Being the capital of the country, Beijing has foods from all over China. There are quite a few types of foods which are unique to Beijing, and while you are here you should try to sample as much of the local cuisine as you can.
Best Beijing Food
Peking Roast Duck
Peking Duck has the reputation of being the most delicious food Beijing has to offer. Some find it a bit too greasy, but others get hooked after one taste. In any case, a Peking Duck dinner is usually a fixed item on any Beijing tour itinerary, Eating Peking Duck is also one of the two things you are absolutely supposed to do while in Beijing. The other one is climbing the Great Wall.
The place that offers the best Peking Duck is the Quan Ju De Restaurant, which has outlets at Qianmen, Hepingmen and Wangfujing, etc. It was established 130 year ago and, if you count from the time when founder Yang Renquan began his duck business, it is 160 years old.
At Quan Ju De, ducks are immersed in condiments unique to the restaurant and are roasted directly over flames stoked by fruit tree wood. The best roasted duck is date-red, shining with oil, but with a crisp skin and tender meat.
The chef then cuts the meat into thin slices, each having a piece of skin. Then the meat is served with very thin pancakes, Chinese onions and special sauce. The way to eat it is to coat the thin pancake with sauce, slap on a few pieces of meat and roll up the pancake. Chopsticks are optional; it is much easier just to grab the thing with your bare hands.
Another famous restaurant offering Peking Duck is the Bian Yi Fang (Cheap Restaurant), which opened in 1855, nine years earlier than Quan Ju De. At Bian Yi Fang, Roasting is done in an enclosed container fueled with crop stalks.
There are now hundreds of restaurants serving Peking Duck all over the city.
Imperial Court Food
Imperial court Food is a style of Chinese food that has its origins in the Imperial Palace. It is based on the foods that were served to the Emperor and his court. Now, it has become a major school of Chinese cooking and there are several places where you can sample this unique flavor. Fand Shan in Beihan Park and Ting Li Guan in the Summer Palace are the best ones. 150 years ago you would never have been able to eat this stuff, so give it a shot. It is a little expensive, however.
Imperial Official Food
This first type of food is particular to Beijing. In the past, Beijing officials were all very picky about what type of food they ate. The most famous type of Official Food is Tan Family Food, which can be had in the Beijing Hotel. This is the preferred food of the Qing Dynasty official Tan Zongling, and was later introduced into restaurants. Another type of food is described in the classic novel Dream of Red Mansions. The author, Cao Xueqin, described a number of dishes in the book and now there are several restaurants serving this style of dishes. The most famous place is the Beijing Grand View Garden Hotel. This hotel is right next to the Beijing's Grand View Garden which is modeled after the garden described in the Dream of Red Mansions. Other restaurants featuring this novel type of food are the Jinglun Hotel and Laijinyuxuan Restaurant in Zhongshan park.
There are basically two kinds of hotpot restaurants in Beijing: Mongolian style and Sichuan style. The staple of both types of hotpot is mutton. The meat is usually sliced frozen so that it curls up into a tube shape. Then you place the meat into the hotpot, which is a copper pot containing a boiling soup base. After a few seconds the meat is cooked and you dip it into a sesame butter sauce. The verb describing the action of cooking the meat this way is called "shuan." Other shuan-ables include beef, frozen tofu, Chinese cabbage , bean sprouts , and glass noodles . Spicy Sichuan hotpot has a soup base which can be described as either super-spicy or mildly-spicy, but the pot is often divided into half spicy, half non-spicy soup pots. The soup base for Mongolian style is not spicy, and usually consists of some vegetables and seafood.
Famous Mongolian style hotpot restaurants are Neng Ren Ju at Baitasi, and Dong Lai Shun to the east of Tian'anmen Square. The most well-known Sichuan style hotpot restaurant is Jin Shan Cheng.
Recently there has been an explosion of buffet-style hotpot restaurants. Generally you pay a set price for a buffet dinner.
Beijing has over 250 types of traditional snack foods. Many of them are made of glutinous rice, soy beans or fried materials. The king of all snack foods is called "dou zhi". This is a strange-tasting, greenish-grey, fermented bean porridge, and if you can manage to eat a whole bowl of it you will earn great respect from your Beijing friends. Supposedly it is an acquired taste, but who wants to acquire it? For a taste of snack foods, take a trip to Snack Street, just off of Wangfujing Street. Starting from about 5:00pm, the vendors line up in their stalls and start selling foods from all parts of the country. You can have an entire meal's worth of food walking from one end of the street to the other, trying this and that along the way.
Cuisine From Other Regions
A huge chunk of Chinese culture is devoted to food and drink. There are hundreds of different dishes, and each region has its own distinctive flavor. The majority of Chinese restaurants in Beijing feature what is known as "home-style dishes", which are basically the most common types of food that any Chinese can make at home. These dishes are usually a combination of the spicy Sichuan style and the heartier Shandong style. True Sichuan style restaurants have a special type of tea called Eight Treasures Tea. This tea is poured from a kettle with a yard-long spout, which the boy wields skillfully. Aside from "home-style￣ restaurants, there are also many places that are devoted to a certain type of food.
Shanghai style tends to be sort of sweet and features lots of seafood. Shanghai restaurants have been quite popular for some years now. Northeastern dishes are usually composed of large quantities of meat in thick, fairly salty sauces. Potatoes also feature heavily in Dongbei dishes . This is a great style of food to have in winter. Other famous Chinese food include Huaiyang and Shanxi styles. There are also a number of regional minority cuisines.
---- From tour-beijing.com