Beijing Cuisine is a cooking style in Beijing by integrating the cooking techniques of Han, Manchu, Mongolian and Hui ethnic groups, and absorbing main local dishes from all over the country since Beijing has been the Chinese capital city for centuries. Based on Shandong Cuisine and essences of the imperial cuisine of the Ming and Qing dynasties, Beijing Cuisine has formed its own unique characteristics: dishes are soft, crisp, fresh and tender prepared in different ways of frying. Imperial dishes and Tanjia dishes present unique tastes. While foods originating in Beijing are often snacks rather than full courses, and they are typically sold by little shops or street vendors, just to name a few: Zhajiang Mian (fried noodles with sauce"), Gongbao Jiding (fried spicy chicken dice), small steamed corn bread, sesame paste, deep-fried dough stick, dragon whisker noodles, soybean milk, pea flour cake, etc.
Beijing Roast Duck, known as the "No.1 delicacy under heaven," is a representative of Beijing cuisine - the dish is mostly prized for the thin, crispy skin, though the meat is fat, it is tender and tasty, not greasy. The history of the Beijing Duck can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206 - 1368). By the time of the early 15th century, it had become one of the favorite dishes of the imperial Ming Royalty. The two most famous restaurants in Beijing serving this specialty are Quanjude and Pianyifang, where you will not only taste the mouth-watering Beijing Roast Duck, but also experience charms of dining culture. Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant is known for grilled ducks, and Pianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant for braised ducks. Both of them are old restaurants with a history of 100 years.
Zhajiang mian is a northern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of stir-fried ground pork and cucumber with fermented soybean paste. It is also called as the "Chinese spaghetti", Zhajiang mian has now become popular throughout the country.
Also known as Mongolian Hot-pot, the instant-boiled mutton is fresh, tender and delicious, not greasy at all. The way of preparing it may be interesting for you: the cooking pot is often sunk into the table or above the table and fueled, frozen mutton is cut into deli-thin slices for you to load individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and in 15 to 30 seconds, they are ready to serve. Other kinds of meat and vegetables can be cooked this way as well. Instant-boiled Mutton has been the most favorite food for local residents during cold winter and even hot summer. You can visit the reputed chain restaurants of Dong Lai Shun, Xiao Fei Yang to have a try.
Shaobing is a baked, layered flat bread with sesame on top, they are usually made in two flavors: salty or sweet. In the Mandarin cuisine tradition, Shaobing are served with hot pot in winter. Shaobing is also used to sandwich a deep-fried dough stick, which is usually eaten with hot soybean milk for breakfast and is highly popular in northern China.
For a list of places to eat in Beijing during your tour, please visit our Beijing Restaurants page.