Traveling solo through Beijing? It can be tough to find dining options suited for one, as Chinese restaurant cuisine is often eaten family-style. Noodle houses and dumpling shops are great for solo dining – and are some of our favorite restaurants for a bite anyway – but you can’t come to Beijing and not try classic Peking Duck or Beijing style hotpot. We’ve included all of those options below as well as our favorite Sichuan style restaurant (if you love spice). And of course, our Beijing food tours are an excellent way to taste many different dishes, even if you don’t have a group to travel with. Join our Beijing Hutong Breakfast tour or Old Beijing Dinner tour, and explore the city with other food-focused travelers!
Siji Minfu 四季民福
Our top pick for Peking Duck is famous for having crisp skin and tender meat, but it also serves up half ducks if you are dining solo and know you can’t make your way through a whole bird. There are several locations around town to choose from, so pick the one closest to you, and you’ll be devouring delicious duck before you know it!
Dongsi Branch: 23 Dongsi Shitiao. 东四十条23号. Tel: 6401 3267. Hours: 10:30am-9:30pm
Jing Yaa Tang
Located in The Opposite House (one of the best hotels in town), Jing Yaa Tang is more than just a hotel restaurant. The focus here is on the duck, and they also offer a half bird option for when you’re dining solo!
The Opposite House, 11 Sanlitun Lu. 朝阳区三里屯路11号太古里北区瑜舍酒店. Tel: 6410 5230. Hours: 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm.
Nanmen Shuanrou 南门涮肉
Brought to Beijing by the invading Mongols at the end of the Song Dynasty, this style of hotpot known as “dip-boil” is usually served in giant steamboat pots as a communal meal. At Nanmen’s Dongdan branch, diners are each given an individual, small pot, so it’s the perfect spot if you’re dining solo. Order thinly-sliced lamb (鲜羊肉), some vegetables/tofu [we love cabbage (白菜), wintermelon (冬瓜), fresh tofu skin (鲜豆皮), and shiitakes (鲜香菇)], and a lamb skewer (烤羊肉串儿) for a side.
Dongdan Branch: 3F, The News Building, 26 Jianguomen Inner Street. 建国门内大街26号新闻大厦3层. Tel: 8562 8899. Hours: 10:30am-10pm
Pang Mei Noodles 胖妹面庄
Offering excellent Chongqing-style spicy noodles, Pang Mei attracted crowds of locals and expats long before it became popular with tourists. Their signature dish is the 豌杂面 (wān zá miàn), boiled noodles topped with hot and spicy fried ground pork and and mushy yellow cowpeas, which give the whole dish a starchy, velvety texture. On weekdays, arriving slightly before the restaurant opens at 11am should see you secure at table in the first sitting, but on weekends and holidays arrive early to avoid long queues. Expect to share tables with other diners if you’re flying solo. For non-spicy dessert options, order the almond tofu (杏仁豆腐 Xìngrén dòufu) or the ice jelly (冰粉 Bīng fěn).
69 Dongsibei Dajie 东四北大街69号. Located a few meters west of the corner, on Xiang Er Hutong 香饵胡同. 300m south of Beixinqiao Subway Exit D. Hours: 11:00-21:30. Tel: 158 0150 4172
Beisantiao Hutong Noodles 北三条胡同面馆
Beijing’s very own noodle dish, 炸酱面 (zhà jiàng miàn, fried sauce noodles) can be a difficult dish to track down. Many locals say authentic zhajiangmian can’t be found in restaurants, and with Beijingers mainly eating it at home, it can be tough to find restaurants serving it that aren’t mainly catering to tourists. Made by cooking down pork belly and frying soybean paste (干黄酱, gānhuángjiàng) and sweet flour paste (甜面酱, tiánmiànjiàng) in the fat, restaurant versions can often end up a little on the greasy side. This vegetarian version cuts down on the grease, delivering the traditional punchy flavors and contrasting textures by frying the sauces with chopped mushrooms and scrambled egg. Served cold with boiled soybeans, soybean sprouts, and shredded cucumber and rose heart radish, this version is our pick of those we’ve tried in restaurants.
153 Yonghegong Dajie 雍和宫大街153号. Located a few meters up 交道口北三条. 350m north of Beixinqiao Subway Exit A. Hours: 9:30-21:30. Tel: 6402 4288
Ling Er Jiu Oil-Splashed Noodles 零贰玖油泼面
Oil-splashed noodles are made by placing minced garlic, chopped green onions and chilli flakes on top of freshly boiled noodles and splashing them with scalding oil to create a fresh and fragrant chilli oil that is stirred through the noodles with soy sauce and aged vinegar. Usually made with thick, hand-pulled strap-like noodles, this simple dish is far greater than the sum of its parts. Ling Er Jiu’s signature dish, 贺氏秘制油泼扯面 (hèshì mìzhì yóupō chěmiàn, He Clan secret-recipe oil-splashed hand-pulled noodles), may just become your new favorite noodle. If it does, let us know. We have a very well-tested recipe for making this simple dish at home.
Just east of the southeast corner of Chunxiu Lu and Xinzhongdong Jie 春秀路与新中东街的交叉口. 1.5km southeast of Dongzhimen Subway Exit C. Hours: 11:00-23:00. Tel: 5715 2029
Baoyuan Jiaozi Wu
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.
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.
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.
Xiongji Chaoshou 熊记抄手
A late-night favorite for decades, this restaurant specializes in spicy Sichuan-style wontons and noodles, with both served in a spicy broth and topped with garnishes and condiments. Visit for the large portions and bold flavors, and order a side of spicy cold mung bean noodles (川北凉粉 Chuānběi liángfěn) to go with your wontons for a complete meal.
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.
Zhang Mama 张妈妈
If you’ve read any of our social media, you’ll know we are big fans of Sichuan restaurant Zhang Mama. If you’re dining solo, order dandan noodles (担担面, dāndān miàn) and bell dumplings (钟水饺,Zhōng shuǐjiǎo). The dandan and dumplings are both served as a snack size portion, meaning you’ll actually have plenty of room to add 1-2 other dishes if you are dining solo and come in hungry – like I-just-hiked-the-Great-Wall-All-Morning hungry. May we recommend adding on a cold dish (like an appetizer) like spicy pickled lotus root (嫩椒拌莲藕 nèn jiāo bàn lián’ǒu) or a spicy stir-fry dish like twice-cooked pork belly (连山回锅肉 lián shān huíguōròu)
76 Jiaodaokou Nan Dajie. 交道口南大街76号. 1km south of Andingmen Subway Exit B on Line 2. Hours: 10:30am-10pm. Tel: 188 1119 5778.
And don’t forget! Our Beijing food tours are an excellent way to taste many different dishes, even if you don’t have a group to travel with. Join our Beijing Hutong Breakfast tour or Old Beijing Dinner tour, and explore the city with other food-focused travelers.