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Courtesy of Country Kitchen

The 38 Essential Beijing Restaurants

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After a long dark period, Beijing's restaurant scene has been reborn under less restrictive policies of private enterprise that allow chefs and restaurateurs more freedom to open up new and innovative establishments. Combined with its surprisingly fair representation of the country's diverse regional cuisines, Beijing offers a broad spectrum of Chinese food not easily found elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Price per person, excluding alcohol
$ = 1 - 50 元/RMB (USD 1 - 6)
$$ = 51 - 100 元/RMB (UDS 6 - USD 15)
$$$ = 101 - 150 元/RMB (USD 15 - USD 20)
$$$$ = More than 150 元/RMB (more than USD 20)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pure Lotus (淨心蓮 )

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Fang Yuan Li(Jiang Tai Lu), Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100016
+86 10 6592 3627

Step into this fantasy vegetarian paradise owned by a former monk, and you’ll feel swept away by the dramatic dining room. When the massive menu is put down before you, take a minute to digest the array of vegetarian offerings with poetic names that evoke more than just a dish. The flavors are clean, bright, and thoughtful in this reliable upscale vegetarian paradise. [$$ - $$$]

2. Dadong Duck 大董鸭

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89 Jianguo Rd, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6530 7200
Visit Website

Da Dong, the recognized personality behind his eponymous roast duck restaurants, is giving fast food a go, and the duck burger is nothing short of impressive. A hunk of roast duck is carved out and sandwiched between halves of a sesame seed bun. Other options include a truffled spaghetti that stays in great shape despite being packaged. [$]

3. The Bagna Cauda at Vinvie 萬火

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麦子店街8号北側平房, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6508 5517

However odd it may sound to have the Italian classic dipping sauce of sardines and olive oil in a Japanese wine bar, it all makes sense here. A dish of bagna cauda dip comes with a bamboo basket of steamed fresh vegetables, while grilled meats and a delightful menu of small Japanese-style bites complement this dish in every possible way. [$$ - $$$]

Ma Zi Yun

4. Baijiu at Capital Spirits • 首都酒坊

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3 Da Ju Hu Tong, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100007

This is the place to taste China’s national hooch: baijiu, a grain alcohol that is commonly maligned but can also be elevated to high-priced luxury bottles. Capital Spirits brings baijiu a little more respect and curiosity; the bar allows patrons to try brews in small tastes without committing to a whole bottle, still a relatively unknown practice in China. [$ - $$]

5. Traitor Zhou's Kaifeng Nonkosher Delicatessen at Migas

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Xin Hua Bao Xian Gu Fen You Xian Gong Si ( San Li Tun Lu ), SanLiTun, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100600
+86 10 5762 6098
Visit Website

American chef Max Levy has a span of talents (see Okra, below). Here, he makes an array of hand-stretched bagels, including a black nori flavor. Spread with miso cream cheese, it's crafty and fun. The shop also offers Levy’s take on local charcuterie, a selection of organic wines, and dried fruits, including an exceptional offering of raisins from Xinjiang province. Find it in the front corner of Migas restaurant. [$]

Courtesy of Traitor Zhou's

6. Mini Roujiamo at Zhenai Zhongguo

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Chaoyang
Beijing, China

A basket of handmade mini-buns filled with tender braised fatty pork, chopped to order and sauced with stewing jus, will make your heart sing with happiness. This is classic Shaanxi-style street snacking, and the abundance of other dining options rounds out a terrific meal. [$ - $$]

7. Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup at Bellagio 鹿港小镇

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嘉里中心商场 Kerry Centre Mall. Basement., Beijing
Beijing, China

Although this Taiwanese-owned chain of restaurants is plentiful, this newer location is housed within a mall of good eats. Thanks to its owners, respectable bowls of the famous beef noodles are well represented on this menu. [$ - $$]

Ma Zi Yun

8. The Lost Recipes at Country Kitchen 乡味小厨

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+86 10 6597 8888
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Taste your way through an impressive variety of regional Chinese cuisines at the Rosewood’s stunning casual Chinese restaurant. Chef Leo Xin Chai has recreated a number of forgotten imperial recipes and makes full use of a wood-burning duck-roasting oven. Don’t skip the memorable roast pork, based on ancient texts and traditional techniques. [$$ - $$$]

Courtesy of Country Kitchen

9. Green Bites To Go 绿盒子蒸饺

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E166, World City, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 400 958 4394

