Anthony Bourdain in Beijing: 4 Spots Where Tony Ate

Anthony Bourdain was the first to admit that there were some destinations he could never visit enough to fully understand. Beijing – and China as a whole – certainly fit that description. China’s capital city is almost inconceivably massive, home to 21.5 million people, and a juxtaposition of Imperial history with modern Chinese economic and infrastructure growth. It’s home to restaurants of every style, type, and menu – including places you can find Chinese dishes you may have seen at restaurants elsewhere, at their origin.

Anthony Bourdain only filmed one episode in Beijing; it was the season 2 Asia Special of No Reservations. (This episode also included a visit to Chengdu in the Sichuan province.) As far as we know, this was his only visit to Beijing, but he visited China many other times, making trips to Shanghai, Harbin, and other parts of the vast country.

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing Hero

If you’re planning a trip to China and want to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain in Beijing, here’s your guide. Among Chinese cities, Tony didn’t visit as many places in the capital as others, but there are some interesting – and uniquely Beijing – dishes you can try at these spots. Grab your chopsticks and let’s dig in.

This post was originally written in January 2023 and was updated most recently in January 2024.

Where Anthony Bourdain Ate in Beijing

Before jumping into the list, I thought it would be helpful to have a map to orient you to the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Beijing.

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing Map
Click to interact with the map

 Ready to learn about each one and what Tony ate there? Read on!

Liubiju Pickle and Sauce Shop

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing - Pickles

Anthony Bourdain’s first stop in Beijing is at an institution almost twice as old as the U.S.: Liubiju Pickle and Sauce Shop has been in business for almost 500 years! As their name suggests, they specialize in pickled, well, everything – and Tony tries several different preserved vegetables: squash, sprouts, peppers, imperial cucumber, and some “sinister-looking” pickled vegetable whose shape and resemblance will go unnamed here.

Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing - Roast Duck

Next, Bourdain meets up with several locals, including ex-pat Matt as well as others named George, Little Rock, and Lu Huong Yu. They head to Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant, which is – again, as the name suggests – known for its “beak-to-beak” roast duck.

There, Tony and his dining companies dig first into duck’s feet and Chinese mustard sauce, followed by roast duck eaten on a thin crepe with sliced green onions and hoisin sauce. They also have plenty of Baijiu, China’s popular liquor.

Bǎo dū Zhēng (?)

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing - Tripe

To begin, I’m not totally sure about the name of this restaurant, so if you know better, please let me know in the comments.

Bourdain calls it “Bǎo dū Zhēng” or “Zheng’s sheep stomach,” and it’s located in one of Beijing’s Hutong historic neighborhoods. Here, he tucks into some more unusual dishes – even by Chinese standards. First, he tries tofu byproduct slow-cooked in sheep fat as an “amuse bouche;” his restaurant dining companion points out that in other parts of China, this is served to pigs.

Tony next has a tripe, a personal favorite. Specifically, he enjoys cow and sheep stomach in sesame pepper sauce, with a few glasses of “Chinese white wine” aka Baijiu.

I couldn’t find any information about this restaurant’s status on Google. If you know anything about it, please let me know in the comments.

Mian Ku Noodle Loft

Anthony Bourdain in Beijing - Noodles

Lastly, Anthony Bourdain heads to Mian Ku Noodle Loft to sample noodle dishes, an undeniably important part of Chinese cuisine. Here he has the 22m long green noodle dish and hand-cut and thrown noodles. He also tries thin noodles with salted eggplant sauce.

While Anthony Bourdain doesn’t visit many spots in Beijing, he does sample a lot of the cuisine. Have any questions about these places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Beijing, or are you able to provide more context to the places he visited? Let me know in the comments below!

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Valerie is a travel writer currently based in Cleveland, but her favorite destinations are Alaska, London, and Jordan – only one of which Bourdain ever visited! You can find her writing on Lonely Planet, Forbes, and her travel blog, Valerie & Valise.

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