21. Chinese vegetarian feast
Order from set menus (168-368RMB) or à la carte at Samadhi for clean tastes and textures without any mock meat. It won Time Out Beijing’s best new restaurant award in 2010. Call for lunar calendar discounts.
Samadhi Vegetarian Teahouse. Open 10am-2pm, 5-11pm daily. Second Floor, Shifanghaoting Building, Xinyuan Nan Lu, Chaoyang district (8453 1644)
22. Roasted sweet potato
The metal drum roasters are plentiful on the streets, but there are also shops dedicated to all things sweet potato. Best bets are bags of crunchy chips (10RMB), and if you get there from 8.30am to any time before about 6pm, you’ll get roasted sweet potato at 5.8RMB per 500g. Call to reserve. If you’re having a party, give notice three hours in advance and the restaurant will deliver locally.
Digua (Sweet Potato). Open 8.30am-10pm daily. 56 Yonghegong Beixinqiao, Dongcheng district (8403 0258)
23. Soy shakes
Imagine freshly made soy milk that’s thick and warm – a comfort for locals. Glug on healthy shakes made with straight soy, or combine with black sesame, dates, corn and other grains and flavours made on the spot. Sold for between 5RMB and 10RMB, they’re very easy on your wallet as well.
Big Bean House Building. Open 9am-9pm daily. B4, 29 Zhaoying Lu (near Nurenjie and Maizidian), Chaoyang district (5867 0265 ext 806)
24. Sweet date bread
Zhao gao is sold in large hunks by weight (8.8RMB per 500g), the perfect finish to stinky tofu (see three) from the next window. Green mung bean cakes, also sold, give the shop its name.
Lu Dou Bing. Open 9am-10pm daily. 147 Dianmenwai Dajie (south-east corner at the intersection with Dianmen Dong Dajie), Xicheng district (no telephone)
These are sit-down-style roujiamo, sans chopped green peppers (that you’ll find mixed in on street versions). The ‘pork burgers’ here are worth the visit for a mere 7RMB. Pay an extra 2RMB to have it double stuffed with a little more fatty goodness.
Qin Tang Fu. Open 5-10pm daily. 69 Chaoyangmen Nanxiaojie, Chaoyang district (6559 8135)
Photo by Time Out Beijing staff