CLOSED: Xu Xiang Zhai - Dongcheng District

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 32 reviews )



26-1 Guozijian Dajie, Hutong (at opposite Lama temple, next to Confucian temple, Dongcheng District), Beijing, China

Has both a la carte and buffet options. Most dishes are vegan. Buffet features mockmeats, beancurd, veggies, and some western options. Serves alcohol. No onion, garlic, shallot, chive, leek and spring onion. Located next to the Imperial College and Yonghegong, the Lama Temple, right across from the Confucius temple. Reported closed due to high rent. May move to a new location, please update HappyCow of changes.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Ovo, Chinese, Western

32 Reviews

First Review by craigmc

Great place to eat - Edit

I really liked this place. It's near the Lama Temple and Confucius Temple (on the other side of the road). Lots of locals. Wide menu options. I didn't got how it works after 5 p.m. because when I came there the waiter said they have only buffet, but there were some guests which were sitting with menu and they didn't use buffet, so I guess it was an option to choose, but not for lonely traveller like me.
Anyway I liked everything - the food was quite good, various, tasty. I was surprised with tea they serve - pu'er. The buffet costed me 68 RMB. I didn't got if they ask this price for the one person or for the table. I think it's a good place to eat (but a little bit pricey).

Pros: Wide menu options.

Cons: Food quite oily.

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Wonderful Buffet - Edit

The restaurant is quite full and there was a wide range of vegan options, including stirfries, hotpots, japanese food, beijing food. Good Value for money and lots of variety.

Food is quite yummy

Most of the deserts contain egg or milk but all the other main meal options are vegan.

Should come early as after 8pm the food is not refilled.

Very Convenient across from Confucius Temple

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Quantity over Quality - Edit

I'm surprised at all the great reviews for this place, as I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. There was a wide variety to choose from and the price was very reasonable. I was there this past Friday at 5:30pm for dinner and it was 68 RMB per person for the buffet. However, none of the food really stood out to me. For every dish I tried, I could remember a better version I've had at another vegetarian restaurant in Beijing.

Maybe this restaurant is best for vegetarians on a short visit to Beijing who either have non-vegetarian relatives in tow or simply want to bulk up on a lot of food for a fairly reasonable price. The area where the restaurant is located is an interesting place to visit, and the restaurant has wide variety for people who want to sample different kinds of vegetarian food. I assume if I brought my parents here they would say, "I never knew vegetarian food could taste this good" and they would really like it. In my case, I already know vegetarian food can taste this good, and other vegetarian restaurants in Beijing have shown me it can also taste much better.

Pros: Location, Reasonable Price, Wide Variety

Cons: Lower Quality than Expected

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Nice buffet - Edit

I went here for dinner for the buffet that starts at 5:30 PM. It was pretty crowded, full of locals. There are so many yummy dishes to choose from! It's an easy to find restaurant from the subway station Yonghegong (subway line 2). Walk down the main street alongside the Lama Temple, and then take a side street to the right towards the Confucius Temple, and the restaurant is right across the street. It's a very big restaurant, and they have a nice bathroom too! It would be a good place to go with a big group of people, but also nice for one-person dinners. Not everything is vegan. All the savory dishes seemed to be vegan, but the desserts sometimes contained egg, and it wasn't always labeled. Ask first if you want to eat some vegan dessert. Price was 68 for full buffet dinner.
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 24, 2013

Pros: Good price, Easy to find, within walking distance, Many food choices

Cons: Not everything is vegan

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good value - Edit

The restauarnt has a great location, opposite the Confucius temple, and close to the Lama temple (and subway station). It was very bury during luchtime. I had to wait over 30 minutes to be seated. Fortunately they gave a card with your number so you could go out for while until your number would be likely to come up. They only call numbers in Chinese, which does not make the wait easier.

The buffet was very diverse, with lots of mock meats, but also vegetables, rice, noodles etc. There were also free drinks and desserts. I have definitely had food with more sophisticated flavours in China, but it wasn't bad at all, in particular for the price. Good place, but come ear;y to avoid the waiting line, and to make sure they don't run out of things to eat as the buffet is not refilled continually.

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One of the best options in Beijing - Edit

Great buffet with an impressive range of items. Moderately priced and excellent quality of food. Mostly East Asian-style, but they also have some great pizza (which seems not to be refilled, so arrive early). Very interesting selection of desserts, good for Vegans, too. But no refill with those as well, so if you arrive around 7pm, better arrange your dessert plate right at the beginning of your meal.

Pros: excellent value, wide range of items, convenient location

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Huge buffet - Edit

I've visited this restaurant many times. It's another Beijing vegetarian restaurant "to impress visitors" besides fancy Pure Lotus restaurant in Tuanjiehu. This restaurant does not have spectacular interior design or the fanciest dishes, but the variety in the buffet is amazing. They have about 20 warm dishes and about the same amount of cold dishes, soup, hot pot, vegetarian sushi, salad items, steamed buns etc., dairy ice creams and large dessert table. All this and various soft drinks are included in the price of the buffet. But you can always order from the a la carte menu too.

The buffet is served during lunch and dinner hours, and it is a good idea to arrive early, because sometimes they run out of some of the dishes at the end of the serving and the dishes may become cold too.

The restaurant is situated just opposite to the Confucius Temple (which is very beautiful and worth visiting), very close to the Lama temple (and Yonghegong subway station).

There are often Buddhist monks eating in this restaurant too, especially during the lunch hours and it seems to be really popular among the locals.

Sometimes vegan items are marked in the dessert table, but not always. But those options are never many.

Pros: Huge selection, Good location

Cons: Vegan items are not always marked, Sometimes they run out of some dishes , Sometimes buffet dishes get cold

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A big buffet - Edit

The English name of the restaurant is Professional Vegetarian.

