Beijing's best hot pot restaurants

Find the perfect place to gather with pals for one of the top Beijing dining experiences

When it comes to hot pot in Beijing, there's something for everyone. Whether you're up for some fiery flavour or even after something sweet, we've found 'em all. Take a flick through our guide to Beijing's best hot pot to find the perfect place for you. 

Photo: Hot pot from shutterstock.com
Best for consistently amazing service
1/11

Best for consistently amazing service

The crowds outside every Haidilao branch are certainly well taken care of, but we especially like the Sanlitun location. Haidilao’s guiding creed puts the customer first, and the staff follow it to the letter. Free fruit plates, board games, shoe shines and manicures keep those in the lengthy queues happy, but it’s the food that keeps them waiting. It’s easy to see why it’s such a favourite. The secret spice in the soup packet ranges from blisteringly spicy to fairly plain and easy-going, but it’s all a background for an exhaustive list of meats and produce ripe for cooking. Try ordering the hand-pulled noodles for a tableside hip-hop noodle-flinging dance, though they’ll bend over backwards to serve you anyway.
Average price of a meal for two around 200RMB. 


Haidilao 2A Baijiazhuang Lu, Chaoyang district (6595 2982). Open 24 hours . 朝阳区白家庄路2甲

Best for fiery flavour
2/11

Best for fiery flavour

Chongqing’s most delicious export is fiery hotpot, with textbook offerings available at Chongqing Kongliang on Gui Jie. Its deep red broths, packed with bobbing chilli peppers, are spicy hotpot at its finest. As a Chongqing-based chain, its hotpots are as tongue-tinglingly spicy as the locals there like it, and everything from the fresh greens to the pig brains are shipped in from the southwestern province. Puton an apron and dive in. The eel is a top-seller, and bottomless cups of sesame dipping sauce are enticing. The courtyard has a way of staying with you, though, mostly thanks to the pervasive scent of pepper that finds its way into diners’ clothes. 

Average price of a meal for two around 150RMB. 

Chongqing Kongliang 218 Dongzhimen Neidajie, Dongcheng district (8404 4907). Open 10am-3.30am daily. 东城区东直门内大街218号

Best for those seeking an all-day breakfast
3/11

Best for those seeking an all-day breakfast

A common hotpot variant in southern China is a bowl full of watery rice porridge, or zhou. While the savoury broth is usually taken for breakfast, it translates perfectly for delicious eats any time of day. Chansixian Shige (its name translates, appropriately, to ‘tempting the gods’), on the East Second Ring Road, shows its worth by offering an entire menagerie of animals to drop into the mix. What’s left in the bowl after fishing out the meats (try the wild mountain chicken!) is dreamily rich, flavourful porridge that melds all the flavours from the meal. 

Average price of a meal for two around 200RMB.

Chansixian Shige Guanghe Lu, (take the side road exit at Guangmin Qiao), Dongcheng district (6770 2288) 11am-10pm daily. 崇文区广河路

Best for sweet teeth
4/11

Best for sweet teeth

Sometimes hotpot is best when it’s a guilty pleasure, and when taking it away from judging eyes is a prerequisite. Weak-willed dieters be warned: Häagen Dazs offers a takeaway ‘hotpot’ in which melted chocolate replaces the traditional broth. The spread is a colourful array of different ice creams, cookies, cakes and fruit, ready to be dipped into a gooey chocolate centre. Those with a penchant for chocolate won’t find a better deal during this bitter winter. 

Hotpot package is 238RMB. 

Häagen Dazs U-Town Mall 2 Sanfeng Beili, Chaoyang district (no tel). Open 10am10pm. 朝阳区三丰北里2号

Best for dining like a hordesman
5/11

Best for dining like a hordesman

Mongolian hotpot, also known as ‘shuanyangrou ’, once enjoyed by the hordesmen of old, features cuts of lamb (or pork, or frankly any type of meat) sliced so thin that they are cooked to perfection in seconds. It’s long been popular in Beijing, probably due to the city’s close proximity to the northern steppes, and is exemplified at Di’anmen standby Manfulou. The restaurant is decorated in slightly ostentatious imperial attire and offers impressive service. Order the usual suspects of thinly shaved meats and bathe them in the broths, which lean towards the lighter side on the taste buds and don’t distract from the texture and taste of the ingredients. 

Average price of a meal for two around 200RMB. 

Manfulou 38 Di’anmen Neidajie, Xicheng district (6403 0992). Open 11am-11pm daily. 西城区地安门内大街38号.

Best for quirky fun
6/11

Best for quirky fun

If you want to entertain visitors with a cute take on a traditional meal, try Gue Jie’s Guaguaxia, where hotpot is served out of a melon. It’s not pumpkin soup – the melons do little to alter the flavour of the lamb and veggies tossed into them – but the experience sure is a lot of fun. Wait staff dress in all green and orange as they ferry the gourds past the throngs of teenagers making good use of their smartphone cameras. If your hands aren’t busy cooking up your fragrant dish, you might be inspired to take a few snapshots yourself. 

