Best New Restaurants in Beijing

Food — By Lauren Johnson on December 18, 2011 at 8:36 am

There have been a few great new restaurant openings this past year, and some real flops. Some closures that we in Beijing were sad to witness, and some closures that were completely justified.


Ganges, your favorite Indian eatery, has opened several new branches, most notably the one at Dongzhimen. Still, they offer the same great quality cuisine, fine decor and excellent service as their Sanlitun branch, and the buffet is still one of the best deals in the city for stuffing your face.

Ssam, the new Korean place in Chaoyang District is taking home awards for their stellar dishes that blend tasty Korean traditional fare with a penchant for luring in Western palates. The presentation is exotic and rare, and the decor and staff are amazing. You won’t find better Korean this side of the peninsula, and Ssam is one restaurant we’re happy joined the ranks of high-end dining in Beijing in 2011.

Modo is perhaps one of the most popular new restaurants of the year, with it’s perfect Sanlitun location and awesome, trendy decor. The food, in small portions but oh so tasty, is ideally paired with an impressive and vast wine collection, making it one of the go-to places for winos in Beijing. Without hitting on any of the wine cliches, Modo manages to impress both the highbrow crowd and those who save up for a fancy bottle of dry red with a few appetizers for a special occasion.

Mosto was the first restaurant by Alex Molina and Daniel Urdaneta, who then went on to open Modo, and it’s presence in Sanlitun has become a staple. Not as new as Modo, Mosto continues to deliver high-end Mediterranean-Spanish cuisine that would be fit for royalty, though with the prices to support that lofty claim.

Agua is another great recent opening, with excellent Spanish cuisine. Known for it’s homemade meat dishes like the sausage, suckling pig and steak, Agua can also provide tasty vegetarian and seafood options. Chef Jordi Valles is well-known in Beijing for his innovative, inspired and creative takes on traditional Spanish fare.

Tags: Agua, Ganges, Modo, Mosto, new eats 2011 beijing, new restaurants beijing, new restaurnats 2011 Beijing, Ssam