Quanjude, Da Dong and Duck de Chine have big fan bases when it comes to Beijing duck lovers, but one of my favorite places for bird is Xiao Wang Fu. The branch at Ritan Park is particularly fun when you can snag outdoor seats and enjoy your meal while overlooking the park, well-used by daydreaming strollers, tai chi practitioners, baby buggy pushers, and speed walkers.
Decor at this multistory restaurant is upscale enough for business meetings but the vibe is casual enough to make it attractive for dinner with family and friends. (One memorable meal here involved three hours of duck and beer with several dozen Beijing bloggers.)
It is also excellent for first-timers to Beijing, given its long history of serving foreigners and—beside duck—easily identifiable food, from steamed dumplings to the popular chicken, peanut and chili pepper sauce recipe known as kangpao jiding. Order the duck and some dishes and enjoy. You can always walk that meal off in the park.