Cheap eats: Dashilar and Tiananmen

Beijing's top chefs and restaurateurs share their favourite cheap eats

Beijing's top chefs and restaurateurs share their favourite cheap eats in Dashilar and Tiananmen.

Tiananmen

Lizhong Chunbing Dawang (立中春饼大王)

Aitor Olabegoya, executive head chef at Migas, says: 'It’s a tiny little place with a yellow sign. A local family has run it for years, and they specialise in one thing: chun bing (a type of roll served like Beijing duck but with different fillings). It’s a local-only sort of joint with the limited hours to match. Go during the three-hour windows around lunch and dinner and you’ll find a full house every time.'

Order this 'The thing to get here is, unsurprisingly, chun bing ( 春饼). Ten pancakes with onion and sauce come in an order (14RMB without meat), and many varieties of fillings are available. For something other than bing, consider the soy sauce-braised beef (jiang niurou, 酱牛肉; 18RMB) – it’s also pretty good!'

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41-1A Nanheyan Dajie (Miyun county)

Siji Minfu Zhajiangmian

Perhaps more famous for its Peking duck, the tradtional Beijing restaurant Siji Minfu also has a branch dedicated to zhajiangmian, the sauciest, saltiest (in a good way) lao noodles in Beijing.

Order this Zhajiangmian (32RMB), with the almond tofu (杏仁豆腐; 12RMB) on the side as a sweet, tempering complement.

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8 Langfangertiao

Dou Yi Chu

Established in 1738, Dou Yi Chu has been churning out steamed dumplings for centuries – they claim that even Emperor Qianlong was a fan. They offer four fillings (including vegetarian options) and the pastry is so thin that they're pretty much translucent.

Order this The shrimp filling is our favourite – try san xian shaomai (三鲜烧卖; 56RMB for 8)

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38 Qianmen Dajie

Baodu Feng

Bao Du Feng (爆肚冯) has been cooking the traditional Beijing dish of boiiled tripe for over a hundred years. Head here for some old school Beijing dining with some old school Beijingers for company.

Order this Baodu (爆肚; 28RMB) is tripe that's been cut into thin slices, briefly boiled, then dipped in the traditional majiang sauce. 

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56 Langfang Ertiao

Lu Zhu Huo Shao (Menkuang Hutong)

This place is bursting with old Beijing charm. The traditional dish of boiled offal and bing is a fulsome offering, but one that's worth trying if you're in the game for a cheap, authentic and filling Beijing meal.

Order this Lu Zhu Huo Shao (卤煮火烧; 35RMB) is the signature soup, made from pig lungs, tripe, liver, tofu and wheat pancakes. Waste not, want not, and all that.

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19 Menkuang Hutong

Qing-Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop (Qianmen)

The flagship store of Beijing's popular steamed bun chain. There's a reason why its stores are rarely empty: fresh, reliably tasty and incredibly cheap steamed buns coming out of the kitchen at all hours of the day.

Order this We like the pork fillings best (zhurou san xian baozi 猪肉三鲜包子; 9RMB for 6) – perfect for a cheap and filling pitstop as you make your way through central Beijing.

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52 Qianmen Dajie

Dashilar

Deyuan Roast Duck (德缘烤鸭店)

Capital M's owner, Michelle Garnaut, says: 'The décor is unbelievably ugly but I still go as often as I can. It’s full of local characters. The food is delicious. It’s unpretentious, cheap, and it’s been there for a long time so has a lot of character itself. I sent one of Britain’s fussiest food writers there – he had been to every top restaurant in Beijing, and Deyuan was his favourite.'

Order this 'They serve Beijing cuisine, and the restaurant specialises in roast duck (kao ya, 烤鸭; 128RMB) – my favourite dish there. The salted duck livers (qingchao yagan 清炒鸭肝; 20RMB) are really delicious too!'

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57 Dashilar Xi Dajie (Fengtai)

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