We don’t believe anyone ever needs an excuse to eat dumplings, but the coming week offers highly auspicious opportunities to do so. There are THREE important events making the future very bright for dumpling lovers.
Your levels of desire for dumplings could be off the charts this Tuesday, September 26, as the effect of International Dumpling Day gifts you with an unusually healthy appetite. The best thing you can do is give in to this desire and join millions around the world in celebrating, either by making dumplings at home or, as it’s a school night, visiting your favorite dumpling restaurant (see our list below).
If you and dumplings have been like two ships passing in the night lately, there’s only one celestial body to blame: the moon. Throughout the first three weeks of September, the moon’s effects have been keeping you and dumplings apart. However, your luck is about to change with the full moon entering your house of dumplings on Friday, September 29, Mid Autumn Festival. This family-focused festival is not just about mooncakes. Dumplings, too, play an important role as a symbol of family unity, so be sure to gather your loved ones on the night of the festival and share a meal of dumplings to make the most of this cosmic time of love and connections.
If forces of the universe have conspired to keep you from celebrating these two important dates, never fear, as there’s still one more auspicious dumpling date this week. Celebratory vibes from over 1.4 billion people will align on Sunday, October 1, as people across China gather together to celebrate National Day with, you guessed it, more dumplings! To help you make the most of this trio of auspicious events, we’re sharing our pick for Beijing’s top five most delicious dumplings (in alphabetical order because you can’t expect us to rank the top five – good lord it was hard enough to narrow them down). Don’t forget to save this post for a handy reference on Beijing’s best dumplings. (And here’s our Shanghai list!)
1. Baoyuan Dumplings 宝源饺子
You may find these naturally dyed, multicolored dumplings a bit of a gimmick (we don’t, we love them), but the main reason to visit this restaurant is the incredible variety of unusual but delicious dumpling fillings. Combinations like mushrooms, bamboo shoots, cilantro and chives; carrot, mushroom, shrimp and egg, or pork, shrimp, garlic shoots and egg are invariably delicious.
6 Maizidian Street. 麦子店街6号. Southeast of Liangmaqiao Subway Station on Line 1. Tel: 6586 4967. Hours: 11am-10pm.
2. Mr. Shi’s Dumplings 老石饺子家常菜
Don’t let the backpacker scribble on the walls put you off, this hutong restaurant draws plenty of locals with its authentic and delicious northeastern cuisine. Northeastern-style dumplings have slightly thicker skins than other dumplings, making them ideal for Mr. Shi’s specialty, (三面焦, sān miàn jiāo). Meaning “scorched on three sides,” these semi-open pan fried dumplings are like little northeast-Chinese taquitos and come with a wide variety of fillings.
4 Cheniandian Hutong. 车辇店胡同4号. 500m south of Andingmen Subway Station Exit A on Line 2. Tel: 8557 4988. Hours: 10am-11pm.
3. Xian Lao Man 馅老满
Xian Lao Man translates to “filling always full”, and it delivers with dumplings that are always stuffed to the seams. This restaurant serves classic Beijing-style dumplings and cuisine. The dumplings are served either boiled or pan fried and the menu offers a very wide selection of traditional dumpling fillings, and is a favorite of local Beijingers.
252 Andingmen Nei Dajie. 安定门内大街252号. 700m south of Andingmen Subway Station Exit B on Line 2. Tel: 6404 6944. Hours: 10:30am-9:30pm.
4. Xiongji Chaoshou 熊记抄手
A late-night favorite for decades, this restaurant specializes in spicy Sichuan-style dumplings and noodles, with both served in a spicy broth and topped with garnishes and condiments. Visit for the large portions and bold flavors.
108-2 Gulou Dong Dajie. 鼓楼东大街108-2号. 1.5km northeast of Shichahai Station Exit B on Line 8 or 1.5 km southwest of Andingmen Station Exit A on Line 2. Tel: 134 6664 0613. Hours: 9am-4am.
5. Zhang Mama 张妈妈
Known primarily as purveyors of fine Sichuan cuisine, the folks at Zhang Mama have just one dumpling item on the menu: 钟水饺 (zhōng shuǐ jiǎo, bell dumplings). These small bowls of pork dumplings bathing in a spicy and slightly sweet sauce are wonderful as a snack on their own or as an accompaniment to the other dishes at the restaurant. If you’re dining with friends, order more than you think you’ll need as they are always the first empty bowls on the table.
76 Jiaodaokou Nan Dajie. 交道口南大街76号. 1km south of Andingmen Subway Exit B on Line 2. Tel: 188 1119 5778. Hours: 10:30am-10pm
Hungry for more dumplings? Book a tour with us in Beijing or Shanghai by going to https://untourfoodtours.com/calendar. We offer dumplings on every single tour we have, because they’re the best!