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RenDa Area Suggestions?

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Hi, I've just settled into an apartment near RenDa and am in Beijing for a few months. Can anyone suggest any places to try in the area? Thanks!

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    1. re: clearskies0810

      Hi Clear Skies --
      No, actually I'm a bit south of Wudaokou. I'm between the Zhongguancun Carrefour and Shuang-an (basically between third and fourth rings), a few blocks east of Haidian Park. Any suggestions would be most welcome as most of the food recommendations I have seem focused on the other side of the city. The result is that I've been eating quite a lot of "ordinary" Chinese food lately! Thanks!

      1. re: dai11

        Ahh, I know exactly where that is... I spent a year at BeiDa not long ago, and we would walk to that same Carrefour often.

        I'm not sure what you are looking for, are you looking for non-Chinese food, expat-friendly environment, or "fancy" Chinese food, Cantonese style Chinese food? Beijing is quite an international city, so you can find virtually anything you want if you know where to look =)

        Regardless - there is a place you HAVE to try actually in BeiDa itself. BeiDa is a very picturesque and historic campus, so I do rec. checking it out in general, but in the evenings, they have a little snack-alley night market that is just simply amazing (and much cleaner than random stalls on the street as the school regulates it). They shut down for the winter, but they should be out again now. They have the most amazing assortment of random snack foods all made fresh on the spot - a great selection of chanr, these amazing egg-pastry-things, etc etc. There is no way I could describe it all (esp because they always have new stuff!), but it's a great place to kick back and have some beers and Chinese street-food on a warm evening.

        As ZhongGuanCun is more of an electronics market, there is not a whole lot of food stuff around there (though there is a great dimsum place on the 4th floor of one of the electronic malls), but there are a ton of great places that you could easily get to for 15-20 kuai cab ride. If you could be a little more specific, I might be able to help you out more! =)

        1. re: clearskies0810

          I'll definitely check out BeiDa. I was at BeiDa for the first time this week so I'll have to do more exploring there. I've been exploring mostly on foot but I'd take a cab if I knew where to go! As for food preferences, I'm really open to most things -- though I do feel that I have not had very good Chinese food so far.

          Thanks also for the dim sum tip. I know I'm going to have a craving! Thanks, Clear Skies!

          1. re: dai11

            A lot of places that become my favorites were just a result of serpendipity (wondering around and stumbling into restaurants that looked crowded), by word of mouth, and to a lesser extent, by reccomendations in That's Beijing - a magazine you should pick up if you haven't yet. Same thing might work out well for you! =) Since I don't have adresses for most of my favorite places, I'll give you a few recs that you shouldn't have too hard of a time finding (though no guarantees that all of these places are still open - it's been a year or two):

            Whenever i felt like local Chinese food, i would sick close to campus (or go to the on campus restaurants which were actually pretty good).

            My favorite on-campus restaurant (not including the "snack alley) at BeiDa was "Medicine House" or YaoSan - their TieBanNeiRou, YuXiangQieZe, and ZhaManTou were my favorites.

            Near BeiDa, TianShangTian was one of my favorite standbys - their CuiPiDouFu and TangCuPaiGu are great, and their duck is a pretty good deal. This is a very local place, and most cabbies in the area may know.

            YongHeDaWang is a chinese fast food chain you will see in may places. Their food is pretty good, clean, and cheap. It's more Taiwanese style than Beijing style, but good nonetheless. I never was a fan of their FanTuan, but I liked everything else. Oh yeah, they deliver, and I believe there is one in ZongGuanCun somewhere.

            If I felt like something non-Chinese, I would often end up at WuDaoKou, which is just a quick cab ride away. Here is a rundown of some of my favorite places in WuDaoKou:

            Lush - an ex-pat run cafe with wifi and american breakfast and cafe foods (open 24 hours and turns into a bar at night). I also liked Sculpting in Time, which is similar but more coffee house than cafe.

            Ishin - great sushi and japanese food - esp at happy hour

            Tafi - a Japanese run Italian buffet which is suprisingly good, though not completely authentic. Their caprese salad, risoto, and butternut squash soup is great.

            Oh, and I can't mention WuDaoKou without mentioning Korean food - some of the best korean bbq I've ever had was found in WuDaoKou. There is near the university in wudaokou surrounded by Korean bars that is just amazing. I can't recall the name, but if you ask around (esp korean people) they will probably know.

            1. re: clearskies0810

              Oh, another place just occured to me... South Beauty. You are very lucky that there is one in ZhongGuanCun! As its name implies, they do not specialize in local cuisine, but rather Southern Chinese cuisne - more specifically Szechuan style. The restaurant itself is extremely elegant, and everything masterfully and delicately prepared. This is definately not a hole-in-the wall joint... it is a classy (read: spendy) place. And even better, they have a website in English and Chinese: http://www.qiaojiangnan.com/

              And I just recalled that the dimsum place is in the ZhongGuanCun building that has a starbucks in the back, and is closer to BeiDa than your school.

              Let me know if any of these places work out for you! =)

              1. re: clearskies0810

                Clearskies, you are great! Thanks! (On the BeiDa suggestions, I assume that these are actual restaurants where I can use cash?)

                1. re: dai11

                  Medicine House & the "Snack Alley" both take cash. Everything else isn't on campus, so they take cash as well. Good luck!