Average price of a meal for two around 100RMB. 

Guaguaxia Melon Hotpot 205 Dongzhimen Neidajie, Dongcheng district (6401 4910). Open 11am-2am daily. 东城区东直门内大街205号

Best for mushroom fans
7/11

Best for mushroom fans

The rugged inhabitants of Yunnan make good use of the bounty from their jungles and hills, filling their hotpots with sour lemongrass and fiery chilli. Xiangcao Xiangcao, Vanilla Vanilla, has a claim on the sour, spicy Yunnanese incarnation of hotpot. Regular standards of sliced meat, meatballs and veg areall present at this chain (we visitedthe Chaoyang Lu location), but so are a number of Yunnanese goodieLook for the self-serve sauce bar, full of spicy minority dipping saucesto liven up twisty tender jianshui tofu, wild mushroom platters and vanilla beef redolent of the colourfuprovince. Finish it off with a barrel (yes, a barrel) of rice wine and raise a glass to the roving bands of troubadours that perform from time to time. 

Average price of a meal for two around 150RMB. 

Xiangcao Xiangcao Yunnan Hot Pot  Second Floor, Fuxing Guoji Centre, 237 Chaoyang Beilu, Chaoyang district (6585 1976). Open 10am-11pm daily. 朝阳区朝阳北路237号复星国际中心2楼

Best for tomato-heads
8/11

Best for tomato-heads

The nickname of this place, located north of Sanlitun, should give it away: the bubbling soup here is a viscous tomato base stewed for over a day. That red broth infuses whatever you throw in it with such a depth of tomatoey taste that it renders dipping sauces superfluous. Suantiankula was one of the first restaurants in the city to start doing tomato hotpot, and still manages to keep that crimson cauldron appealing. The setting, which is supposed to be reminiscent of Greece, is oddly put together, but the hotpot will be enough to distract you. 

Average price of a meal for two around 150RMB. 

The Tomato Hotpot Restaurant East side of Guanghe Lu (take the side road exit at Guangming Qiao), East Second Ring Road, Dongcheng district (6770 2288). Open 11am-10pm daily. 东城区广河路东

Best for fondue
9/11

Best for fondue

It’s not just China that enjoys dipping food into hot sauce. Europeans refer to hotpot, creatively enough, as ‘fondue Chinoise’, but of course the dish most associated with the word fondue involves steaming vats of gooey cheese waiting to be broken with bread on a long dipping fork. Fine-wine purveyor Enoterra has a textbook version of this dairy-based winter warmer, where cubes of bread are immersed in Gruyère cheese. There’s also a particularly lush chocolate version made with Valhrona chocolate. 

Fondue is 180RMB for two people, 320RMB for four people. 

Enoterra Fourth Floor, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang district (5208 6076). Open 10am-2am daily. 朝阳区三里屯路81 号那里花园4层

Best for Thai spice
10/11

Best for Thai spice

With its complex mix of spices and textures, Thai cuisine is a perfect partner for hotpot. Thai restaurant Lan Na Thai, located next to Glen Classic in the Face compound, carries itself with the quiet solemnity and dignity of a temple, free of the chattering of boisterous fellow diners found at so many other hotpot spots. The hotpot, served in the Thai suki style, is similarly unique: individual pots of piquant tom yam goong broth, and a platter of photogenic ingredients to swish in it. The spice of the broth saturates each dipped item without being overpowering – perfect for such elegant surroundings. And for those who don’t like spice at all, the Japanese-inspired crab hotpot will serve admirably. 

A meal for two costs 488RMB. 

Lan Na Thai Face compound, Gongti Nan Lu, 26 Dongcaoyuan Hutong, Chaoyang district (6551 6788). Open 6pm-10pm daily.朝阳区工体南路东草园胡同26号

Best for Japanophiles
11/11

Best for Japanophiles

The popularity of hotpot extends to Japan, where shabu-shabu, named after the sound a piece of meat makes when swizzled around in the broth, is a top favourite. Hidden away north of Sanlitun (seriously – you have to go through the back of a butcher’s shop to find it), Niu Xuan An does a fab rendition: dip the lean cuts of meat in the simmering base and you’ll find a lighter, warmer hotpot. Shabu-shabu focuses more on the meat and less on the spice, which is great for gentle palates. Grab a curry on the side and dig in. 

Average price of a meal for two around 150RMB. 

Niu Xuan An Behind Murayama Meat Shop, North side of Class Hotel, 19 Xinyuan Xili, Chaoyang district (6464 3383). 朝阳区新源西里19号

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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