Beijing Dining Being the capital of China, Beijing has a huge number of restaurants with different cuisines from all over China as well as from many parts of the world. There are also quite a few types of foods which are unique to Beijing.
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Chinese Dining CustomThe big difference between Chinese and Western eating manner is that in the West, everyone has their own plate of food, while in China people share the dishes placed on the table.
A typical Chinese meal starts with cold dishes. These are followed by the main courses, hot meat and vegetable dishes. Finally a soup is brought out, which is followed by principal food, usually including rice or noodles or sometimes dumplings.
One thing to be kept in mind is that when eating with a Chinese host, you may find that the host is using her or his chopsticks to take food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The proper thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there. There is a certain amount of leniency involved when dealing with Westerners.
Traditionally speaking, there are many taboos at Chinese tables, but nowadays not many people are keen on them. However, there are a few things you should be aware of, especially if you go for a meal in a private home.
1) Don't put your chopsticks upright in your rice bowl. Instead, put them on your plate. The reason for this is that when somebody dies, the shrine contains a bowl of rice with two sticks put upright. So if you put your chopsticks in the rice bowl, it reminds people of the death upon a person at the table!
2) Make sure the mouth of the teapot is not directed at anyone on the table. The teapot mouth should always be pointed to where nobody is sitting,
3) Don't tap on your bowl with your chopsticks. Beggars tap on their bowls, so this is not polite.
You may prefer expensive, delicious food in your hotel. But if you are expecting something different, you are suggestd to go to a local restaurant. It is cheaper, in addition, you can get a feeling of being locals and see what normal people eat. Some restaurants have English menus, but some don't. You may choose your dishes by looking at what other people are eating.
Drinking and Dining
Alcohol is a very important part of dining in Beijing and other parts of China as well. Especially when dining with Chinese hosts, you can expect some alcoholic beverage like bai jiu, high spirits of liquor made from grains.
Beijing people like Er Guo Tou, 56% alcohol. More expensive are Maotai and Wuliangye. In comparison, Er Guo Tou costs a modest 10 or 20 yuan per ping(bottle). If you are not a drinker, or don't go for the challenge, just say "wo bu hui he jiu"(I don't drink). It is generally acceptable to use tea or soft drink as an alcohol substitute.
Located at the northern entrance to Wangfujing Street, Donghuamen Night Snack Street is also a must see spot for its plentiful snacks in Beijing. It has one long row of stalls. When it is dark, the rhythmical huckstering is a big temptation to your stomach.
Fangzhuang Food Street
With a nearly 100-year history, Donglaishun is a long-standing Muslim's restaurant famous for its Shuan Yang Rou (instant-boiled mutton). The special flavor of the restaurants on this street is spicy. It is a good choice to enjoy the Chinese food. In addition to the resturants offering Chinese food, there are also restaurants offering the Japanese, Germen and Italian food. It is located in Fangzhuang Community, southwest of Second Ring Road.
Gui Street (Ghost Street)
Guijie or Ghost Street is a 1442-meter long gourmet street, located within Dongzhimennei Dongcheng District, running from the east of Dongzhimen Bridge. The street is lined with over 100 restaurants and most of them offer 24-hour service. The business here is particularly booming at night, when the street sparkles with red lanterns lightening. Locals, expats, tourists and businessmen flock here each night. The restaurants here serve a great diversity of dishes, including Sichuan, Canton, handong dishes, as well as snacks, barbecue, and ethnic minority dishes.
Longfusi Snack Street
Longfusi is known for authentic Beijing food. You can enjoy the traditional soybean milk, Jiaoquan, Luzhu and so on. As the evening falls, the street becomes very busy. and the air is pervaded by the delicious aroma. It is located north of Prime Hotel on the north tip of Wangfujing Street.
Niujie Snack Street
As Niujie is where the Hui People, the Moslem believers live, you can find the authentic snack with the authentic exotic flavor. The famous Turpan Restaurant is located here, offering visitor the genuine Uygur food.
Qianmen Snack Street
Qianmen is well known for its century's history, however, it is also a crazy place for snack. The traditional Beijing-style snacks including Baodu (quick-boiled tripe), Luzhu huishao (a type of pork soup with bread bits), as well as other traditional favorites gather here. Everyday many people queue up for their favorite taste. There are also a lot of well-known century-old restaurants such as Quanjude Roast Duck, Duyichu Shaomai and Yitiaolong Restaurant.
