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.
1. Quanjuede - the Most Famous Peking Duck
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.
- Chinese: 全聚德烤鸭店, Quanjude Kaoya Dian /chwen-jyoo-der kaow-yaa dyen/ 'Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant'
- Recommended dishes: Quanjude roast duck (全聚德精品烤鸭), roast duck bone soup (鸭架汤), fried mushroom and shrimp balls (宫爆鲜菌虾球)
- Average price per person: from 120 yuan per person
- Open: 11am–1:30pm and 4:30pm–8pm
- Address: 32 Qianmen Street, Chongwen District (崇文区前门大街 32 号)
- Tel: 010-65112418
- Transportation: Take Line 2 and get off at Qianmen Station (前门站). Leave from Exit B.
2. Yulin Beijing Duck Restaurant - High Class
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.
- Chinese: 玉林北京烤鸭店, Yulin Beijing Kaoyadian /yoo-lin bay-jing kaow-yaa dyen/
- Recommended dishes: premium roast duck (精品烤鸭), kung pao chicken (宫保鸡丁), sweet and sour pork (糖醋里脊), duck blood curd in chili sauce (毛血旺)
- Average price per person: from 82 yuan per person
- Open: 11am–2pm and 5pm–9pm
- Address: Yulin East Road, Fengtai District; 70 meters south of Beijing Commercial Business Hotel (丰台区玉林东路北京商务会馆向南70米)
- Tel: 010-63291202
- Transportation: Take Line 4 to Beijing South Railway Station and leave from Exit A. Then take bus 48 or 88, and get off at the You'anmen (右安门站) stop.
3. Hongyun Tianwaitian - Beyond just the Duck
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.
- Chinese: 鸿运天外天, Hongyun Tianwaitian /hong-yoon tyen-why-tyen/
- Recommended dishes: golden roast duck (金牌烤鸭), baked pumpkin with salted egg yolk (咸蛋黄焗南瓜), crispy milk curd (脆皮炸鲜奶)
- Average price per person: from 84 yuan per person
- Open: 10:30am–2pm and 5pm–9pm
- Address: 18 Wanfeng Road, Haidian District (海淀区万丰路18号北院)
- Tel: 010-51955628
- Transportation: Take Line 1 to Wanshoulu Station (万寿路), leave from Exit C2, and take bus 77 or 627 to Lianbao Lukou South (莲宝路口南站).
4. Bianyifang - Local Flavor
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.
- Chinese: 便宜坊, Bianyifang /byen-ee-fung/
- Recommended dishes: flower-scented crispy roast duck (花香酥烤鸭), three traditional Beijing dishes (老北京三样), sweet pease pudding (豌豆黄)
- Average price per person: from 139 yuan per person
- Open: 11am–9pm
- Address: 65–77 Xianyukou Street, Dongcheng District (东城区鲜鱼口街65–77号)
- Tel: 010-67132535
- Transportation: Take or transfer to Line 2 to Qianmen (前门站) and leave from Exit B, then walk for about 10 minutes.
5. Dadong - the Local Favorite
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.
- Chinese: 大董烤鸭, Dadong Kaoya/dah-dong kaow-yaa/
- Recommended dishes: Da Dong “super-lean” roast duck (大董酥不腻烤鸭), black pepper beef (豉椒牛仔粒), Chef Dong's fried prawns with spicy sauce (董氏宫保虾)
- Average price per person: from 300 yuan per person
- Open: 11am–10pm
- Address: Floor 6, Donghua Gold Street Shopping Center, 301 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District (东城区王府井大街301号东华金街购物中心6楼)
- Tel: 010-65824003
- Transportation: Take Line 1 to Wangfujing (王府井站) and take Exit C2.
6. King Roast Duck Restaurant - The Foreign Favorite
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.
- Chinese: 鸭王烤鸭店, Yawang Kayadian /yah-wung kaow-yaa-dyen/
- Recommended dishes: supreme classic roast duck (至尊经典烤鸭), salted duck liver (盐水鸭肝), salt and pepper duck bone (椒盐鸭架)
- Average price per person: from 100 yuan per person
- Open: 10am–2pm and 5pm–9pm
- Address: 1 Minzuyuan Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区民族园路1号)
- Tel: 010-62042648
- Transportation: Take or transfer to Line 8 to reach Olympic Sports Center Station.
