馅饺鑫餐)

beijing big dumplings

A huge selection of handmade dumplings await at this cheap and cheerful courtyard restaurant hidden in one of Beijing’s hutong. At first it may seem like you wondered into someone’s house, but really you’ve entered one of Beijing’s best dumpling shops (opened for more than 25 years!). If you can’t stop eating dumplings, this is a very local place to go. Apart from dumplings, Da Xian Jiaozi also offers a wide selection of side dishes, including many pickled vegetables and salads. At a dumpling shop like this, it will be guaranteed that you will not see any tourists around, and the rooms are filled with old Chinese aunts and uncles and their strong Beijing accents.

What To Order:

西葫芦鸡蛋水饺 (xī hú lu jī dàn shuî jiâo) Zucchini and egg dumpling

牛肉胡萝卜水饺 (niú ròu hú ló bo shuî jiâo) Beef and carrot dumpling

素三鲜水饺 (sù sān xiān shuî jiâo) Vegetarian dumpling

干锅菜花 (gān guō cài huā) Dry pot cauliflower

拌豆腐丝 (bàn dòu fù sī) Shredded tofu salad

Where it’s located: Wangfujing

Show Your Taxi Driver: 师傅去, 东城区西堂子胡同13号近和平饭店北侧胡同内,谢谢

Map: Click Here

Join our Beijing Food Tour

This list is a great way to supplement your time in Beijing after taking one of our Beijing Food Tours . It can be difficult to navigate the city in search of the best local food, so let us do it for you! After the tour you can ask your foodie guide the best way to find any of the delicious spots mentioned above.