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When traveling in Beijing, be sure not to miss the famous Beijing-style delicacies that you'll find in its snack shops along the street. See where to try those snacks you never thought you would!
Beijing's most famous traditional snacks include luzhu huoshao (卤煮火烧, pork lungs and intestines stewed with fried tofu and bread), soy milk (豆汁), seasoned millet porridge (面茶), glutinous rice balls (艾窝窝), and fried cream cakes (奶油炸糕). Below we have listed several famous Beijing shops that provide classic and authentic Beijing food, including classic snacks, arranged by district, central districts first.
The snacks at Huguo Temple Snack Shop serves up a collection of street snacks from all over Beijing, shaped to be as pleasing to the eye as they are to the tastebuds.
Many customers like to go to this snack stand as prices are reasonable, meaning the lines can be long during meal times. The seasoned millet porridge (面茶) here is very delicious. We can also recommend the sweet flour cake (墩儿饽饽), the deep-fried date roll (枣卷馃), the stewed ribs with ginger juice (姜汁插排), the fried sugar cake (糖耳朵), the fried chopped rice cake (驴打滚), the soy milk (豆汁) and the sweetbread soup (杂碎汤).
You'll notice that this location is popular among customers both young and old, as well as locals andthose passing through.
It is easy to find Baoduzhang restaurant, located in an antique bungalow on the east side of Shichahai's Front Lake area. This restaurant, however, is not for the faint of heart.
The sheep and cow tripe served here is fresh because the meat is always prepared within 24 hours of butchering. The tripe is carefully washed and cut using traditional methods into thin strips. The mutton and beef tripe are carefully chosen from certain parts of the animal. Customers request which part they want, and each part is cooked to different lengths and temperatures.
The cooking techniques used here were developed uniquely by the Zhang family, known for their delicious tripe. The quick-fried tripe of Baoduzhang is carefully divided, with every 100 pieces of tripe making three plates of finished product. The well-cut tripe is quickly boiled in boiling water based on the chef’s intuition and experience, and the taste is remarkably different from that of other restaurants.
The Zhang family seasonings were passed down through the generations and are allocated in certain proportions. Go just before dinnertime, around 5pm, in order to avoid the long lines that tend to form.
Qingfeng Baozi is one of the most famous baozi (steamed, stuffed buns) shops in Beijing and has a very long history.
The baozi here are characterized by the fact that they are large and have a significant amount of stuffing. It gets busy during meal times because the buns here are of good quality, and are also reasonably priced.
Besides the baozi, there are also various traditional Beijing dishes such as fresh fried vegetables (素三鲜, fried mushroom with cucumber and cauliflower) and fried liver (炒肝).
There are a lot of snack stands around Xicheng district, but Nanlaishun Restaurant serves up some of the best snacks.
The restaurant has two floors: the first floor provides snacks and the second provides cooked dishes. Among so many distinctive snacks, which include almost all of the traditional Beijing style snacks, the soy milk (豆汁), seasoned millet porridge (面茶), sweetbread soup (杂碎汤), 'doornail' meat pie (门钉肉饼) and glutinous rice balls (艾窝窝) stand out as particularly good.
Longfu Temple Snack Bar is an authentic old Beijing store and is highly spoken of by its customers. The restaurant is decorated traditionally with old tables, chairs and washbasins. There are a lot of Beijing snacks available including fried crispy donuts (焦圈), honey dough twists (蜜麻花), deep-fried sweet roll dough (甜卷馃, 豌豆黄), cake with shredded coconut stuffing (椰蓉糕), and soybean flour cake (豆面糕).
If you go to Beijing in the summer, be sure to try the delicious traditional glutinous rice cakes (凉糕) and cold bean jelly (凉粉), a snack that helps to keep you cool amid rising temperatures. The roasted stuffed chitterlings (灌肠) are also famous for being fresh inside and crispy on the outside. Add some garlic juice to the chitterlings for an even more delicious treat.
Baikui is an old-brand Muslim restaurant that is especially famous for its many lamb dishes, including braised mutton with soy sauce (烧羊肉). Another dish, called yi wo si (一窝丝), is a kind of stretched noodle that is exclusive to the restaurant, with a smooth and chewy taste.
