A good brunch can be the perfect end to a week, a relaxed meal with friends or family or recover from a wild weekend. Beijing, China’s capital city, and arguably its dining capital, offers ample options for any brunch occasion, and an exciting array of cuisines, from traditional Cantonese to cutting edge fusion, and from five star dining to delicious street food. Here are just some of our favourite brunch spots in Beijing.
Found within the complex of a 600 year old Buddhist temple, it would take fantastic food to match this stunning, historic location. Luckily, Temple Restaurant Beijing has that fantastic food; food so good, in fact, it was Time Out London’s Best Restaurant for 2013. This is not your simple, casual brunch, with brunch at TRB consisting of either five or eight-course versions of delicious European (with an Italian and French emphasis) fare, all served with complementing wines in an enigmatic building that has been both a temple and a television factory, and is now perhaps Beijing’s finest restaurant.
Add: 23 Shatan N Street, Beijing
Phone: 0086 10 8400 2232
Presumably, that ‘M’ stands for ‘Marvellous view’. Capital M’s views take in the whole of the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square all the way to the Qianmen Gate, an interesting contrast to the decor of the restaurant itself and its striking, bold patterns. A sister to Shanghai’s celebrated M on the Bund, also run by Australian restaurateur Michelle Garnaut, the food at Capital M itself is European, and perfectly light for early brunch dining with a bloody mary or any other of their complimentary cocktails. There are two or three course choices, but whichever you chose do not go without having sampled their famed pavlova.
Add: 2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6702 2727
Da Dong 大董
It is an argument that any Beijing resident, or anyone who has ever visited the city, will have had and will be totally willing to almost literally fight for; what is the best Peking duck place in Beijing? It is almost impossible to make a choice without being disagreed with by some, but Da Dong might be the closest we can get to a compromise. Its fans will call it the crispiest duck in town, and that is difficult to argue with. Although the restaurant offers an almost insanely broad 160-page menu, the duck is the real star of the show. What better way to end the week than with a Beijing classic?
Add: Da Dong Roast Duck, 1-2 Nanxincang International Plaza, 22A Dongsishitiao, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 5169 0329
Duck de Chine
…saying that, ‘Da Dong’ has major competition in Duck de Chine. The classiest Pecking duck restaurant in Beijing, this restaurant is decorated with glamorous red chandeliers and offers not only succulent Peking duck, but many other delicious versions of duck from across the globe, from confit to tacos. And as it is not really bunch unless a glass of something alcoholic is involved in this writer’s view, Duck de Chine also offers China’s first Bollinger Champagne bar, bringing a decadent edge to their duck that completely changes the dining experience for the better. Once eaten, you will never want duck without champagne again!
Add: Courtyard 4, 1949 The Hidden City, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6501 8881
The Orchard makes up for its slightly hard to reach location (being just outside of Beijing city proper) by its beautiful surroundings, with its own grounds featuring lakes, a rose garden and the titular orchard making for a pleasant post-food stroll. With these natural surroundings come incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables at their buffet-style brunch, many of which are grown organically in the gardens of the restaurant. It is also perhaps the most child-friendly of all of our choices, being hugely popular with families who can let their children play in the orchard whilst then enjoy such culinary treats as wild boar and poached salmon.
Add: Shunbai Road, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6433 6270
Why choose just one of Beijing’s finest restaurants when you can have two? This is the premise behind brunch at the Four Seasons’ Opus Lounge brunch buffet. As well as standard buffet brunch fare, each of the hotel’s duo of restaurants has stand serving the best of its cuisine, be it the spin on southern Italian food usually found at Mio or the elegant Cantonese food of Cai Yi Xuan (winner of Voyage Gourmet Gold List’s ‘Best Chinese Restaurant in China Award’). All this and free-flowing champagne makes the Opus Lounge a luxury brunch perfect for a special occasion.
Add: Beijing Four Seasons Royal Garden International Hotel, 168-3 Bei Han He Road, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 5932 5932
Green T. House
Although it is difficult to tell from their frankly impenetrable website, Green T. House is making some of the most interesting, innovative and aesthetically pleasing food in all of China. There is a clear dedication to artistry here, which is expressed not only in the food, but in the award-winning decor of the restaurant. Every dish looks almost too good to eat, but that would be a waste of this fine Asian fusion food. Also, as the name suggests, they offer some really great teas, with many being specialities of the restaurants. A brunch that is guaranteed to appeal to all the senses at once.
Add: 318 Shunbai Lu, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6434 2519
Mao Mao Chong
Hidden away on one of Beijing’s many narrow hutongs, pizza parlour Mao Mao Chong feels like a hidden treasure. It is a treasure that really is worth discovering, with its pizzas and pies not only remarkably cheap, but remarkably delicious, and available with a selection of brunch cocktails for those a little delicate come brunch time after the activities of the previous night and looking for a cure. Sit down, order any of their pizzas or other hangover-busting meals, drink down one of their signature ‘Bloody Maos’ and get yourself ready to face the rest of the day.
Add: 12 Ban Chang Hutong, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6405 5718
Although certainly pricey, the Garden Court is the only brunch on our list at which the President of the United States could be seen. The St Regis is known to be Barack Obama’s Beijing hotel of choice, and the food makes it clear why, being a luxuriant mix of fresh seafood and an awe-inspiring carvery. Not only that, but the St. Regis Hotel in New York was the inventor of the brunch essential the bloody mary, making the Beijing a logical brunch choice. Sample their spin on it, the Great Wall Bloody Mary, made with beer instead of vodka, served with oyster shooters and actually far more delicious than it sounds.
Add: The St. Regis Beijing Hotel, 21 Jianguomen Outer St, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 6460 6688
Lei Garden Beijing
Although the fact that there is no Michelin Guide to China means there are no Michelin-starred restaurants in Beijing, this might be the closest you will get to a starred brunch, with six restaurants from the Lei Garden franchise in Hong Kong and Macau having a star. Lei Garden serves a fine dining version of Chinese cuisine, with a small emphasis on seafood dishes such as their wonder lobster served two ways. They have become famous for serving loved and innovative fusion food over three decades, creating over 1000 dishes in that time, and it is this knowledge and dedication that makes this an unmissable brunch experience.
Add: 89 Jinbao Street, Beijing
Phone: 0086 010 5582 1212