Food at Celestial Court, Beijing, China

Celestial Court

Cantonese food is popular in the capital city, with chefs imported from the southern Guangdong province to ensure the ingredients and styles are spot-on. If you have a business dinner with a local Chinese contact, they will appreciate being treated to an evening feast at Celestial Court or lunchtime dim sum. Seafood tends to be on the expensive side in Beijing, so ordering up fish or lobster will be doubly welcome. By the way, don’t be too surprised if, when dining with locals, they ask for a doggie bag for any leftover food. Old habits of waste-not-want-not die hard for people who grew up with Cultural Revolution food shortages.

Chuan Ban

Locals and expat swear that this is the best place for Sichuan food and worth dealing with the crowds and noise for a super spicy meal.

Country Kitchen

This restaurant at the Rosewood Beijing is a culinary highlight of many travelers’ China itineraries. Guests can watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen, preparing a range of Northern Chinese delicacies, including hand-pulled Chinese noodles, an array of dumplings and the popular Peking duck.

Editors' Picks

Da Dong

Da Dong is considered the Ferran Adrià of China. In fact, when British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal (of the Fat Duck restaurant) came in search of the perfect Peking duck, it was Da Dong who he asked to teach him his secrets. At all three of his restaurants in the city, Da Dong merges molecular gastronomy with traditional Chinese cuisine. The menus, which look like coffee-table books that are illustrated with stunning photographs taken by the chef himself, feature more than 100 dishes.

The food is truly for the adventurous diner who will love such molecular concoctions as cherry tomatoes glazed in Champagne jelly with crispy mushrooms inside or the lobster noodles or persimmon capsules. The presentations are exquisite, like miniature paintings and the juxtaposition of flavors and textures are truly revolutionary. This branch, opposite from Wangfujing Bookstore, is within walking distance to the Raffles hotel.

Lei Garden

Lei Garden serves the best Cantonese food in Beijing. There’s also a sister restaurant in Hong Kong.

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Made in China

Yes, it is in a hotel and a Grand Hyatt at that, but Made in China is where you will find some of the best Peking Duck in Beijing.

Noodle Bar

Part of the Hidden City complex in Sanlitun that houses Duck de Chine, Noodle Bar is a wonderful restaurant for lovers of great Chinese noodles. You enter through an art gallery to room dominated by the u-shaped noodle bar. You may see the noodle masters kneading and pulling the dough for noodles, which then become the centerpiece of their delicious soups and meat dishes.

Food at Opera Bombana, Beijing, China

Opera Bombana

When you have had your fill of Chinese food and are looking for excellent Italian food, Opera Bombana is particularly refined option. Considered one of the most glamorous restaurants in the city, Opera Bombana was opened by Michelin-starred chef Umberto Bombana who has sister restaurants in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Before or after dinner, you should save time to wander around the mall where it is located to see some of the fabulous art, which mixes contemporary Chinese works and Salvador Dali sculptures.

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