The Capital City: Zagat Surveys Beijing

Beijing is a burgeoning landscape, indoctrinating customs from the West while maintaining loyal to ancient traditions.  The economy has grown expeditiously over several years and as the host of the 2008 Olympics, it will be a top tourist destination in August. 

On the cusp of the summer games, Zagat announced their first guide to Beijing, that covers the cities best restaurants, hotels, and nightspots.

Taking top honors was Made in China in Dongcheng’s Grand Hyatt, boasted as having “the best Peking duck in the whole wide world.”  Also mentionable is, the “bustling and chic” Alameda, which ranked as the “Most Popular” pick, and is distinctly not Chinese but Brazilian.

With the Olympics on the horizon celebrity chefs from around the world are planning to implement their menus before what is sure to be a gastronomic extravaganza.  Chef Daniel Boulud is one of the forerunners with his restaurant Maison Boulud opening in the former U.S. embassy. 

As Chinese-American restaurateur, Handel Lee, told NPR last week the changes in Beijing’s dining experience has only occurred over the past three or four years. 

“The dining in Beijing has matured to the point that now you have very good restaurants not only in the terms of food, but types of cuisine, décor and service.”

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