The Daily Meal recently published a list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Asia 2013 for which I was a panelist. There are some interesting restaurants on this list to visit, even in 2014 and 2015! What I thought was interesting when the list came out was that China seemed to storm the stage; and within China, Beijing, with twenty restaurants in the list and five in the Top Ten, really stood out. Shanghai, for instance, the only other city in China with restaurants in the list, only had eight and none of those were in the Top Ten.
I recently visited Beijing and dined in two of the Daily Meal’s top recommendations so I thought I’d share my thoughts about them as well as point readers in the direction of the Daily Meal list to make their own decisions next time they are in Beijing.
#40 - Southern Barbarian: family-friendly
Coming in at Number 40 out of 101, family-friendly Southern Barbarian’s Beijing location (the original is in Shanghai) is not the only Yunnanese restaurant in the list but probably the most home-style. The owner is from a small town in Yunnan on the Vietnam border. He brings the chefs and the ingredients from home so you can be guaranteed you’re getting something authentic.
The casual restaurant itself is a fun discovery. To find it, you have to make your way down crowded Baochao Hutong. Once you’re inside, either seated at the long bar sipping a signature Basil Drop cocktail or one of hundreds of specialty beers from all over the world, or tucking into the food, you feel like you’re far, far away from the street-craze outside.
Don’t miss the pan-fried Yunnan goat cheese, the Yunnan street noodles or the asparagus cooked with Yunnan ham. For the real adventure-seekers, there’s a selection of deep-fried insects.
#4 – Temple Restaurant: a more upscale choice
Temple Restaurant is a more upscale choice for visitors to Beijing who are seeking European cuisine. Why seek out European cuisine while on a trip to China? It’s all in the ambience. Temple Restaurant is housed in a compound that once included a Tibetan Buddhist Temple as well as a TV factory. Now sleekly renovated with dim lights, interesting art in a beautiful gallery, dining here makes you feel like you’ve discovered some exclusive Beijing secret.
More Dining Recommendations
Not to give the whole list away, everyone seeking a memorable dining experience in Beijing is likely after a dose of Beijing Duck. Several offerings made the cut but the Daily Meal’s #2 award went to Duck de Chine. So perhaps add that to your Beijing Eating Itinerary when you’re planning your trip.
- Read The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in Asia 2013
- Southern Barbarian | 107 Baochao Hutong, Dongcheng
- Temple Restaurant | 23 Shatan North Street, Dongcheng
- Duck de Chine | 1949 The Hidden City, Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Road