7. Duck de Chine - Traditional and Modern
Duck de Chine has a reputation for excellence in terms of both dining experience and the atmosphere. It features traditional Beijing duck done with their own special touch.
They also feature French roasting styles to compliment traditional Beijing style, if you'd like to try something new. The exposed wooden beams on the ceiling add to the chic atmosphere.
- Chinese: 全鸭季, Quanyaji /chwen-yah-jee/ 'all duck season'
- Recommended dishes: Duck de Chine roast duck (全鸭季烤鸭), chilled mango sago cream with pomelo (杨枝甘露), rice noodles with duck soup and tofu (豆腐鸭汤米粉)
- Average price per person: 98 Jinbao Street, Dongcheng District (东城区金宝街98号)
- Open: 11am–2:30pm and 5:30pm–10:30pm
- Address: from 250 yuan per person
- Tel: 010-65212221
- Transportation: Take Line 5 to Dengshikou (灯市口). Leave through Exit C and then walk for about 641 meters.
8. Siji Minfu - a Traditional Beijing Flavor
Siji Minfu Restaurant features traditional Beijing dishes and roast duck, giving a very old Beijing flavor. All ducks are selected carefully and hooked up in the stove over the flame coming directly from the burning of the fruit-tree wood. The meat tastes tender and crispy.
- Chinese: 四季民福烤鸭店, Siji Minfu Kaoyadian /srr-jee min-foo kaow-yaa-dyen/
- Recommended dishes: specially-selected crispy and tender roast duck (特选酥香嫩烤鸭), Beijing-style noodles with soybean paste (老北京炸酱面), imperial snack combination (宫廷小吃拼盘)
- Average price per person: from 156 yuan per person
- Open: 10:30am–10:30pm
- Address: 11 Nanchizi Street, Dongcheng District; near the east gate of the Forbidden City (东城区南池子大街11号，故宫东门旁)
- Tel: 010-65267369
- Transportation: Take Line 1 to Tian'anmen Dong (天安门东), then take Exit B and walk northward for about 1 kilometer.
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9. The Horizon (Beijing Kerry Hotel)
The restaurant's three open-plan kitchens are home to three of its signature dishes: Peking duck, which enjoys a reputation in Beijing; double-stewed soup, and a wide range of casserole dishes. The roast ducks are baked on the burning flame of a-hundred-year jujube wood in the open kitchen so that guests can truly appreciate the whole process and essence of roasting roast duck.
- Chinese: 海天阁中餐厅, Haitiange Zhongcanting /hi-tyen-ger jong-tsan-ting/
- Recommended dishes: Peking duck (烤鸭), the Horizon Chinese Restaurant's daily soup (海天阁老火例汤), Cantonese-style preserved meat and sausage with rice (广式腊味煲仔饭)
- Average price per person: from 364 yuan per person
- Open: 11am–2:30pm and 5:30pm–10pm
- Address: 1 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区光华路1号，嘉里商场1楼)
- Tel: 010-85652188
- Transportation: Transfer to Line 10 to get to Jintaixizhao Station (金台夕照站), and then take Exit D.
10. Made in China - High-End
It is a well-known high-end Chinese restaurant in Beijing and famous for specialties from northern China, including Peking Duck and Beggar's Chicken. You may spend a truly memorable dining experience with delicious dishes, impeccable service and elegant environment.
- Chinese: 长安壹号, Chang'an Yihao /chung-an ee-haow/
- Recommended dishes: Peking duck baked on fruit tree wood (老式果木烤鸭), sautéed spinach with sesame seeds (芝麻菠菜), sweet and sour mandarin fish (松鼠桂鱼), beggar's chicken (富贵鸡)
- Average price per person: from 382 yuan per person
- Open: 11:30am–2:30pm and 5:30pm–10:30pm
- Address: 1F Grand Hyatt Beijing, 1 Dong Chang'an Avenue, Dongcheng District (东方君悦大酒店1楼，东城区东长安街甲1号)
- Tel: 010-65109024
- Transportation: Take Line 1 to Wangfujing (王府井站) and leave from Exit A or take Line 5 to Dongdan (东单站) and leave from Exit E.
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