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Since I moved to China, every time I go back home, one of the most frequently asked questions by friends and family is, “Can you find non-Chinese food in Beijing?”. People think that if you live in China, you’ll only eat weird things like insects, rats, or snakes. The truth is China is developing very fast, with lots of people moving here – especially to big cities like Beijing and Shanghai – and opening restaurants, so finding places where you can eat authentic foreign cuisine has become really easy. Actually, food in Beijing is never boring: you can have delicious Chinese food from every region of China or you can have any kind of non-Chinese food. If you are traveling to Beijing, I’d advise you to eat either Beijing food or at least some kind of Chinese food. However, if for any reason you feel like having something different, here is the list of my favorite restaurants where you can find non-Chinese food in Beijing:
(Please, note that China is a fast changing place, so some of the restaurants mentioned below might close or change location from morning to evening)
As a native Italian, I can safely say that Bottega offers some of the best authentic Italian food I have ever eaten abroad and for sure the best Pizza in Beijing! What I also love about Bottega is their pasta (of course!!!) and desserts! If you want something other than pasta or pizza, Bottega also serves meat or salad options. Furthermore, I really like their new location in Sanlitun’s Nali Patio, the heart of Beijing nightlife.
2/F Nali Patio 81. Sanlitun Road Chaoyang District
Mosto has been one of Beijing’s hottest restaurants since the day it opened its doors in the Sanlitun’s Nali Mall and remains a busy spot for both lunch and dinner. Established in 2008, it offers contemporary food with a South American twist. Mosto also boasts an excellent wine list and an efficient staff.
3/F Nali Patio 81. Sanlitun Road Chaoyang District
Opera BOMBANA, established in 2003 by the 3-Star Michelin Chef Umberto Bombana, is a modern yet refined Italian restaurant.
It is a place where even the most discerning palates can enjoy the true essence and taste of authentic Italian cuisine in an elegant environment.
What I LOVED about Opera Bombana was the wide selections of wines, truffles, and desserts.
9 Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang District
Taco Bar is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Beijing and definitely my favorite taco place. Located in the heart of Beijing nightlife district, it is normally packed with locals and expats feasting on Mexican-style tacos. As suggested by its name, the main dish is tacos, which doesn’t mean a limited selection; in fact, Taco Bar offers a wide variety of meat, fish, or even vegetarian tacos.
Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang District
This is the place to go when you feel like cheating on your diet. Its burgers are delicious, but be aware of the fact that it will be a high calorie meal! Let’s Burger offers more than 10 different types of burgers and if you like condiments like I do, you will enjoy the many different types of sauces, like blue cheese, truffle mayonnaise, blueberry, and much more.
Solana – Unit L-RS-206, Building 11, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District
Moka Bros is a relaxed cafe and healthy eatery, the perfect place, in my opinion, for a quick lunch break. Food here is healthy (something hard to find in Beijing) with a great choice of salads, quinoa, smoothies, desserts, and coffee.
The Moka Bros brand is present in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu. Click on their website to check out their locations and addresses.
This is a French bistro not too far from Beijing nightlife district.
It offers some great fare ranging from “guillotines” (brown slices of toast with a variety of sweet and savory toppings) to steaks served with different sauces, salad, and a side of fries. It also offers a wide selection of bottled and draft beers, as well as wine.
55-7 Xingfucun Zhonglu, opposite of April Gourmet, Chaoyang District
Migas Mercado is one of the coolest and fanciest places in Beijing.
I love the view from this restaurant, which faces one of the major landmarks in Beijing, the CCTV Tower.
The space was inspired by the famous markets in Barcelona (the Spanish word ‘mercado’ means ‘market’ in English) and I truly consider it the best Spanish restaurant in Beijing, where I enjoyed the most delicious tapas and paella, a great reminder of my time living in Spain.
7/F China World Mall, 1 Jianguomen Wai Dajie, Chaoyang District
Bite a Pita
Run by an Israeli family, Bite a Pita is also one of my favorite eateries in Beijing. In addition to hummus, falafel, and pita, they serve a very large selection of delicious dishes. I have eaten there often and have always been impressed by the food and the friendliness of the owners.
2/F, Tongli Studio (same block as Le Petit Gourmand), Sanlitun Houjie, Chaoyang District
Being a spicy food lover, this place couldn’t be left out from my list. Ganges is an authentic Indian restaurant and vegetarian friendly. Their menu offers a very wide range of foods, making the choice always quite hard; this is why any time I eat there, I end up over ordering.
Sanlitun – 2F-202 Building 1, Shimao Dept. Store, 13 Gongrentiyuchang Bei Lu, Chaoyang District
Dongzhimen – 2nd Floor, 28 Dongzhimen Wai Dajie, Chaoyang District
Lido – 38 Fangyuan West Road, Chaoyang District
Haidian – 6F 02-01 U-Center, 28 Chengfu Lu, Wudaokou
More places where you can find non-Chinese food in Beijing:
- A Thousand and One Nights (Middle Eastern)
- Cantina Agave (Mexican)
- Q Mex Bar & Grill (Mexican)
- Hatsune Japanese Restaurant (Japanese)
- IKI Barbecue (Korean)
- Pak Pak (Thai)