A healthier, more mindful version of the classic Beijing dumpling is available here at Green Bites, with wholesome fillings that taste lighter and brighter with each bite. Paper eco-packaging is used for takeaway boxes, a rarity in plastic-obsessed China. [$]

Courtesy of Green Bites

10. The Duck Set at Taste of Dadong 小大董

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9 Dongdaqiao Rd, Beijing
Beijing 100020, China

The gallery-like Parkview Green Mall, a quieter outpost from Beijing’s duck king, offers set meals in a calm setting. For those who don’t want to commit to the whole bird: A single portion of Beijing’s most famous dish and the house specialty, Peking roast duck, is available. [$$ - $$$]

Ma Zi Yun

11. Haidilao Hot Pot (海底捞火锅)

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2A Baijiazhuang Rd, Beijing
Beijing 100020, China
+86 10 6595 2982
Visit Website

Hand-pulled noodles by a Chinese hip hop artist dressed in white, 24/7, is the premise behind this never-closed hot pot chain. It's a total crowd pleaser, thanks to its mastery of the art of waiting, with complimentary shoe shines, board games, and even a manicure station. If not for the food, go for the experience — especially late at night. [$ - $$]

12. Bottle, Boot & Cigar (BBC)

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57 Xingfucun Zhonglu, Beijing
Beijing 1000010, China

Bringing New York precision and style to Beijing, Douglas Williams, owner of this slim joint, is the master behind its crafted cocktails. A wall of bitters and an impressive bottle collection is complemented by a select choice of aged infused cigars from Nicaragua. [$ - $$][Note: Currently closed for construction, Bottle, Boot & Cigar reopens in mid-July.]

Courtesy of Bottle, Boot & Cigar

13. Mala Popcorn Chicken at Jing-A (京A) Taproom

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4 Gongti N Rd, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6501 8883
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Jing-A’s creative bar menu offers addictive, numbing mala spicy chicken loaded with bright red chilies and prickly, fragrant Sichuan peppercorns. These boneless chunks are loaded with vibrant flavor; wash them down with the craft beers on tap. In the summer, a pleasant garden is open to all. [$$]

Courtesy of Jing-A Taproom

14. Rouge

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Chaoyang
Beijing, China

Modeled after a simple Hong Kong-style diner, Rouge has an all-day mixed menu of Cantonese favorites and dim sum. Southern Chinese favorites like crispy chicken and the must-have beef chow fun rice noodles are highly recommended. [$$]

Ma Zi Yun

15. Mama de Weidao

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6-110 Zhongguo Hong Jie Building, 2 Gongti Dong Lu, Beijing
Beijing, China

Mama’s boasts exceptional homestyle cooking that would make anybody wish for a Chinese mother, with clean, delicate flavors at the core of its delicious comfort food, especially in the handmade dumplings. The wide appeal is clearly evident from the hoards crowding the dining room. [$ - $$]

16. MOKA Bros

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B101b, S Bldg, Nali Huayuan, 81 Sanlitun N Rd, Beijing
Beijing 1000027, China
+86 10 5208 6079
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In a city where healthy eating isn’t always easy, these grain or noodle bowls are a godsend. In this vibrant cafe buzzing with laptop screens, you can fill up without being weighed down, or just get a caffeine or juice fix. But, if you want, there are sweets, including South American alfajores. [$ - $$]

17. Duck de Chine (全鸭季)

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Courtyard 4, Gongti N Rd, Chaoyang Qu
Beijing, China
+86 10 6501 8881
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Asking who has the best roast duck in Beijing is an unsolvable question, but it’s possible to decide who has the best duck sauce. Although DDC’s duck roasters are from Hong Kong, they have incorporated their swirling sauce artistry into a fun dinner party trick with a house-made hoisin (not traditional to Peking duck), sesame sauce, and roasted garlic dust. [$$ - $$$]

18. Okra 1949

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1949 – The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu (behind Pacific Century Place) 北京市朝阳区工体北, Chaoyang Qu
Beijing 100027, China
+86 10 6593 5087
Visit Website

Chef Max Levy is a talent who has proven his skills in many culinary styles. At Okra, he shines bright with his house-made mala peppercorn sausage and pickled okra, which leaves you tingling with delight. Japanese food lovers should find their way to this former electric factory compound for a take on Japanese cuisine not found elsewhere. [$$ - $$$]

19. Jing Yaa Tang (京雅堂)

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No.11 Sanlitun Road
Taikoo Li North, Chaoyang District
+86 10 6410 5230
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It’s not just a place for great duck — the dim sum is a bargain with all-you-can-eat selections made in-house, which is enjoyed by both visitors and long term Beijingers. Chef Dong Li is all smiles and knows how to please crowds. [$$]

