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As a local I would say, since Beijing has a very distinctive four seasons, people tend to eat by season:
Eat at least once the copper hot pot in winter for Lamb mutton: at Donglaishun (东来顺) or Jubaoyuan(聚宝源)
Eat Skewers with cold Yanjing beer in summer
Eat handmade dumplings especially during winter
Eat Lamb Spine Hot Pot (羊蝎子) at Lao Chengyiguo 老诚一锅 or Luyuexuan 卢月轩 in winter
Eat Zhajiangmian 炸酱面 or Majiangmian 麻酱面 in hot days
To eat like local, Beijing breakfast can not be missed.
There are local restaurants serving breakfast in Beijing. Many of them open at six or seven in the morning. I recommend going to have an authentic Beijing breakfast outside your hotel.
You can try at:
Qingfeng Baozi(庆丰包子）, Xingyuan(杏园餐厅）, Tianlaoshi(田老师) ,Huguosi(护国寺小吃）
The most typical choices:
Hundun(馄炖) , tofu nao(豆腐脑), soy milk(豆浆)，Youtiao(油条) or Suger Youbing(糖油饼）
Beijing not only has many local cuisines, but also authentic restaurants from many other places in China. As the capital, many people from different cities come to live in Beijing. Therefore, I recommend trying foods from other parts of China as well, especially for hot pot, Sichuan and Yunnan cuisine.
For hot pot, don’t miss Haidilao海底捞.
For Sichuan cuisine, I recommend Sangyangcai 三样菜.
For Yunnan cuisine, you can go to Shuherenjia束河人家, Yunhaiyao云海肴, Zhong8lou 中8楼 and Huama Paradise 花马天堂.
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