Beijing best places to eat: Local tour guide Vicky Qin's top picks

THE EXPERT

VICKY QIN

A font of knowledge on the go-to things to do and see in Beijing, including the best foodie hot spots in the city, Cosmos tour director and Beijing local Vicky Qin, has been leading groups throughout China for more than 10 years. See cosmostours.com.au

EARLY SNACK

Tangyoubing​, a typical local breakfast, literally means "sweet deep-fried dough". It almost tastes like churros without the chocolate – but better. After deep-frying, a thin layer of brown sugar gives a caramel flavour and a crunchy crust. You can find this in almost every restaurant that serves breakfast in town. A popular spot to try these out is Heiyaochangjie Tangyoubing. (3-1, Sipingyuan Nanpingfang Heiyaochang Street)

BRUNCH

Colour, aroma, artistic conception, taste and shape are the essentials of the most sophisticated Chinese cooking. You can find it all in Zijinge's elevated dim sum meal. The signature dish is goldfish-shaped crystal shrimp dumplings. The wrappers are made of top quality wheat starch, so the dumplings look transparent after being steamed. The fillings are very well seasoned so the flavour of the shrimp is not overpowered. In China, the goldfish is a symbol of good fortune. The whole dining experience is a feast not only for your palate but also your eyes. Try it at Zijin Mansion in the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. See waldorfastoria3.hilton.com

COFFEE

Osmanthus flower is a kind of edible flower widely used in China, especially in desserts. In this osmanthus flower-flavoured latte you can taste espresso balanced with milk and the unique fragrance of honey sweet-scented osmanthus flowers. A small cafe in the Hutong area, Fine Cafe and Canteen is the most famous place for it. (Jia-2, Houhainanyan, Liuyin Street)

LUNCH

A well-known and homely Beijing dish is noodles with a special sauce called zhajiang. The sauce is normally made with ground pork or beef, stir-fried with fermented soybean sauce – it is always served separately from the noodle, along with fresh vegetables. You can find it in most Beijing cuisine restaurants, such as Xincheng Zhajiang Noodle Restaurant. (6 Chaowai Street)

DINNER

Peking duck is no doubt the most famous delicacy of Beijing. Wrapped in paper thin crepes with slices of scallion and sweet plum sauce, you can feel the dance of caramelised crispy duck skin and the tender juicy duck meat on your tongue. Da Dong is a great restaurant in Beijing to try peking duck, just north of the eastern gate of Beijing Workers's gymnasium. (1-2 Nanxincang Guoji Dasha, 22a Dongsishitiao, Dongcheng district)

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