Kǎo Ròu Jì

Chinese Islamic in Běihǎi Park & Xīchéng North

This restaurant serves roast duck (including half portions for ¥92), and a range of China-wide dishes, but it's the mutton that everyone comes for – and the lake views from the 2nd floor.

This place has been around for years (it featured in our very first edition of Lonely Planet China, in 1984), and its choice location, overlooking Qiánhǎi Lake, makes it as popular as ever. It's pricier than it should be, but the atmosphere is fun, and the English menu with photos makes ordering easy. Bag a table by the window on the 2nd floor, and order the roast mutton (¥108), a hot plate from heaven. If you're stuck for cash, fill up on freshly roasted sesame-seed buns (¥2 each), called 'sesame cakes' on the menu.