Peking Duck restaurants review by a humble temporary Beijinger

I spent 4 months living in Beijing last winter. I was told many times that I was very unlucky to be there during the worst time of the year, because Beijing was so cold! However, I really had the best time exploring the city, including my adventures to its different Peking Duck restaurants. In this post, I am going to rank all of the ones I had the pleasure to visit during my time in Beijing. If you don’t want to get fat eating as many ducks as I did, go to Beijing during winter!

Of all the places I went to, this is the order of the ranking:

  1. Da Dong 大董
  2. Xihe Ya Yuan 羲和雅苑
  3. Min Fu Ju 民福居
  4. Xiao Da Dong 小大董
  5. 1949 Duck de Chine 1949 全鸭季
  6. Siji Minfu 四季民福
  7. Juqi 局气
  8. Huajia Yiyuan 花家怡园

Rating criteria:

Duck: 💛to 💛💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛to 💛💛💛💛
Price: $ (under RMB200 per head); $$ (under RMB300 per head); $$$ (under RMB400 per head); $$$$ (under RMB500 per head); $$$$$ (over RMB500 per head)
Service: 💛to 💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛to 💛💛💛💛

Da Dong 大董

Source: Dazhongdianping. It is too yummy I always forget to take a decent photo.

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB298

I have been to Da Dong many times and hands down it is still the best Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing, in my opinion. Their duck meat is so tender and flavoursome; the skin is crispy, and not excessively oily. The pancakes they serve are warm and thin. Their sauce and pickled radish were traditional, though nothing fancy, the flavour of the duck retains after they are put together.

Apart from the duck, Da Dong offers an extensive menu of other traditional Beijing dishes, all plated skilfully and creatively. You might notice that they do have some expensive food on the menu, such as wagyu beef and caviar, but the there are also lots of down-to-earth dishes to choose from.

Duck: 💛💛💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛💛💛
Price: $$$$
Service: 💛💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛💛
Reservation needed.

Xihe Ya Yuan 羲和雅苑

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB298

Xihe Ya Yuan is my newly discovered Peking Duck place, the duck here is as good as Da Dong in terms of flavour, crispiness and tenderness. What I also like about the restaurant is the condiments that come with the duck, I have never imagined how good Peking Duck could taste with pop rocks!

I do like the rest of the dishes from the menu so I’ll definitely recommend this restaurant if you’re in Beijing. The branch I visited was at Guomao shopping mall, the ambience was nice and there were rooms available for bigger groups.

Duck: 💛💛💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛💛💛
Price: $$$$
Service: 💛💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛💛
Reservation needed, but walk in is usually ok too.

Min Fu Ju 民福居

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB178

Min Fu Ju is my third favourite Peking Duck restaurant, it is the perfect combination of quality and price. It’s less well known because they don’t have many branches in Beijing, and to be fair, they are a bit out of the way to go to. The branch I visited was in Xishiku 西什库, next to the oldest Catholic Church in Beijing.

Min Fu Ju’s duck meat was again, tender and juicy; the skin was crispy and not very oily. The restaurant had a more traditional vibe comparing to Da Dong, but their dishes were still delicate and nicely made. I had the opportunity to try out many of the local Beijing traditional dishes here, and I never knew I would appreciate them so much!

Duck: 💛💛💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛💛💛
Price: $
Service: 💛💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛💛
Walk in only.

Taste of Da Dong 小大董

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB198

Taste of Da Dong is the mass market brand under Da Dong, they serve more main stream dishes but their duck still retains the quality from their parent restaurant! I think I must have gone to Taste of Da Dong for at least three times within my four months there…

To be very fair, their duck is not as good as Da Dong, but it is as good as it can get for its price. One might expect the other dishes at Taste of Da Dong to be worse because they are cheaper, but it is not true. I think the free candy floss tanghulu (glazed hawthorn) desserts at the end of the meal is a nice touch too. In short, Taste of Da Dong is a place which you can order as much as you can without breaking the bank.

Duck: 💛💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛💛💛
Price: $
Service: 💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛
Walk in only.

1949 Duck de Chine 1949 全鸭季

Price of a whole duck: RMB298

I ranked down Duck de Chine because I went there with so much expectation! I heard so many good things about the restaurant, their duck was good but I was expecting better for its price. We even paid for the more expensive duck which was RMB100 more… and it turned out to be quite greasy overall, the duck meat was chewy without much flavour, and the skin was thick and a bit hard…

I would say I might have to go back to try their regular duck to give their name a justice. However, with the overall prices of all of the other dishes, which are by the way too salty for my liking, it might be too expensive a meal for me to risk. The ambience of the place deserves five stars though (we went to the Jinbao Street branch).

Duck: 💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛
Price: $$$$$
Service: 💛💛💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛💛
Reservation needed.

Siji Minfu 四季民福

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB228

Siji Minfu is the favourite duck restaurant of almost every Beijinger.

Their duck was tasty, but it was too meaty and oily for me. The restaurant’s other dishes were all great though, and I absolute loved the vibe there! It was so busy and lively with waiters busy running around trying to fulfil the orders, and I could tell people were genuinely having such a good time there.

Duck: 💛💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛
Price: $$$
Service: 💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛💛
Walk in only.

Juqi 局气

Price of a whole peking duck: RMB198

I found Juqi on the Peking Duck ranking on the Dianping app (basically the Yelp of China), so I thought their duck would be quite good. It wasn’t that bad, but the meat was a bit dry, and the skin was too thick and salty. The menu of the place was very interesting though, we had a good time enjoying the meal overall.

Duck: 💛💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛💛
Price: $$$
Service: 💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛
Walk in only.

Huajia Yiyuan 花家怡园

The duck was on the top left corner.

Price of a whole duck: RMB168

In short, I didn’t know what Huajia Yiyuan did to my duck. It wasn’t presented the way I was expecting it to be, that was ok. But the flavours… were just not up to standard. The restaurant was a bit touristy for my liking overall anyway.

Duck: 💛
Overall dishes: 💛💛
Price: $$$
Service: 💛💛💛
Ambience: 💛💛💛 (it’s not bad because it is housed in a traditional building)
Reservation needed.

So that’s it for my review of Peking Duck restaurants in Beijing. Have you been to any of them and what are your thoughts? I would love to know!

Kathy xx

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