Beijing food belongs to a broader category in China known as northern food. This category includes dishes from Hebei, Shandong, the lower Yangtze River, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang.
Northern methods of cooking include barbecuing, deep-boiling, roasting, smoking, and braising. Local products such as leeks, pork, spring onions, bean sauce, chilies and vegetables, particularly the northern white cabbage, together with all types of meats and seafood are used to make many varieties of gourmet dishes.
All of the foods below can be found in Beijing restaurants. Our Beijing tours, almost without exception, include a chance to eat roast duck. You can request to eat any one of these tasty dishes, or anything else you would like to eat, when customizing your tour with our travel advisors.
Beijing roast duck is the epitome of Beijing cuisine and is well known both at home and abroad. The dish is mostly esteemed for the thin, crispy skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly skin and little meat.
This dish is prepared by frying prawns in oil until golden red. Then they are cooked with Hong Kong's Bifengtang restaurant chain's special techniques. This dish is delicious and slightly spicy, with a pungent garlic aroma.
Gong bao ji ding or kung pao chicken is a spicy chicken dish with peanuts and vegetables. For some reason this dish is never the same from one restaurant to another. Perhaps this adds to its appeal, as it is very popular with foreigners.
This dish is for potato lovers. The potatoes are stir-fried with green peppers and seasoning, and can be served hot or cold.
Noodles with soybean paste, also called zha jiang mian, is very popular when it comes to traditional Beijing cuisine. As an added bonus it is not expensive at all.
Zha jiang mian has three main ingredients: wide hand-pulled noodles, vegetable pieces, and pork. Local Beijing people, especially the elderly, like to eat hot noodles in the cold weather and cold noodles in hot weather.
Vegetables vary seasonally, but there are never less than seven kinds.
Mongolian hotpot has a history of over 1,000 years, and has become popular throughout most of China. Mongolian hotpot originated from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).
Rolling Donkey refers to a kind of traditional Beijing snack, also known in southern China as Rolling Horse (ma da gun), with a soft skin made of glutinous rice flour and a red bean stuffing.
Tuckahoe pie is a traditional paper-thin snack in the shape of a full moon, popular in Beijing.
According to a legend, tuckahoe pie originated in the South Song Dynasty (1127–1279), and the preparation method and the required equipment are well documented. The herb tuckahoe has many medical effects, and therefore it is popular with Chinese people, especially women and the elderly.