Well, in general you got various choice, even sometimes overwhelm you. cuisine is one of the famous reason of China, but for a visitor, what are you gonna do for a good breakfast ?
I think most of people in the world get used to have a good breakfast in the morning, even from the aspect of health, a good breakfast will boost your all day’s work.
In China, urban young people who live in first tie city such as beijing tend to have their breakfast in international fast food chain store, like MacDonald or KFC, which is the bottom line choice for all visitor, cheaper and safe to eat all the time, more importantly, anyone is familiar with the taste, you got reasonable expectation there.
The cost of Coffee with a burg is from $1-$3, I have to say, it’s way cheaper than most of street food. I can’t even imagine how MacDonald earn money from this. KFC goes the same way, but with a little bit higher price, start from $2.
If you want to have a good Chinese style breakfast like MacDonald does in China, then you should probably consider the JinDingXuan chain restaurant (Figure), It’s way better than most of the traditional restaurant which have breakfast service.even with a lower price. what you have to compromise is the crowd of people. you should forget about the privacy and comfort zone around you. because you have to sit side by side with the other people. the good point of that is the table turning time is fast, people just eat there, then leave, no one would chatting there. this is kind of bringing me up the small restaurant in Hong Kong, as this restaurant is famous for their Cantonese cuisine (near HongKong). Also it opened 24 hours and have more than 8 branches in Beijing, so it’s convenient to be there. sometimes, you have to wait for a seat. average cost for breakfast(they also have dinner and midnight snack service )is $5 per one.
Figure: People sit side by side.
Some good specialty there.
- Fried dumpling
- Fried bread stick
- Soil milk(with sugar or not)
- All kinds of porridge(with meal or vegetable only)
- Pickled vegetable
- Tea eggs
- Prawn Steamed dumplings
As forementioned, You can consider Starbuck is an upgraded version of MacDonald, they both offer coffee and bread, but if you want some good croissant, muffin etc and more choices for coffee, Starbuck it is. I would not talk too much about Starbuck here this time.
In most cases, street food is not a good choice for visitors, given the health safety problem, allergy, I have to admit that some street food is very delicious, but if you do not know the people who make it, I would not risk my health on it.
If you are interested in some niche restaurant for breakfast such as Clay oven rolls with meal , you have to ask for your Chinese friend for detail, because most of these restaurants are out there in the southern city of beijing, some is still in alleyway(HuTong) or courtyard house deeply inside the 2nd Ring Express way. So just think it as an adventure.
Figure: Clay oven rolls with meal
Midnight snack, and you still have to wait in line when closing to midnight, Chinese people do love food.