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Foods on Dragon Boat Festival for Beijingers


Drinking Realgar Wine

Ancient Chinese believed realgar was an antidote for all poisons, and therefore most effective to drive away evil spirits and kill insects. On the Dragon Boat Festival, people drink realgar wine, which is the white spirit or yellow rice wine with a little bit of realgar. For children, people would smear the realgar wine on their forehead, ear, nose, etc. to repel insects and evil things.

Now for health consideration, the use of realgar has declined somewhat and the realgar wine is hard to find in Beijing. However, drinking wine is still prevalent for Beijingers on the Dragon Boat Festival. 

  • Changting Tavern

Changting tavern is located at the Gulou West Street, with few people and good atmosphere. Variety of dishes is well-disciplined, because there is no showy name or illustrating picture, but side dish, little escargots, and beans flavored with aniseed that are quite suitable for drinking, and you can even order barbecues to be sent from adjacent shops. Set meal includes 2 bottles of glutinous rice wine, which is amazing and brewed by the boss.

The tavern has several big wine jars colored in white and red. The white wine jar has sweeter wine, and the taste of wine in both jars is good. The boss provides ice cube and says that you can add ice if feeling sweet.

Add.: No. 180, Gulou West Street

Eating Rice Dumpling

The rice dumpling in Beijing is usually big and in square and triangle shape. Currently, the rice dumplings in Beijing market are usually made of sticky rice. Most of the rice dumplings are stuffed with red dates or sweetened bean paste; there are also a few people put preserved fruited into the rice dumpling.

In part of Beijing, the rice dumplings are stuffed with coarse rice and jujube and wrapped with reed leaf. Miyun County is a famous birthplace of jujube. Many Beijingers like making rice dumpling by themselves. They mix sticky rice and coarse rice as well as jujube together as the stuff. The string tying the rice dumpling is Malan straw, a specialty of Beijing.

  • Daoxiangcun

Beijing Daoxiangcun has been prospered for centuries, so it is an old famous brand in Beijing. The distinctive shop was recognized as the first one that produced and sold Southern flavor food in Beijing.

It offers over 400 varieties of 12 series, including Chinese and western pastries, cooked food, frozen food, snacks, and seasonal cakes such as yuanxiao, zongzi, and moon cakes. Pastries produced in Daoxiangcun are mainly Suzhou style, together with Cantonese style and western ones, including Meimao (eyebrow) meat pie (pastry dumpling), fried dough twist, shortening cake, rose cake, and black sesame cake.

Qianmen Store: No.59, Qianmen Street, Dongcheng District

Wudaokou Store: No. 99, 1F, 3rd building, Lanqiying, Chengfu Road, Haidian District

Wangfujing Store: No. 10, Dengshikou Street, Dongcheng District

Drum Tower Store: No. 50, Di'anmenwai Street

  • Baiji Muslim Snacks

Baiji Niangao (glutinous rice cake) has been the star of Niujie. The agreeably sweet and glutinous Niangao tastes better with the sour hawthorn cake on the top. In addition to different varieties of Niangao, it also sells zongzi during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Address: Floor 1, Niujie Muslim Supermarket, No. 5, Niujie

Eating the Rose Cake

On the first day of May according to the lunar calendar, people worship the Buddha and their ancestors with offerings, which is usually rose cake in rich families. The best rose cakes are made from rose in present year on the Miaofeng Mountain. It is auspicious to eat a rose cake on the Dragon Boat Festival. For ordinary family, people usually make steamed bun with rose stuff on that day.

  • Miss Hai’s Rose Cake

Miss Hai’s Rose Cake, situated at the main street of Nan Luo Gu Xiang, is the only handmade dessert shop on the theme of roses in Beijing. Rose cake is a great feature of the shop. If you are close to, you can smell the fragrant, enticing flavor of flowers and cakes. Rose cakes here have many flavors that customers can buy either single or box-packed one.

Freshly baked, rose cakes feature crispy skin and moderate thickness. Having a big bite, you will enjoy soft and rich palate generated by stuffing of creativity, worthy of high recommendation. Pineapple-flavored rose cake is tasteful too, but it has more sourness and sweetness in it. A bite of the cake reveals the pineapple flesh, which is very delicious.

Address: 117 Main Street, Nan Luo Gu Xiang


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