Hángzhōu Xiǎochī

Dumplings in Forbidden City & Dōngchéng Central

Lao Li, the eccentric manager of What? Bar, two doors from here, swears by the boiled dumplings (蒸饺; zhēng jiǎo) in this simple restaurant. They come by the basket and are perfect for lining your stomach before you delve into the cheap beer at What? Bar.

You can also get fluffier, steamed dumplings (小笼包; xiǎolóng bāo) for the same price (¥6 per basket), as well as soups (seaweed, 紫菜汤, zǐcài tāng; wonton, 馄沌, hún dùn; egg, 鸡蛋汤, jīdàn tāng) and noodles (beef, 牛肉面, niúròu miàn; spicy glass noodles, 酸辣粉, suān là fěn). No English sign or menu.