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Visiting Beijing in May - help needed!

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Hi all - I generally hate posing 'broad' questions like this, but I'm without a clue at this point and any input is much appreciated. This is my first time visiting China, and we'll be in Beijing for 4 full days. I'm looking for any suggestions for can't miss restaurants while I'm there. So far I've got Da Dong on the list, but that's it!

Besides just general "great" dining experiences people have had, what are the high-end Chinese restaurants there that people have enjoyed? I want to eat somewhere really nice, but I don't want to eat Western food (I live in NYC, have enough of that here!)

Also - no dietary restrictions.

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  1. I'd only been to Beijing not more than half a dozen times (the longest stay was 6 weeks on my very first trip back in 1999), so am not some old Beijing hand and some other Chowhounds will inadvertently give you better dining tips than I can.

    But personally, I thought any first-timer to Beijing will enjoy a visit to Fangshan at Beihai:
    http://www.china.org.cn/english/imper...

    The restaurant was started by former chefs from the Imperial Kitchens after the overthrow of the last emperor, and still strived to reproduce Imperial Manchu (Qing) dishes. Quite touristy, I admit, but quite fun.

    Check out this site as well:
    http://travel.cnn.com/shanghai/visit/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: klyeoh

      Touristy does describe Fangshan. I think Bizarre Food visited that place. But you really need a group (8 - 10) to enjoy the food there.

      Here is the link to Bizarre Food Beijing:

      http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows...

    2. Three Guizhou Men for food from the guizhou province. Definitely get the fried ribs. The fried eggplant is also excellent.

      Noodle Loft. Get the zha zhiang main, noodles in fatty meat sauce, salad with wlanuts and lotus root, knife cut noodles.

      There are many kinds of regional chinese cooking pretty much unavailable to you overseas, so you'll really be missing out if you stick to high-end and Beijing Duck. Here is a link to the City Weekend guide you might find interesting:

      http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve

        Thanks for the recommendations all, they all look good.

        Thanks for the rec's Steve on those - I think you nailed what I'm looking for: I live in NYC so I have access to pretty good Chinese food as it is, but I'm hoping to have the kind of food that isn't even readily available to me here. Noodle Loft in particular sounds excellent, thanks.

        1. re: strikeoutswinging

          You should get yourself to a Xinjiang (Muslim) restaurant for lamb and bread dry-fried. Here it is in Chinese: 囊炒肉

          I adore the really super-tiny kabobs (chuan'r) that are hardly thicker than the skewer itself.

          I can't make a personal rec because I had it in a true hole-in-the-wall, and I doubt I could find it again. It is one of the best cuisines in the world that is difficult to find elsewhere.

          CW list of Xinjiang restaurants in Beijing:

          http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing...

      2. I've only been to Beijing once, but I enjoyed -

        Black Sesame Kitchen - yeah, it is touristy, but I enjoyed watching the food being cooked and dining w others

        Xian Lao Man - dumplings and yangyou madoufu

        Qing Yun Lou - for Shandong food, by a beautiful lake

        Hai wan ju - donkey meat, mustard cabbage, dan dan mein

        actually all the photos of food are here, day by day

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/haynes/c...