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Beijing's Best Staple Food (Zhushi)

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Beijingers are famous for their love of zhushi (staple foods) such as steamed dumplings and buns, and hand-pulled noodles. While a few specialty restaurants are worth trying, many delicious samples can be bought from street vendors, noodle bars, and nameless hole-in-the-wall snack shops.
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When I first visited Beijing in 1993 many of the locals looked at me like I was from another planet. Okay, I’m 2 meters tall so that might have had something to do with it. However, it still seemed as if they had never seen a foreigner before. And...
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11 Zengguang Rd, Haidian Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100037
Hai Wan Ju is a cheap spot to taste Beijing folk cooking. They make very good noodles—handmade, of course. The zha jiang mian—noodles with fried bean sauce and vegetables—is a classic Beijing noodle dish. Here, they also add pork. —Fuchsia Dunlop...
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3 Chongwenmen Outer St, ChongWenMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
One of my favorite moments in Beijing was sitting around the cozy circular bar at Noodle Bar for front-row action of the chef pulling our noodles by hand. The menu is simple and straightforward: all noodle soup with your choice of brisket, tendon...
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Xicheng, Beijing, China
This adorable old woman reminded me of my grandmother despite the fact that they look nothing alike. I saw her outside Mr. Shi's Dumplings (74 Bao Cao Hutong) which was written up by Time Out Beijing and consequently was filled with white tourists...
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临9 Zhong Lou Wan Hu Tong, Andingmen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
The old hutongs [alleys] near Drum Tower are lined with nameless snack shops selling what I call Chinese fast food. One staple is shui jiao, which are boiled dumplings typically filled with pork and fennel. You dip them in vinegar and soy sauce...
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24 Xinyuan Xili Middle St, Chaoyang Qu, China, 100027
Dumpling chain Din Tai Fung has gone from humble beginnings in Taiwan some 40 years ago to a presence in 10 countries, including Singapore, the United States, Australia, and Japan. The secret of its success lies in one item—xiaolongbao—a type of...
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Whether you are hungry and are a) up early, b) in search of an afternoon snack, c) going out with friends for lunch of dinner, d) looking for sustenance after working late, or e) feel like you are stuck in another timezone due to a major case of...
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Dongzhimen Inner St, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
After visiting the Yonghe (Lama) Temple in Beijing, stop and enjoy fresh made dumplings. This gem is located at Beixinqiao 1st alley, which is near the Beixinqiao northeast station exit. You will love the variety they offer (and the price). If I...