Beijing was established as a city over 3000 years ago. Since then, it has changed names numerous times throughout the various dynasties and now serves as China’s capital and is one of the oldest cities in Asia (Xi’An is actually the oldest). And while plenty of things have changed in Beijing, these few restaurants have stayed strongly a part of the culture for over 100 years.
Established: 1416 (600 years old)
Address: 4–6 Xianyukou Dajie, Dongcheng District 东城区鲜鱼口大街4–6号
Not surprisingly, the oldest restaurant in Beijing is a traditional Peking duck restaurant called Bianyifang. While they have since expanded to many different locations around the city, the branch in the Qianmen area is the original. It started as just a small workshop that sold duck and chicken products and became a formal full service restaurant by the late Qing dynasty. Their duck is cooked using the 焖炉 method where the dock is roasted inside an oven, giving it juicier meat and crispier skin.
Laijinyuxuan Restaurant 来今雨轩饭庄
Established: 1915 (101 years old)
Address: Tian’anmen Zhongshan Park West Gate, 天安门东交民巷
This century-old tea house models its dishes after the chapters of the classic Chinese novel A Dream of Red Mansions 红楼梦. Located in Zhongshan Park, just north of Tian’anmen Square and south of the Forbidden City, this restaurant has survived the threat of Pizza Hut, Starbucks or McDonalds taking over to continue serving loyal customers and tourists delicious dumplings.
Established: 1741 (275 years old)
Address: 60 South Xisi Street, Near Gangwashi 西城区西四南大街60号，近缸瓦市
Back during the Qing Dynasty when Shaguoju was founded, it was a favorite among royalty and local people alike. The dishes at Shaguoju are described as “imperial cuisine,” and feature food like Lion’s Head Meatballs, Donkey-Meat Dumplings, and Pork Tripe Stuffed with Meat.
Established: 1864 (152 years old)
Address: 30 Qianmen Street, Dongcheng District 东城区前门大街30号
Arguably one of the biggest Beijing Duck chains has a longer history than you may think. While it doesn’t have the 600 year history like Bianyifang does, it still is one of the only remaining restaurants from the Qing Dynasty still standing in Beijing today. Every year, they sell over 2 million ducks to 5 million customers. They have locations in virtually every major city in China, but the original store sits on Qianmen Street.
Kaorou Wan Restaurant 烤肉宛饭庄
Established: 1686 (340 years old)
Address: 58 Nanlishi Road, 100 meters south of the Children’s Hospital West Gate 西城区 南礼士路58号(儿童医院西门南100米)
Claimed to be Beijing’s oldest remaining Muslim restaurant, Kaorou Wan is one of the best places to get barbecue in Beijing. They have perfected the use of just the right heat to make the lamb barbecue juicy and tender. Now with three locations across the city, barbecue meat lovers must check Kaorou Wan out!
One Dragon Restaurant 壹条龙饭庄
Established: 1785 (241 years old)
Address: 27 Qianmen Big Street, In Qianmen’s Pedestrian Street 东城区 前门大街27号(前门步行街内)
One Dragon is Beijing’s oldest remaining Hui people Mongolian hot pot. The last emperor of the Qing Dynasty use to sneak out of the palace in plain, commoners clothing just to go here. The restaurant changed their name to “One Dragon” in honor of him. To this day, One Dragon has continued featuring it’s famous Mongolian hot pot.
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