Yuxiandu Royal Gastronomy Museum (御仙都皇家菜博物馆)

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  • Chinese
  • Beijing/Beijing Duck
Critics' pick

This museum is devoted to dynastic dining. The actual museum part is rather small compared to the acres of dining halls. However, the dynasty-by-dynasty exhibition of imperial food is utterly fascinating (even more so if you can read Chinese). Curiously, the collection begins with China’s so-called ‘ancestor’ the Peking Man, a few of recreations of whom are huddled around a fire, barbequing some titbits.

The remainder of the multi-floor complex is a restaurant. Every evening, an extravaganza of on-stage performances starring emperors and empresses (6.40-7.40pm) aim to give diners an ‘Imperial Banquet’ experience. Dishes are reasonably priced; royal set menus are also available. It’s worth snooping through the private banquet suites on the top floor – some are so enormous and ostentatious the king himself would be impressed.

Venue name: Yuxiandu Royal Gastronomy Museum (御仙都皇家菜博物馆)
Opening hours: 11.30am-2pm and 5-9pm.
Chinese address: 海淀区西四环北路117号北门