Bàodǔ Huáng

Beijing in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Be prepared to queue at this no-nonsense apartment-block restaurant (look for the green sign with four yellow characters), where locals gobble and slurp their way through the authentic Běijīng-grub menu. The speciality is bàodǔ (爆肚; boiled lamb tripe; ¥20 or ¥38 depending on portion size). If you can't stomach that, then plump instead for a delicious niúròu dàcóng ròubǐng (牛肉大葱肉饼; beef and onion fried patty; ¥9).

The blanched vegetables are popular side dishes; choose from chāo báicài (焯白菜; blanched cabbage; ¥7), chāo fěnsī (焯粉丝; blanched glass noodles; ¥6) or chāo dòng dòufu (焯冻豆腐; blanched tofu; ¥7). And if you haven’t ordered a meat patty, grab a zhīma shāobing (芝麻烧饼; roasted sesame-seed bun; ¥2) instead. True Beijingers will also nibble on jiāo quān (焦圈; deep-fried dough rings; ¥1), washed down with gulps of dòu zhī (豆汁; sour soy milk; ¥4). But you may prefer to go for a bottle of píjiǔ (啤酒; local beer; ¥6). No English spoken, no English menu, no English sign.