Shichahai Snack Street
A Beijing-style snack craze is keeping down in the Qianmen Snack Street including Baodu Feng, Chaogeda, Youzhagao...The famous Jiumen (Nine Gate) Snack Street is located in a hutong at Shachahai. Here the brand-name Beijing Snacks are provided in a traditional courtyard setting by 12 vendors. These Beijing-style Snacks have been for a history of 100 or 200 years.
Wangfujing Snack Street
Beijing is known for its great variety of snack, and Wangfujing Snack Street, downtown in Beijing, is the bustling for its snack. Everyday it attracts many customers, especially in the evening. The street is crowded with all kind of local cuisine throughout China, including skewers with many types of meat, fried pancakes with peking duck, noodles, seafood and desserts. Chinese snack is a must for visitor to Beijing, and the Wangfujing Snack Street is the best place to go.
Donglaishun Hot Pot
Hot Pot has been around over 1,000 years and spread throughout China. Thus, different regions have used hot pot to fit their local tastes. As we know, Mongolian Hot Pot is a popular dish most often enjoyed during Beijing's cooler months.
Beijing Roat Duck Restarants
It is the local flavor of Beijing. Climbing the Great Wall, enjoying Beijing Opera and savoring Beijing Duck are the three "musts" for those visiting Beijing for the first time, which you cannot miss. The traditional method of preparing Beijing Duck has a history of over a hundred years and boasts a great reputation to this day. If you ask which is the best Beijing duck house ( restaurant ) in Beijing, different people will offer you difserent answers. Actually it is quite a personal taste of which one is the best.
Located in the bustling Qianmen Street, Duyichu is the well-known century-old brand name in Beijing. It was set up in the 3rd year of Emperor Qianlong's reign in the Qing Dynasty or 1738, about 250 years from today. Its name is favored by Emperor Qianlong after he enjoyed the service here. The Tiger Head Plaque described by Qianlong is hanging in the center of the hall reads Duyichu. The dishes here is famous both domestic and overseas. Featured foods: Steamed Dumpling of Three Delicacies, Fried Triangle Rolls, Steamed Dumpling, Qianlong Cabbage, Fried Round Mass of Food.
Want to enjoy the Chinese flavor from the bygone imperial diet? Come to Beijing Fangshan Restaurant. This restaurant, established by chefs who used to work in "royal kitchen" (Yu Shan Fang) offers the food similar to what the emperor ate in the past. To have a meal here, you can not only not enjoy the delicious royal cuisine but also savor the magnificent royal gardens.
Style: Imperial Ciusine
Fengzeyuan Restaurant, famed for its Shandong food, has a series of sea cucumber dishes as the highlights of its menu. The flavor of its dishes is a little light but spicy, mellow not greasy, fragrant, tender and crisp. The featured dishes here are Bird’s Nest, Shark’s skin, Fish Maw in Casserole, Stewed Turtle Rim.
Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant
Just like its name, Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant serves incredibly delicious vegan dishes. If you have a try, you will doubt whether you are in a vegetable restaurant, because you can see Crisp Chinese Eel, Cumin Shish Kebab, Braising Pork, Braising Sea Cucumber, Fried Fish Slice in Sauce and so on. Only chewing carefully will you feel the faint scent of vegetables. The dishes here are not only pleasant-looking but also nutrient and good for health. All of these make Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant out of other restaurant.
Style: Vegan dish
Set up in 1835, Hongbinlou Restaurant is well-known for its Muslim flavor mainly offering the Whole Mutton Banquet and Seafood Flavor of Tianjin. It has the high reputation as the First Mansion for Muslim Flavor of Beijing City.
Style: Muslim Cuisine
Li Jia Cai Restaurant
Hidden in a courtyard of Yangfang hutong, you will wonder why Li Jia Cai is so popular. Once you have a try, you will be attracted by its specialty. It only owns one table and has a special rule you have eat what chef has cooked, no ordering. Its dished is devoted to imperial Court without any chemical and all flavor is natural. It welcomes many celebrities such as the former US president Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, the former premier of Britain, John Major, and Chinese superstar Jackie Chan.
In Beijing the time-honored brands called Ju and all have their own featured foods. Shaguoju purchases its name for its Plain Meet in Casserole. According to the historical records, Shaguoju was set up in 1741. The chefs of Shaguoju cooked various dishes as the “All Pork Banquet” by using the plain boiled meat, Deep Fried Pork and Liver, Tossed Pork Skin and Jelly Fish, and Marinated Pork Intestine. Through the development of more than 20 years, plain-boiled Pork Casserole is no longer the major repertoire. More basic ingredients such as chicken, fish, shrimp, crab, sea cucumber and shellfish can be prepared in the casserole manner. They are all decorous in terms of flavor, looking and smell.
