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Beijing-Chaoyang District, Sanlitun Bar Street

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Any favorite places for dinner in this area? We enjoy just about all foods and are looking for something moderate to inexpensive. We'll be near Sanlitun Bar Street, but are open to going a bit further for someplace special.

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  1. Sanlitun isn't exactly where most people go to eat Chinese food, I could give you a number of recommendations for all different kinds of food, but none of them would be any local specialities. There is a good Yunnan restaurant off Sanlitun North called Middle 8th and a decent, cheap dumpling place and a Shaanxi or Lanzhou noodle place across from Worker's Indoor Stadium.

    4 Replies
    1. re: modernleifeng

      Thank you for all your excellent suggestions in the various forums. They've been a big help. We'll be leaving in a few days, and our culinary student son will be traveling with us. Any other recommendations for moderate to inexpensive places near the Bell Tower, Lama Temple or Jingshan or Behai Parks? I'm guessing all these areas are somewhat touristy, but perhaps there's a gem tucked away here and there. Thanks again for helping to enhance our culinary explorations!

      1. re: sadashek

        The key, to me, for culinary exploration in Beijing is trying to eat as many different types of food as you can. As I've attempted to argue elsewhere on here, Beijing has some of the best offerings from other provinces that you'll find outside those provinces.

        Near the Bell Tower is an excellent Yunnan restaurant (I think I've mentioned it before) in a courtyard called Dali, its overpriced for what you get (though still only RMB100/person I believe), but its a set menu served up in a courtyard, a cool experience and the food's pretty good (reservation is pretty much required).

        Northwest of the Lama Temple is an excellent Hainan restaurant, located on Andingmen Wai, at Hainan Dasha. Though its a little further away, you could hop on the subway from Lama Temple and head to Dongzhimen, walk a little to the east and you'll find Dongbei Ren, a popular spot that offers some excellent Dongbei (ie Northeast China ie Manchuria) food. There is a 3 Guizhou Men located at the south gate of Worker's Stadium, which isn't far from Sanlitun that serves up decent Guizhou food and is very foreigner friendly.

        A little west from Donghuamen's night market, across from the Hotel Kapok, is a little sort of hole in the wall spot called二姐门钉肉饼 (Erjie Mending Roubing). They do a great job of a lot of Beijing classic dishes like the roubing, ma doufu, baodu, and zhajiang mian, and pretty much anything on the menu, especially normal dishes like kungpao chicken and mapa doufu are excellent. There's a guy with a stall a few restaurants down who makes a variety of kebabs (lamb kebabs are a Beijing must, and chicken wings have become incredibly popular), you can go and order a few from him and then sit down in the restaurant, when they're ready, he'll deliver them to you.

        At some point you should eat zhajiangmian, a Beijing speciality, my recommendation would be to do it at Lao Beijing Zhajiangmian Wang (Old Beijing Zhangjiang Noodle King) after a visit to Tiantan (its located a little north of Tiantan's east gate).

        1. re: modernleifeng

          Darn... I was at the Hotel Kapok for a few days about two weeks ago. Would have tried the place across the street had I known. Is it the spot where they put tables on the sidewalk and into the street in the evening?

          And I agree with your 3 Guizhou Men recommendation -- we enjoyed it a lot. Guizhou food is interesting and you don't really see it on menus in the US.

          1. re: buck3

            Yeah, I think there's one other spot that also sets up tables outside, but you probably saw Erjie. It's definitely a local spot and likely most tourists would pass it up, but its worth a try if you're nearby the food abyss that is Wangfujing.

            You're also right about Guizhou food, Chinatown's (and thus menus at most Chinese restaurants outside of Chinatown) focus almost exclusively on US interpretations of Cantonese and Sichuan (and Hunan to a lesser extent) and miss almost all other regions of the country. Blame it on immigration patterns and adjusting to foreign tastes.