20. Spicy Chicken at Transit 渡金湖

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N4-36 Sanlitun Village North, Beijing
Beijing, China

“Mouthwatering chicken” is the local name for this spicy red-hot pool of fragrant chile oil spiked with numbing mala flavors. The silky chicken, flavored with hints of sesame and vinegar, is one of the standouts in this restaurant serving excellent modern Sichuan cuisine. Cocktails and dinner are a must. [$$ - $$$]

21. Soup Dumplings at Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰

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24 Xinyuanxili M St, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6462 4502
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Back in the early nineties, writer and author Ken Hom waxed lyrical for the original Taiwan dumpling house in the New York Times. Consistently good and reliable, these delicate pockets of hot broth and a savory filling have now been franchised all over the world, but both locals and visitors still patronize this institution for its reliability and service. [$$]

22. Chuan Ban 川办餐厅

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5 Gongyuan Toutiao, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6512 2277

Amongst the restaurants scattered throughout Beijing that represent provincial governments, this is still one of the better options for an authentic taste of Sichuan’s sophisticated flavors. Ingredients are flown in each week, ensuring fresh, tingling, numbing peppercorns on any dish, including the shuizhuyu, a spicy oil-poached fish dish, and other classics. [$ - $$]

Ma Zi Yun

23. TRB Forbidden City

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Just overlooking the moat surrounding the Forbidden City, the newest addition to Ignace Lecleir’s Temple restaurant collection serves modern European dishes priced by the course in a build-your-own meal formula with knockout selections that are reasonably priced. The generous complimentary finish to each meal is a napkin full of warm madeleines. [$$ - $$$]

Courtesy of TRB Bites

24. Lost Heaven 花马天堂

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23 Qian Men Dong Da Jie, Dongcheng Qu
Beijing Shi, China
+86 10 8403 5465
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Set in the far corner of Legation Quarters in the former embassy of the United States, this structure has drawn crowds to its glamorous dining room full of touches from Yunnan, China’s most southwestern province. Mix up mushrooms, cheese, and aged ham, three treasures famously native to the province. [$$ - $$$]

25. Pavlova at Capital M

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3 Qianmen Pedestrian St, Beijing
Beijing 100051, China
+86 10 6702 2727
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With a terrace overlooking Beijing’s city center from the Forbidden City, Capital M has one of the best locations in town for a meal or a drink. Meals in the sumptuous dining room are a treat, and it would be criminal not to finish with a signature slice of M’s legendary Pavlova, a crisp meringue, lighter than air with fresh fruit and fluffy cream. [$$$]

Courtesy of Capital M

26. The Southern Fish 渔芙南

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166 Yang Mei Zhu Xie Jie, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100051

Set deep within Dashilan’s hutongs — essentially, narrow alleys — this home-style restaurant serves dishes from Hunan province, which is known for its fiery chiles and deep-smoked pork belly. Don't miss the pounded roast green chiles with preserved century eggs as a starter, which will stick with you throughout the meal. This tiny dining room has nine small tables, so you'll want to book in advance. [$ - $$]

27. Tianjin Baijiaoyuan

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Xin Wen Hua Jie Xiao Qu, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100031
+86 10 6605 9371

The restaurant name means “100 dumplings,” and there are about as many excellent choices on the menu, along with cooked dishes from the wok. The variety is astounding, with multiple fillings available and vegetable-colored skins on display to brighten each bite. (Nearby port city Tianjin is where the original branch hails from, hence the name.) [$ - $$]

28. Qin Tang Fu

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Mi Lian Nuo ( Dong Si Bei Da Jie ), DongSi, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100007

In this Lilliputian space, the tiny wooden chairs and folksy decor from Shaanxi province only add to the charm. Deep bowls of hand-pulled noodles are served in broth or for dipping in a sour, garlicky, chili-spiked sauce. Roujiamo, tender braised pork chopped and then stuffed between housemade flatbread, comes in lean, fatty, or even double-stuffed versions. [$ - $$]

29. Pàng Mèi Miàn Zhuāng (胖妹面庄 "Fat Sister's Noodle Joint")

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Xiang Er Hu Tong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100007

Chili heads get their noodle-slurping fix at this outpost of a successful Chongqing-style noodle shop. The top seller is a bowl of noodles called wanzha mian, which is full of wandou, a starchy yellow pea that’s a classic ingredient in some Sichuan and Chongqing noodle soups. This version of southwestern noodles is not easy find in the north and worth seeking out, even if you have to elbow past the young crowd that dashes in, slurps, then leaves. [$]

30. The Big Rib at Dagui (大贵 )

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北京东城区交道口大兴胡同69号近东四十条、华人一品大厦西北侧、天海商务大厦西侧, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6407 1800

This hutong restaurant, nestled inside a pedestrian lane, is a local favorite. Of the many crowd-pleasers, the big ribs are fork-tender arches of pork that come served in a spicy, assertive sauce typical of Guizhou province. [$$]

[Ed. note: Dagui is now closed.]