Xiaochang (small intestine) Chen Restaurant
If you want to take the genuine Luzhuhuoshao, Xiaochang (small intestine)Chen, the China's time-honored restaurant should be commended firstly. Because of the daintily material as well as the enough quality, its taste is the most famous and authentic.
As soon as you enter Arabian Night Restaurant, you will be attracted by the strong Arabian culture. Rich Arabian atmosphere will bring you to the mysterious country where Gene was said to live in a lamp. Arabian Night Restaurant is the first real Arabian restaurant. Here you can enjoy the pure Arabian flavor of all dishes, Hommos, Tubuli, Kabab, which are all specialties of the restaurant. The most gorgeous dish in Arabian Nights Restaurant is the Baked Whole Sheep. The whole sheep is from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, filled with Thailand spices, green been. You are sure to enjoy the most delicious Baked Whole Sheep.
Style: East Cuisine
Dadi Western Restaurant
Set up in 1945, Dadi Western Restaurant is one of the earliest time-honored brands that provides Western food in Beijing. It is located in the West Changan Avenue and outstanding from the restaurants there by its authentic Russian food. The mural paintings are decorated on the wall, which overflows the full-bodied cultural atmosphere. When Dadi Western Restaurant began its business, it kept on the feature of the original Russian taste. The dishes are focused on the color, the oil, and salty taste. It is abundant in variety with high, medium and low grade, which is fit for the different customer-level, so it is named “affordable restaurant” by the local people. Feature dishes: Chicken Roll with Butter, Ham Salad, Jilin Pawn, Pan Fried Hodgepodge, Roast Mandarin Fish with Milk, Stewed Beef in Pot, King Bakemeat, borsch, Fried Pork Chop.
As and international cafeteria, Leopard offered the most popular catering style around the world now. Without any hall, six open kitchens in Leopard presents American cuisine, Japanese cuisine, French cuisine, Taiwan cuisine, Hongkong cuisine and Chinese cuisine at the same time. Besides the large dinning hall there is also live music in Leopard creating a wonderful dinning environment for customers.
Style: International cafeteria
Moscow Russian Restaurant
"Moscow Restaurant, the beginning place for dreams", this is the big sign of Moscow Restaurant. Next to Beijing Exhibition Centre, Moscow Restaurant is the first western restaurant named “Laomo” friendly by local people. It mainly provides the Russian cuisine such as Russian foods, Ukrainian foods, Caucasian foods and there are other food, for example English Cuisine, French cuisine, Germany cuisine and Italian cuisine for you to choose. The taste here are well-known for faint scent, plateful, thick but not greasy. There are famous old songs such as The Evening at Moscow’s Countryside, Red Berry Blossom, Road, in the hall to bring people back to the years of Vivia Ding.
Style: Russian Cuisine
Restaurant Maxim's Paris
If you want to enjoy the French culture and the soul of the French cuisine in Beijing, the Maxim’s would be an excellent place to choose. Its first dish and soup will impress you greatly. The first dish including Roasted goose liver, Roasted plum rabbit meat, Orange juice prawn salad, Smoked salmon, Roasted Chinese mushroom and escargots and so on. Besides the delicious dished, Maxim’s is also praised for its cake. From cream flavor, cocoa flavor, coffee flavor, fruit flavor to chocolate flavor, from wedding cake to birthday cake, Maxim’s cakes are various shape, wonderful taste and reasonable price. Style: French Cuisine
Salabor Korean Restaurant
As the coverage of the Korean Flow, the Korean food also comes to people's mind. Of course, Salabor Korea Restaurant is the principle destination for the Korean food's enthusiast. "Salabor"means" the holy land shined by the sun foremost in the morning". It is the representative of the traditional Korea Cate. Its scientific dinning contracture, genuine Korea taste, unique cooking craft as well as service make it turn into the famous dinning brand all over the world.
Style: Korea Cooking, Bake Beefsteak, Smoke Beef Fillet
Venice Italian Restaurant
Venice Italian Restaurant, located on the first floor of Kempinski Hotel in Beijing Lufthansa Center, is a nice restaurant offering the real Italian flavor and Middle East cuisine. The wholly Italian style decoration and fabulous dishes make you feel you are in Italian rather than Beijing. Pizza and pastas are the marked representatives of Italian. Here among the dozen of pizzas and pastas, the Fresh Seashell Mushroon and Seafood Pasta are the most popular. Here can also enjoy the Italian cuisine like Muskmelon and Ham, Bamboo Shoots Prawn Pasta, Orange Rainbow Fish, Fresh Scallop Rice and so on.
Style: Italian Restaurant
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