Top ChoiceSichuan in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Zhang Mama

An absurdly affordable spice-fest, humble Zhang Mama is run by a multi-generational family of Sichuan exiles (including mama), all with mad wok skills. The signature is xiāngguō (香锅; ¥48 to ¥58), a humongous bowl...

Top ChoicePeking Duck in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Dadong

Dadong

Dadong could be the best meal of your trip or an occasion to forget, and it all comes down to expectation. Less Peking duck restaurant and more temple to contemporary Chinese fine dining, Dadong (real name Dong...

Top ChoiceHunan in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Yúfúnán

One of the best modern Chinese dining experiences in the capital, Yúfúnán is an insanely stylish spice fest, serving the sweat-inducing fare of Hunan province in an all-white, modernist dining space squeezed...

Top ChoiceMexican in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Taco Bar

The king, nay the emperor of Chinese taquerias, Taco Bar packs out with punters feasting on fiendishly tasty Mexican street-style tacos including al pastor (pork belly) and carne asada (steak), slathered in...

Top ChoiceCantonese in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Jīn Dǐng Xuān

Dripping in red neon and lanterns, this raucous Chinese restaurant by the south gate of Ditan Park is a magnificent monstrosity that never closes – even for Chinese New Year! Four bustling floors of great-value...

Top ChoiceBeijing in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Taste of Dadong

This casual concept eatery from Beijing's duck maestro Dong Zhenxiang – of famed sister restaurant, Dadong – lets you enjoy a portion of his famous roast fowl without having to order the whole bird. The rest of...

Top ChoicePeking Duck in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Jingzun Peking Duck

Jingzun Peking Duck

An unsung purveyor of Peking duck, Jingzun's bargain birds (¥138/79 for a whole/half) are every bite the equal of Beijing's more elite brands, unruly presentation aside. Lacquer-skinned and succulent, the ducks...

Top ChoiceXinjiang in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Crescent Moon Muslim Restaurant

Mount your culinary camel and traverse the Silk Road sands to this singular Central Asian food fest. Grilled lamb doused in cumin and chilli, baked flatbreads, hearty stews and noodles are dished up by...

Top ChoiceChinese in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Najia Xiaoguan

With modern Chinese interiors fit for an emperor, this Manchu-inspired restaurant is a regal delight, serving imperial fare such as Peking duck, braised sea cucumber and curiosities including DIY venison buns –...

Top ChoicePeking Duck in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Duck de Chine

Beijing's most refined destination for duck, where perfectly bronzed birds are announced to the dining room by the chiming of a gong. Maybe it's the 30-year-old jujube wood in the ovens, or the house-made duck...

Top ChoiceYunnan in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

In & Out

Take your taste buds on a dreamy sojourn southwest at Beijing's most stylish Yunnan restaurant. A sophisticated, industrial-chic space is the setting for aromatic favourites such as 'Crossing the Bridge' noodles,...

Top ChoiceEuropean in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

TRB Forbidden City

Occupying a Qing dynasty building beside the Forbidden City's moat, this is the sister restaurant to upscale TRB Hutong, with the same flawless service and contemporary European fine dining. Reservations are...

Top ChoiceYunnan in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Lost Heaven

Set back in the corner of the parade ground on the old US Legation, Lost Heaven presents the dreamy flavours of exotic Yunnan province. Sour-spicy dishes – Dali chicken, Dai-style pork, black cod – are imbued...

Top ChoiceShanghai in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Din Tai Fung

Pleated with precision, the xiǎolóngbāo (Shanghai-style soup dumplings) at this acclaimed Taiwan chain taste as good as they look. Delicate pork, rich consommé and paper-thin pastry – perfection! Don't skimp on...

Top ChoiceHebei in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Wang Pangzi Donkey Burger

Opened by the titular 'Fatty Wang' in 2004, Wang Pangzi is lauded by many as Beijing's best purveyor of donkey-meat snacks. The lip-smacking speciality here is lǘròu huǒshāo (驴肉火烧; ¥12/14), toasted pastry pockets...

Top ChoiceEuropean in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

TRB Hutong

Beijing's most famous international fine-dining experience, TRB (Temple Restaurant Beijing) serves modern European dishes with a French twist – house-smoked salmon, lobster salad, Wagyu beef – but the real...

Dim Sum in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Lei Garden

Divine dim sum draws the crowds to this clubby outpost of the multi-Michelin-starred Hong Kong chain. Order from a check-box menu of classic Canto treats (shrimp dumplings, pork buns, egg-custard tarts etc),...

Dumplings in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Xiàn Lǎo Mǎn

No wonder this locals' favourite is always packed – for boiled or fried jiǎozi (dumplings) that are as delicious as they are light on the wallet, you can't go wrong. Ordering via a bilingual menu card is easy –...

American in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Home Plate BBQ

Flying the flag for southern American barbecue in a decidedly duck-centric city, this Texan-owned restaurant-bar is all about slow-cooked meats, burgers and craft beer. A charcoal-wood smoker takes centre stage,...

Dim Sum in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Furongji

Feast on modern dim sum at this stylish hutong joint run by the Orchid boutique hotel next door. Everything on the tick-box menu is deliciously creative; the shrimp spring rolls have a wasabi kick, and the...