31. Barista Coffee Roasters

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+86 135 0981 6880

With serious coffee still in its infancy here, Barista is one of the first shops to serve fresh-ground pourovers by the cup or carafe, with owner Alex Liu checking water temperatures with a digital radar thermometer for perfect brews. The tiny six-seat bar also offers bites of cheesecake and croissants and fills up quickly. [$]

32. Beijing Boiled Dumplings at Xian Lao Man 馅老满酒家

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252 Andingmen Inner St, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 6404 6944

“Our dumplings are the fullest” is the claim at this local hutong legend, which is known for classic Beijing dishes and an impressive collection of hand-wrapped dumplings. Dipped in black vinegar with a clove of blue pickled garlic, these pouches of dough are just the way dumplings should be done — something everyone else seated at the busy tables knows. [$ - $$]

33. Huiguo Rou at Zhang Mama (张妈妈特色川味馆 )

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+86 188 1119 5778

This Sichuan legend has two locations, pleasing crowds all over the city. Its classic pork dish is called twice-cooked pork, or huiguo rou, and it’s delicious. This version has crispy fried dough pieces, adding a fun crunch. [$ - $$]

34. Dali Courtyard  (大里院子)

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67 Xiaojingchang Alley, Beijing
Beijing 100009, China
0108404430

There is no better deal for any local or visitor who wants a Yunnan experience. In a courtyard hutong with al fresco seating, this extremely reasonably priced set menu is easy to like — all the difficult guesswork has been taken out. [$$]

35. Great Leap Brewing 大跃啤酒

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6 Doujiao Hutong, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 5717 1399
Visit Website

Featuring draft beers made with ingredients including Sichuan peppercorns, goddess of mercy tea, and black tea, this original hutong brewery now has three locations that have exploded into full-blown eateries, which serve some of the best burgers in Beijing. Each has its own charm, although romantics prefer the original hutong dive that was at the start of the craft beer scene in Beijing. [$$]

36. Yun-er Town 云洱小镇

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84 Beiluogu Alley, Beijing
Beijing, China
+86 10 8404 2407

More on the Yunnan trail: This local eatery, just at the north end of Beijing's most famous hutong lane, Nanluoguxiang, is where you’ll find excellent Yunnan food full of mushrooms, tea, and unusual flower blossoms. Reasonable prices and a tiny rooftop for al fresco dining make eating here a treat. [$ - $$]

37. Hot Wings at Kuan Dian 宽店

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When you walk into this rooftop dive overlooking the labyrinth of Beijing’s traditional hutongs, it feels like you’ve crashed a private party in a tiny duplex. But these hot wings have a serious hold over Beijing. If you can suffer through what are known as the “perversely” hot wings, then you’re an official chili head. Fortunately, milder, more humane wings are also available. [$]

38. The Golden Peacock

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Wei Gong Cun, Haidian Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100000
+86 10 6893 2030

Get here early, because its hours are limited and it fills up quickly, thanks to its location near Minzu University. This stalwart Yunnan restaurant is kitschy to the extreme, with a delicious menu of distinct dishes from the China's Dai population. Go for the fried potato balls with chile, salted greens and garlic, and pomegranate blossoms. Finish with the sticky pineapple rice, which is worth trekking across town for all on its own. [$ - $$]

1. Pure Lotus (淨心蓮 )

Fang Yuan Li(Jiang Tai Lu), Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100016

Step into this fantasy vegetarian paradise owned by a former monk, and you’ll feel swept away by the dramatic dining room. When the massive menu is put down before you, take a minute to digest the array of vegetarian offerings with poetic names that evoke more than just a dish. The flavors are clean, bright, and thoughtful in this reliable upscale vegetarian paradise. [$$ - $$$]

Fang Yuan Li(Jiang Tai Lu), Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100016

