The best Middle Eastern restaurants in Beijing

Get a taste of the Middle East in the Middle Kingdom

For a cuisine that can trace its origins back at least a couple of millennia, Middle Eastern food, for the most part, remains largely underappreciated in Beijing, but these restaurants are doing their bit. Rich, wholesome and never bland, it’s also exceptionally diverse – and so much more than just hummus.

Alameen

Set amidst Sanlitun's embassies, Alameen's fare arguably sets the standard in Beijing Middle Eastern dining, while its light and spacious room – built around a tree – also makes for the most pleasant environs. Start with a mixed dips platter (80RMB) and excellent fluffy flatbreads (3RMB each); ...

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2 Sanlitun Xi Wu Jie (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Al Safir

There's a rickety charm to this long-running Sanyuanqiao joint, and late nights perched among the crowd in its plentiful outdoor seating, shisha in hand, do make for a legit experience. Al Safir is also one of the city's best priced options, with a pan-Arabian menu featuring sharing plates of ...

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35 Xiaoyun Lu Courtyard (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

A Thousand and One Nights Restaurant

A clamorous night of live belly-dancing can be positive and negative, depending on how much shisha (88RMB) you've indulged in. A long-time Sanlitun favourite, this venerable joint also features a large patio for when indoors gets a bit too raucous. Favourites such as hummus (30-55RMB), falafel ...

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1-4 Gongti Bei Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Biteapitta

Located off the strip formerly known as Sanlitun Bar Street (Dirty Bar Street, at its worst), this sun-drenched café is by no means vegetarian, but its tabbouleh (46RMB), fattoush (46RMB) and choice of no less than seven different types of hummus (40-60RMB) have gained it a devoted following of ...

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Sanlitun Houjie (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Desert Rose

This Turkish hideaway, parked on a slightly jaded strip near Ritan Park, makes for a welcome oasis in otherwise spiceless surrounds. Reliable standbys such as dürüm (wraps) and tombik (sandwich) doner kebabs (30-58RMB) are a particular favourite with the lunchtime work crowd, while its fluffy ...

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1-7, 39 Shenlu Jie (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Döner Kebap

Hunks of döner spin in an open kitchen at this compact Turkish kebab counter in Sanlitun. It’s by no means Beijing's prima döner, but a fair option when kebab lust does strike, with decent beef and chicken wraps (from 25RMB), as well as meat plates served every which way – over rice, with ...

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Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Persepolis

Sandwiched between A Thousand and One Nights and Turkish Mum, this Iranian eatery forms the steadfast backbone of what can only be described as Gongti’s 'Middle East Mile'. Named after the former ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis fittingly serves up comforting Persian ...

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1-3 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

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