10 Beijing Foods We Can’t Live Without

[update Mar 2016]

Most pictures of this post are invalid for some reason. Will post the pics soon.

[end of update]

I’ve been reading about articles titled ‘40 Hong Kong Foods We Can’t Live Without‘ and ‘40 Shanghai Foods We Can’t Live Without‘ on CNNGo, but I’ve been wondering why Beijing doesn’t have its own entry.

I know I didn’t have the chance to go to 40 eateries in Beijing in my short trip in Beijing of a mere 20 days, I would love to summarize some of the most famed local foods/eateries that a traveler is looking for.

1. Peking Duck

Peking duck isn’t famous for no reason. I ate Peking ducks for several times in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, but none of those can be compared with the local restaurants in Beijing.

You’ve probably already heard of Quanjude(全聚德), but just in case you haven’t, here’s a brief intro from its official website:

QUANJUDE, a famous historied brand of China, was established in 1864 (the third year of Tongzhi of Qing dynasty). During the 136 years, QUANJUDE has experienced business vicissitudes and survived the arduous ordeal of time. Throughout the years, QUANJUDE dishes have been greatly enriched due to developing and innovation.

My advice? Don’t eat it. (At least Beijing locals won’t go to Quanjude due to its intimidating price.)

Recommended restaurants:

Bianyifang(便宜坊), Dadong(大董), and Yawang(鸭王,namely the King of Roasted Duck).

I went to one of the franchises of Bianyifang in Chongwenmen(崇文门). Take a look at the duck:

If my friend Lily Wang were there, she would say, ‘OMG I’m having an orgasm in my mouth!’

2. Chaogan(炒肝)

It literally means fried liver in Chinese, but as you get to try it, you’ll find it’s not about livers. It’s pig’s tripe streamed in Gouqian(勾芡).

Recommended Eatery: Yao’s Chaogan(姚记炒肝), Gulou East Street 311 (鼓楼东大街311号), TEL: 86-10-84010570

3. Baodu(爆肚), or omasum

Address: Feng’s Baodu(爆肚冯), Qianmen Street (前门大街)(near Dazhalan, or 大栅栏)

4. Douzhi(豆汁)

Soup of ferment green beans.

It’s a must-try. Rumor goes that once you taste Douzhi, you remember the taste for the rest of your life.

(it’s tested true by the author of the article)

Read its introduction of Douzhi on Baidu if you know Chinese.

5. Zhaxiannai(炸鲜奶), or Fried Fresh Milk

6. Instant-boiled Mutton (涮羊肉)

It’s akin to the Hong Kong style of hot-pot, except that the soup was boiled by the charcoal inside the pot.

Address: Donglaishun Restaurant (东来顺饭庄) .

Click here to check its branches(Chinese).

7. Luzhuhuoshao (卤煮火烧)

Pig’s tripe and Chinese pancake.

Recommended eatery: Chen’s Luzhuhuoshao (陈氏卤煮小肠), near DaZhalan(大栅栏)

8. Wonton

Address: Wonton Hou(馄饨侯), Gulou East Street No.309 (鼓楼东大街309号)

9. Tanghulu (冰糖葫芦)

Wikipedia gives us a good introduction

Tanghulu, also called bīngtánghúlu, is a traditional winter snack in northern China, especially in BeijingTianjin, and cities of northeastern China, and particularly for children. It consists of candied fruits on bambooskewers that are approximately 20cm long. This snack can be found widely along the Beijing snack street of Wangfujing and also there arestreet vendors who travel from place to place selling it.

Tanghulu typically has a hardened sugar coating that comes from dipping the skewer in sugar syrup, but versions can also be found with a second chocolate coating, or sesame sprinkles. Traditionally, the fruit used has been Chinese hawthorn(shān zhā, 山楂, in Chinese), but in recent times vendors have also used cherry tomatoesmandarin oranges,strawberriesblueberriespineappleskiwifruitbananas, or grapes, creating tanghulu that resemble fruit kebabs.

10. Kaoyu, or roasted fish (烤鱼)

Recommended restaurants: any restaurant on Gui Street(簋街), near Dongzhimen(东直门).

Other recommended eateries:

Wenyu Nailao (文宇奶酪) in Nanluogu Lane (南锣鼓巷):

Churros (吉事果) in Nanluogu Lane (南锣鼓巷):

Douyichu(都一处) on Qianmen Walking Street (前门大街):


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jin says:

    Great post. You make me want to go to a Peking Duck restaurant tonight. 😀

  2. Fili says:

    wow, that’s a really great post!

  3. Raymond says:


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