Where to Eat Like a Local in Beijing
Travel and culinary guru Mei Zhang shares her insider finds
A native of Yunnan, Mei Zhang was raised at a time when food was scarce and every little morsel had to be treasured. It’s a lesson she never forgot, even after moving to Beijing to found award-winning travel company WildChina. In her first book, Travels through Dali: With a Leg of Ham, Mei returns to her home province to reconnect with its food, customs, and people. Published by Penguin, it’s part journal, part recipe bible—an homage to the little-known culinary treasures of a distant corner of China. For Rosewood Conversations, she revealed her must-visit spots to eat out in Beijing, and what to order.
When I first arrived in Beijing, the restaurant scene consisted of places selling boiled jiaozi (dumplings), Chongqing-style spicy chicken and Quanjude Peking duck. Good, but predictable. Twenty years on, Beijing has become a truly international culinary capital showcasing every type of cuisine at its best. This list could be much longer.