When eating Baikui's baked sweet wheat buns, you will taste the intense fragrance of the sesame sauce and brown sugar among its crispy thin layers. Roasted mutton (烧羊肉) is also popular here, with a golden appearance, crispy skin and tender taste. Baikui is like a traditional canteen, and you have to exchange meal tickets for your food, making for an exciting experience. You can return them if you don't use them all.
This restaurant is quite popular throughout Beijing, with multiple outlets. The reason Wonton Hou is so popular throughout Beijing is because of its specialized cooking methods and long history, specializing in wontons and roasted sesame buns.
The wontons here are famous for their thin skin, and delicious fillings. In each bowl of soup, three out of ten wontons are made with fattier meat, and the other seven filled with lean meat. Wontons set themselves apart from dumplings because they come with a soup (perfect for winter especially!).
All wontons are made on site and the chefs are so proficient that they make more than 100 wontons every minute. Two chefs can feed 3,000 people with wontons! The soup that the wontons are stewed in contains pork bone that is boiled for about six hours. The soup is thick and fragrant but not oily. The seasonings are also abundant and varied, including seaweed, coriander, winter vegetables, and small dried shrimp.
This is a small restaurant mainly providing Beijing-style snacks and take-out like sugar-roasted sesame buns (糖火烧), fried sugar cake (糖耳朵), fried cake (炸糕) and so on.
The rich variety of sweet dumplings is especially popular here, with more than 10 kinds of fillings, including hawthorn, green plum, sweet osmanthus (桂花), sweetened bean paste, cream stuffing and shredded coconut stuffing.
During the Lantern Festival, expect a long line in front of the window with people waiting to buy sweet dumplings. Fried cream cake dipped in sugar plus a bowl of purple rice porridge will certainly satisfy any sweet craving. Customers give high praise to the restaurant's high-quality food and reasonable prices.
When it comes to the Chinese traditional snack luzhu huoshao (卤煮火烧), which is stewed pork lung, pork intestine, fried tofu with bread, we have to mention Xiaochang Chen Restaurant as it has been around cooking up this dish for over 100 years.
Its fourth-generation owners run the business well, and returning customers come here daily to enjoy the shop’s specialties. The stew stock here is delicious and the roasted sesame buns are stewed for just the right amount of time. Small as the restaurant is, it seems they're always able to fit everybody in, and the boss is enthusiastic and welcoming.
Ruibin Lou is an authentic Beijing time-honored brand restaurant with a long history. The story goes that two waiters named Luo Huxiang and Hao Jiarui from Ruiming Lou Hotel (润明楼) (a famous Beijing hotel back in the day), opened this restaurant together at its original location in Qianmen, very close to Tian'anmen Square.
No longer in that location, the recipes remain and the restaurant specializes in Dalian fried buns (褡裢火烧, shaped like a satchel). The dough is kneaded perfectly, neither too hard nor too soft. The buns’ filling is a mixture of fat and lean meat, to which leek and ginger is added.
Finally, the buns are cooked in twice-boiled soup with pork leg and free-range chicken. The buns are shaped like a satchel, after which the buns will then be fried in the baking pan until golden brown. The cooking technique is difficult and requires precision.
For a traditional experience, try ordering several buns with a bowl of millet congee or hot and sour soup (酸辣汤). You can also find other Ruibin Lou branches at Shin Kong Place (新光天地), Nice Gate Snacks (九门小吃) and the Dashilar area (大栅栏).
Recommended Dishes: Dalian fried buns (褡裢火烧), pork-and-leek-filled Dalian fried bun (猪肉大葱馅褡裢火烧), three-delicacies Dalian fried bun (三鲜褡裢火烧), millet porridge (小米粥), hot and sour soup (酸辣汤), luzhu huoshao (卤煮火烧), and fried stuffed chitterlings (灌肠).
Food, including snacks, is a huge part of Chinese culture. We can custom build your Beijing tour, making sure to include any snack shops or restaurants you'd like to visit, so that you can try it for yourself. To find out more, simply contact us before putting together your trip to China!
If you go on any tour with us, like the ones recommended below, we usually leave the evening free for you to explore Beijing's nightlife and food scene. Your guide can help you navigate. Just let us know what you want to do!