25 Bejing dishes you have to try

Classic dishes and where to try them in the Chinese capital

25 Bejing dishes you have to try

Grilled chicken wings. See dish number 5

1. Bubble tea
These hot or cold drinks with chewy pearls of tapioca are Taiwan’s gift to the world. You’ll be tickled by all of them, but we especially recommend going for the classic milk tea (5RMB). It’s guaranteed to make you smile.
iTea. Open 11am-11pm daily. 88 Gulou Dong Dajie (near Nanluoguxiang), Dongcheng district (5971 6084). Other locations available

2. Zhajiang mian
When you enter, servers announce the number in your party by shouting like an army brigade. Have a bowl of zhajiang mian (12RMB), the Beijing must-have noodle dish made with hand- pulled wheat noodles served slightly warm (or room temperature) with a tangle of shredded cucumber bean sprouts, bright radish, and soybeans. Stir in the little dish of oily brown bean sauce and toss to coat for a taste of Beijing.
Old Beijing Zhajiang Noodle King. Open 10am-10pm daily. 56 Dong Xinglongjie, Chongwen district (6701 1116). Open 10am-10pm daily.

3. Stinky tofu
Located near the Fragrant Autumn Chestnut (see number six), owner Lady Wang sits watching that no one cuts the line to her fried golden cubes (4RMB) with chilli sauce and a sprinkle of cilantro. This is your ticket to try some great chou doufu. The dirty scent may drive you away (just as the whiff would drive you away from most good cheeses), but the deliciously mild flavour is much better than the smell suggests.
Mao Jia Chou Doufu (Mao Family Stinky Tofu). Open 9am-10pm daily. 147 Dianmenwai Dajie (south- east corner at the intersection of Dianmen Dong Dajie), Xicheng district (137 1839 8233)

4. Jianbing
For one of the perfect cheap eats in Beijing, go to this place. It beats the street guys by a nose, and has a choice of three types of crêpe batter: millet (xiao mi), green bean (lüdou) or purple rice (zimi). Add an egg, fresh greens, a swipe of sweet bean and chilli sauces, fermented bean curd (furu) and don’t forget the crisp wafer in the centre. All for a hefty and satisfying 3.5RMB.
Xiaoyan Jianbing. Open 6am-midnight daily. 27 Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie, Dongcheng district (135 2162 6598)

5. Grilled chicken wings
Lili and her husband Liu Peng, together with old friends, run this five-year-old joint with generosity and smiles that keep us coming back. A couple of wings run to 4RMB, there’s no minimum order, and they come in a champagne bucket. Find them along the ‘hot bean’ (chaodou) hutong and go early before things sell out.
Hot Bean Cooperative (Chaodou He Zuoshe). Open 5-10pm daily. Chaodou Hutong (10m up on the left; off Jiaodaokou Nan Dajie), Dongcheng district (8401 6165)

1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25 |

By Lillian Chou
Photo by Time Out Beijing staff
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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