Succulent roast duck is Beijing’s big culinary hitter. Every venerable restaurant has a different preparation technique, but once the duck has been brought to your table and carved, or vice versa, the routine is always the same; slather dark, tangy plum sauce onto pancakes, pop in a few scallions, add shreds of duck or duck fat (surprisingly delicious, if done correctly) with your chopsticks, roll it up and prepare for the local taste sensation. Nothing is wasted; the duck’s entrails are usually made into a separate dish of their own, then served up alongside the meat and fat.
Prices vary depending on where you go, what grade you’d like (there are usually two “classes” to choose from), and what you’d like served alongside the duck (some places charge for the sauce and scallions). These days it’s tough to find a whole duck for under ¥100, while at the city’s more famous duck restaurants you can expect to pay up to three times this price. Recommended places include: Liqun, Deyuan and Quanjude.