Beijing's best Peking duck restaurants

From glammed-out ballrooms to backstreet dives, we lay out the best Peking duck in Beijing

Peking duck at the Chinese Restaurant at the Aman Summer Palace 
Peking duck is as storied as it is misunderstood. Peking? Where's that? How do you eat Peking duck? Is Beijing the best place for Peking duck?

First things first: Peking is Beijing, and Beijing duck does in fact trace its popularity to the Imperial Court of the northern capital, but it is not as home-grown as many Peking duck fans would have you believe.

Let's carve the fat and get down to business. For any budget and level of expertise, below are the places where you should be eating Peking duck.

Less than 150RMB per bird

Bianyifang (便宜坊烤鸭店)

One of the oldest duck houses in continuous operation in the capital, Bianyifang now sports modern branches spread out across the city. Reliable and affordable duck that won’t blow away experienced duck-eaters but suitable for a low-key introduction. 148RMB per bird.

Read more
Gongti Bei Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Deyuan Roast Duck (德缘烤鸭店)

Critics' pick

A fixture of the Qianmen neighbourhood, Deyuan is a no-frills local favourite. Cheap, quick and open late for such an old school spot, you’re bound to run into some of the local colour – Deyuan seems to attract a particularly charismatic clientele. 128RMB per bird.

Read more
57 Dashilar Xi Dajie (Dashilar, Xicheng)

150RMB to 250RMB per bird

Jing Yaa Tang

Easily one of our favourite spots for regional Chinese specialties, Jing Yaa Tang delivers authentic renditions of dishes from all over the Middle Kingdom. The skin may be oily for some but it's all about getting the perfect amount of sugar to stick to each sliver. 238RMB per bird (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
11 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Duck de Chine

Duck de Chine combines traditional ducks with contemporary side dishes. The 1949 location makes it ideal for some post-Sanlitun duck-based revelry – not to mention its proximity to neighbouring Jing A taproom and the tea-based cocktail lounge Long Jing. 238RMB per bird.

Read more
98 Jinbaojie (Dongcheng, Dongcheng)

Peking Duck, Private Kitchen

Peking Duck, Private Kitchen's small dining room, low profile décor and comfortable furniture are a far cry from the bejewelled private dining rooms of spots like Quanjude and Da Dong, but the duck is just as worthy. 168RMB per bird.

Read more
6A Chaoyangmenwai Dajie

Quanjude

The list of foreign dignitaries to have noshed on the famously lean slices of duck at Quanjude reads like a history of China’s developing foreign policy. The epically-sized seven-story joint is our favourite for some good ol’ fashion Beijing splendour. 198RMB per bird.

Read more
Qianmen Xidajie (Xicheng, Xicheng)

Siji Minfu

The potent aroma of rendering duck fat and date wood that emanate from Siji Minfu speak of the truly exceptional duck. An hour wait is a common occurrence at any of the chain's city locations – none of which take reservations for the dining room. We recommend booking a private room for a small service charge. 178RMB per bird.

Read more
23 Dongsi Shitiao (Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng)

Yen

Where else can you find a roast duck that has been coated in real gold? That's right, it comes at a steep premium compared to the classic duck (spoiler: it tastes exactly the same as well) but who could say no to such a blingin' roll. 238RMB per bird; 888RMB for the gold treatment (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
2 Jianguomennan Dajie (CBD, Chaoyang)

250RMB to 350RMB per bird

Country Kitchen

Critics' pick

The rustic menu at Country Kitchen shakes things up with traditional dishes and forgotten delicacies of northern China. The duck here is of the highest quality. Make sure to order the soup made from the carved bird. 288RMB per bird (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
1 Chaoyangmen Dajie (CBD, Chaoyang)

Da Dong Roast Duck (Gongti)

For close to twenty years, one name has reigned supreme in the roast Peking duck game: Da Dong. A Beijing institution that demands respect, no tour of the capital’s favoured fowl is complete without a visit to this house of kaoya286RMB per bird.

Read more
Gongti Bei Lu

Li Qun Kaoya Dian

Li Qun might seem a bit rundown but this backstreet duck house is perennially packed. Roasted to perfection to retain some fat, the meat is moist and the skin crispy, though more oily than some. Expect to wait for a table, alongside domestic and foreign tourists who flock to this little not-so-secret hole-in-the-wall. 268RMB per bird.

Read more
11 Beifengxiang Hutong

Horizon

Expertly prepared and served up table-side, Horizon can always be counted on for excellent duck and solid service. Its CBD location makes it a good spot for business meetings – followed up with a few bottles of champagne at Centro, of course. 268RMB per bird (pluse 15 percent service charge).

Read more
1 Guanghua Lu (CBD, Chaoyang)

Made in China

Head to Made in China for some of the leanest roasted duck around. The balance of sweet date wood smoke and savoury duck fat is impressive – a good stop for first timers. 328RMB per bird (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
1 East Chang an Avenue (Wangfujing, Dongcheng)

The Red Chamber

With a less conventional attitude than most and an eclectic menu, Red Chamber might be compared to a popular Western fast-casual spot. With a glassed-in roasting area, laid-back vibe and accommodating service, Red Chamber is duck at its most accessible – a reliable stop for first timers. 275RMB per bird (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
Jianguomenwai Dajie (CBD, Chaoyang)

Zijin Mansion

The duck at Zijin is refined and executed with extreme attention to detail. From the fine bone china to the crystal stem ware, a duck at the mansion is a luxe indulgence. Don’t forget to sample the famous roast wagyu beef in aubergine as well. 288RMB per bird (24-hours notice required, plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
5-15 Gold Fish Lane (Wangfujing, Dongcheng)

More than 350RMB per bird

The Chinese Restaurant at the Aman Summer Palace

With its tranquil gardens winding through sprawling courtyards, The Chinese Restaurant can't be beaten in terms of splendour. While the price point may soar above the competition, the supreme duck and royal surroundings make for a truly special occasion. 468RMB per bird (plus 15 percent service charge).

Read more
1 Gongmenqian Dajie

Read more

Comments