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Gong De Lin Vegetarian Restaurant

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Gong De Lin was established in 1922 as Beijing's first vegetarian restaurant. As one of the first vegetarian restaurants to open in China, this eatery uses imitation meats to produce classic Chinese-styled dishes, like braised "pork" chops, sweet and sour "fish", and Gongde "duck". The menu is in clear English. The restaurant is located one entertaining mile walk south of Tiananmen Square.

Its food is of the Buddhist "imitation flesh" variety - using vegetables, mushrooms and tofu to construct dishes bearing an uncanny resemblance to their animal product namesakes, but completely without meat. The shrimp balls, for example, taste mightily real. The "short chicken with crisp skin" is delicious. The finest dish is the silken pineapple: delicately battered, then caramelized and served very hot. The main dining hall is downstairs, with three private themed dining rooms occupying the upper level. Beer, wine and spirits are available

Meat imitation is no doubt an art form at this purely vegetarian upscale supper club. Strict veggie-lovers will find dishes such as recreated chicken feet but won't have to worry about tricky cooks sneaking mystery meat into the supposedly vegetarian tofu. Imitation duck and shrimp entrees are exceptionally popular.

Opening Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Average Cost: 80 RMB per person

Location: No. 2QianmenEast Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing

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