2. Dadong Duck 大董鸭

89 Jianguo Rd, Beijing, Beijing, China

Da Dong, the recognized personality behind his eponymous roast duck restaurants, is giving fast food a go, and the duck burger is nothing short of impressive. A hunk of roast duck is carved out and sandwiched between halves of a sesame seed bun. Other options include a truffled spaghetti that stays in great shape despite being packaged. [$]

89 Jianguo Rd, Beijing
Beijing, China

3. The Bagna Cauda at Vinvie 萬火

麦子店街8号北側平房, Beijing, Beijing, China
Ma Zi Yun

However odd it may sound to have the Italian classic dipping sauce of sardines and olive oil in a Japanese wine bar, it all makes sense here. A dish of bagna cauda dip comes with a bamboo basket of steamed fresh vegetables, while grilled meats and a delightful menu of small Japanese-style bites complement this dish in every possible way. [$$ - $$$]

麦子店街8号北側平房, Beijing
Beijing, China

4. Baijiu at Capital Spirits • 首都酒坊

3 Da Ju Hu Tong, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007

This is the place to taste China’s national hooch: baijiu, a grain alcohol that is commonly maligned but can also be elevated to high-priced luxury bottles. Capital Spirits brings baijiu a little more respect and curiosity; the bar allows patrons to try brews in small tastes without committing to a whole bottle, still a relatively unknown practice in China. [$ - $$]

3 Da Ju Hu Tong, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100007

5. Traitor Zhou's Kaifeng Nonkosher Delicatessen at Migas

Xin Hua Bao Xian Gu Fen You Xian Gong Si ( San Li Tun Lu ), SanLiTun, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100600
Courtesy of Traitor Zhou's

American chef Max Levy has a span of talents (see Okra, below). Here, he makes an array of hand-stretched bagels, including a black nori flavor. Spread with miso cream cheese, it's crafty and fun. The shop also offers Levy’s take on local charcuterie, a selection of organic wines, and dried fruits, including an exceptional offering of raisins from Xinjiang province. Find it in the front corner of Migas restaurant. [$]

Xin Hua Bao Xian Gu Fen You Xian Gong Si ( San Li Tun Lu ), SanLiTun, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi
China, 100600

6. Mini Roujiamo at Zhenai Zhongguo

Chaoyang, Beijing, China

A basket of handmade mini-buns filled with tender braised fatty pork, chopped to order and sauced with stewing jus, will make your heart sing with happiness. This is classic Shaanxi-style street snacking, and the abundance of other dining options rounds out a terrific meal. [$ - $$]

Chaoyang
Beijing, China

7. Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup at Bellagio 鹿港小镇

嘉里中心商场 Kerry Centre Mall. Basement., Beijing, Beijing, China
Ma Zi Yun

Although this Taiwanese-owned chain of restaurants is plentiful, this newer location is housed within a mall of good eats. Thanks to its owners, respectable bowls of the famous beef noodles are well represented on this menu. [$ - $$]

嘉里中心商场 Kerry Centre Mall. Basement., Beijing
Beijing, China

8. The Lost Recipes at Country Kitchen 乡味小厨

3/F Rosewood Beijing, China
Courtesy of Country Kitchen

Taste your way through an impressive variety of regional Chinese cuisines at the Rosewood’s stunning casual Chinese restaurant. Chef Leo Xin Chai has recreated a number of forgotten imperial recipes and makes full use of a wood-burning duck-roasting oven. Don’t skip the memorable roast pork, based on ancient texts and traditional techniques. [$$ - $$$]

9. Green Bites To Go 绿盒子蒸饺

E166, World City, Beijing, Beijing, China
Courtesy of Green Bites

A healthier, more mindful version of the classic Beijing dumpling is available here at Green Bites, with wholesome fillings that taste lighter and brighter with each bite. Paper eco-packaging is used for takeaway boxes, a rarity in plastic-obsessed China. [$]

E166, World City, Beijing
Beijing, China

10. The Duck Set at Taste of Dadong 小大董

9 Dongdaqiao Rd, Beijing, Beijing 100020, China
Ma Zi Yun

The gallery-like Parkview Green Mall, a quieter outpost from Beijing’s duck king, offers set meals in a calm setting. For those who don’t want to commit to the whole bird: A single portion of Beijing’s most famous dish and the house specialty, Peking roast duck, is available. [$$ - $$$]

9 Dongdaqiao Rd, Beijing
Beijing 100020, China

11. Haidilao Hot Pot (海底捞火锅)

2A Baijiazhuang Rd, Beijing, Beijing 100020, China