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The aroma alone allures and one glance at the glistening hazel meat and one becomes captivated. The crispy surface crackles open unleashing the tender, succulent meat beneath. This barely touches upon the splendor of Beijing roast duck, the MOST famous dish in the Middle Kingdom, is at its best in Beijing. Yet for customers the options are so varied that finding the best and avoiding the counterfeits can be tricky.
With branches spanning the globe, Quanjuede is the most well-known Beijing duck restaurant in the world. Over a hundred years old, the art of roasting the duck and selecting the ideal condiments and dishes to be paired with them is still being perfected. Its mid-range price point makes Quanjuede the quintessential duck restaurant in the city.
Yulin Beijing Duck Restaurant may be an eatery that suits those with higher tastes and higher pay grades. From the door this upscale restaurant emits an air of elegance with its immaculate decoration and quality staff. Accustomed to foreign guest bilingual menus and waiters open up the complex Mandarin language to the foreign visitor like very few in the capital. Have your duck served to you on a silver platter at Yulin.
For those with a taste for more, the Hongyun Tianwaitian Duck Restaurant, located in Shuangyu Dongli in Haidian District, froths with countless cuisine options beyond just the duck. The menu contains the best from every corner of China, including Hong Kong’s Sweet and Sour dishes to Sichuan’s spicy kung pao Chicken. It’s the best one-stop-eatery for excellent duck and the best of everything else.
For those who’ve been there and tried that, Bianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant offers something new for the experienced traveler. Its exotic and ‘top secret’ ingredients give it a distinctive zest when compared to the “run-of-the-mill” duck restaurants but the taste isn’t so far off as to make it unfamiliar to the Beijing duck enthusiast. Occasionally spurned for experimenting with the flavor, Bianyifang does offer the original duck taste but also has unique flavors of its own.
Lines, waiting lists and reservations await visitors to the Dadong Duck Restaurant. Lauded by CNN and other local media outlets, the restaurant is often devoid of a foreign face yet it’s a favorite of locals. Nestled in Nanxincang Tower in Dongcheng District, it remains a secret to even Chinese out-of-towners. Yet finding a spot on the restaurant's waiting list might be more satisfying than the duck itself. Book in advance to this gem of Beijing appetite.
Not bad but not the best (in the mind of many locals), King Roast Duck Restaurant seems to be in tune with foreign tastes. From the staff to the décor the King Roast Duck Restaurant resembles a Manhattan or L.A. eatery. Knives, forks, and other Western-style utensils, with the option of chopsticks, lie on the table along with bilingual menus and servers. An excellent option for those interested in the best of East and West.