Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant: Best cheap roast duck in Beijing

Hanging lanterns outside Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant in Beijing, China
Hanging lanterns outside Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant in Beijing, China

Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant, located in Beijing, China, is a casual restaurant famous for its affordable and delicious Peking duck. In a city with roast duck restaurants on every corner, this is my favorite. And don’t just take my word for it, as the restaurant is popular with locals and tourists.

Peking duck is a specialty in Beijing. Add it to your bucket list if you’re a foodie headed here. Eating roast duck is often a special occasion, meaning it is expensive and fancy. When I’m in the mood for duck, I want neither expensive nor fancy.

When I wanted to try Peking duck, I visited Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant over other duck restaurants in Beijing. The duck is cheap and delicious, and for some reason, most tourists have yet to discover it.

What is Peking duck?

Peking duck is a famous traditional Chinese dish of duck prepared in a way that results in a crispy, rich skin and moist, tender meat. While the dish is from Beijing, its origins date back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).

Preparing Peking duck is a meticulous process involving ducks slaughtered at a certain age. The first step is to inflate the duck with air, separating its skin and fat.

Next, the duck is boiled and dried before being hung and roasted in an oven over an open flame. When done, the duck’s skin will be reddish-brown and glisten under the lights.

Peking duck typically comes with sliced cucumbers, scallions, pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and sugar for serving.

Arrival at the Restaurant

Ducks hanging in the window
Ducks hanging in the window

The location, 15 minutes by foot from the nearest metro station, may keep some people away. They are missing out on quite possibly the best Peking duck in Beijing.

When you reach the restaurant, look for the ducks hanging in the window and the outdoor deck decorated with red lanterns.

During my visit in the winter, the outdoor deck was going through some upgrades to prepare it for the warmer summer months. In the summer, these are the most popular seats in the house.

Interior of Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant

Interior of Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant, Beijing, China
Interior of the restaurant

When I walked inside, the aroma of barbecued meat and the smell of fire hit me first.

The open dining room was clean and plain. The design was simple, with white walls and wooden tables paired with rustic chairs. On the back wall, a single television was hanging.

I arrived on a late Friday afternoon to avoid the dinner rush. A reservation might be a smart move with only a few tables, especially on weekends.

After I placed my order, my server told me the duck would take 30 minutes to prepare. This was fine with me.

Roasting a duck until golden brown and crispy takes time. The wait was well worth it, especially after I ordered a few cheap, dark draft beers.

Beijing Roast Duck

Roast duck prepared table side
Roast duck prepared table side

The specialty was the Peking duck, or Beijing Roast Duck (138 RMB or about $19.11). In the past, a half order of duck for 79 RMB ($10.94) was listed on the menu. This option was not available on my visit.

The only option was a whole duck, perfect for sharing between two people. Since I was hungry, I knew I would eat a whole duck.

Is this your first time ordering Peking duck in Beijing? If so, you’re in for a real treat. At most duck restaurants in Beijing, the duck is presented and prepared on the table side. At Jingzun, it was no different.

The chef brought the roast duck on a tray and used his knife to butcher every piece of meat off the bird. Each slice was placed beautifully on the plate as if every piece had its place. It was one of my most memorable experiences in Beijing.

I was lucky enough to have a new chef butcher my beautiful roast duck under the watchful eye of his mentor. While I was a little nervous at first, I was ultimately impressed with how well he did.

Glistening Duck Skin

The specialty, the Beijing Roast Duck, Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant, Beijing, China
The specialty, the Beijing Roast Duck

The duck’s skin was beautiful after being fire-roasted inside a brick oven. The crispy brown crust glistening under the bright lights of the restaurant was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

The skin tasted as great as it looked. It was crispy yet still gelatinous, and each bite melted in my mouth. The richness and flavors of the skin were incredible, sometimes overpowering. It’s something everyone needs to try for themselves.

The dark meat of the duck, hidden under the skin, was prepared and sliced to perfection, with each piece cut from a different part of the bird.

After fire-roasted, the meat had a hint of smoke. However, some pieces were overcooked with uneven cooking, while others were tender and juicy. The dark meat and crispy skin were a great mixture of textures and flavors in my mouth.

Assortment of Sides

Sides including sliced cucumbers and scallions, pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and sugar
Sides including sliced cucumbers and scallions, pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and sugar

An assortment of sides, including sliced cucumbers, sliced scallions, pancakes, sweet bean sauce, and sugar, were served with the duck.

I took the duck meat and skin, placed it in the pancake, and added the toppings of my choosing. It was like a taco. Like a Chinese crepe, the pancake was quite thin and light, almost translucent.

Each ingredient complemented the flavors and richness of the roast duck. The sliced cucumbers and scallions added a fresh and crispy texture to each bite, while the thick and smoky bean sauce added sweetness. If you want even more sweetness, add sugar.

I managed to finish the entire delicious duck on my own, which I’m not sure I should be proud of or ashamed of. I didn’t realize just how much food was in front of me. The roast duck will always be my favorite meal in Beijing.


Service was friendly and prompt, especially compared to other restaurants I visited in Beijing.

I enjoyed how the server kept the cold beers coming while I was waiting patiently for the duck.

The best part about Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant was watching the chefs slice each duck fresh to order at each table. I could watch that all day.


Beijing has an almost endless list of duck restaurants. At the top of the list, I place Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant. You can’t beat the quality of food, affordability, level of service, and laid-back atmosphere.

Without considering the price, Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant serves one of Beijing’s best roast Peking ducks. I would gladly pay double for the quality of the duck. It was that good.

I can’t get over how crispy and rich the duck’s skin was. Everything was delicious, from the meat to the sides to the Chinese-style pancake. It was culinary perfection.

Next time I return to Beijing, I know my first stop will be at Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant.


  • One of the best roast ducks in Beijing
  • Affordably priced
  • Simple but clean interior
  • Friendly service


  • Often a wait for a table

Last Updated on March 30, 2024

Photo of author
My name is Anthony and I am addicted to traveling all around the world experiencing new people, cultures, and foods. These are some of my stories.