I visited the buffet for the first time only now, because I've had trouble finding it. The best option is to look for the Confucius Temple and the restaurant is just opposite.

The big buffet didn't disappoint, but as a vegan I'd prefer that the dishes would be clearly marked if they have egg or dairy in them and the vegan dessert selection was limited. It was also a bit cold in the dining room as it's December. Consider taking the hot pot in the winter time. Good food, anyway.

Pros: good food, huge selection

Cons: a bit expensive, no vegan desserts

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Good restaurant - Edit

Huge selection of mostly Chinese vegan food on the menu and buffet. Lots of seating. Busy restaurant with great location across from the Confucius temple, and next to Lama temple. Worth a visit. Staff speaks very little English. Salad buffet, fresh dumplings and much more, choice of drinks.

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Don't order the egg-free dan tat - Edit

After eating some amazing vegan dan tat (egg tart) in Hong Kong, I was thrilled to see an egg-free version the menu at Xu Xiang Zhai (they also have a version with egg). After a lengthy back and forth with the staff, we were assured repeatedly that there were no milk products in the egg-free version, so we ordered some. They were awful, and nothing like dan tat. They were basically little floppy tart crusts with a thick liquid poured inside. It really seemed like there was dairy in them, too. Big disappointment.

I realize this review is a bit unfair, as we didn't eat any entrees there. We just stopped by for dessert (we'd already eaten at Biahe), but we did buy some excellent vegan jerky from the little shelf of vegan products near the entrance. We looked at the menu, though, and thought that a lot of the items looked very good, if a bit pricey compared to the nearby Fairy Su and Biahe.

Pros: Nice ambience, They sell a few veg products

Cons: Awful egg-free dan tat, A bit pricey

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Go, go, go - dont miss! - Edit

This place have a daily buffet for lunch and evening for 80 yuan. It includes a full meal, drinks, deserts in all you can eat style. It is very valuable. Also a lot of vegan options. Very nice atmosphere and well designed. There is about 50 different dishes that includes sushi, dim sum, soups, meat replacement, models, rice, vegetables, fruits and many more. You have a chance to taste all and get the real taste of Chinese food.


Pros: Excellent food, Good value, Variety

Cons: A bit cold

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Buffet - Edit

Buffet meals at available during meal time. A wide variety of choices,including Japanese hand roll, on the spot stir fried vegetable, value for money! For buffet, try to go early because they do not replenish the dishes often.

Pros: good value, always crowded

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Great buffet - Edit

I picked this place mainly for the buffet, and it really didn't disappoint! The variety was amazing and somewhat international. Warm selections were predominantly Chinese, but they also got a small salad bar, sushi and miso soup (didn't look too appealing though), assorted fruits, some western desserts (most contained eggs), etc etc.

The majority of dishes seemed to be vegan so I pretty much sampled everything. Most were tasty, a few just OK. Actually I found some of them very similar, were all Chinese style stir-fry only with different ingredients. The chilled appetizer station had more regional influences and thus was more interesting to me. Always love cultural foods.

Buffet costs 78 RMB/person, which is all-you-can-eat including drinks and desserts (have ice-cream too). Would be nicer to have more vegan dessert options, as far as I could tell none were vegan that evening. We didn't look at the regular menu, but judging from what I saw on other tables, ordering a la carte might not be bad either. Do both if you come in a group.

Location was convenient, surroundings were nice. As shocking as it might sound, it did take us a little while to find this place because the taxi driver just dropped us off further down the street and the street numbers were all over the place. My advice is not to pay attention to them. The restaurant is right across from the Confucius Temple.

Pros: good value, variety, location

Cons: lack of vegan desserts

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Great restaurant - Edit

I've been in 3 vegetarian restaurants in Beijing and this one was my favourite. But now the buffet costs 88yuans and not 68yuans as said in other reviews. The menu is great, lots of choice. Too bad the employees don't speak english very well. But this restaurant worth a look.

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Amazing selection in vege buffet - Edit

I've been here about 10 times. it's a cool place opp the confucian temple. very large dining room and quite pleasant atmosphere. The a-la-carte menu is very good but the buffet is sensational value and allows you to get into the cakes as well.

If you like hotpot (where you cook anything you want in a choice of broths) then definitely go for the buffet. This way you can have lots of fresh food and also enjoy the large range of cakes, sushi, cold dishes, fruit, soft drinks, coffee, ice cream etc. Buffet is about 68rmb per person which is ridiculous value. There are also lots of pre-prepared hot dishes but these are much better if you're there early in the night as later on they get colder and less appetizing.

Be careful with the cakes if you're vegan. They label egg free but they're less sure on dairy. I asked several times and got different answers from different people. To be sure you need the chef to come out and even then they seem unsure. In the end they guaranteed about 3 different things were ok. They were one of the chocolate mousse cakes which was great and jellies and some rumballs and a couple of other things. Much more than you normally get so no complaints. The fresh made noodles with chilli, celery and nuts are fantastic- ask at the hotpot counter for a bowl of these.

All in all a great place... can be very busy on weekend lunchtimes and you'll probably need to wait in the coffee shop attached for a while.

Pros: Amazing selection, Buffet incredible value, V nice environment

Cons: Buffet dishes can get cold, Can be difificult to confirm vegan

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very nice restaurant - Edit

I agree with all comments above. I went to this restaurant today after visiting Lama Temple. Food was delicious, but I ordered too much (that I couldn't eat), so they packed it for me. Even the way they pack your food is quite elegant.
really worth visiting.
I payed 36 yuans for the whole dinner, but I ordered the less expensive dishes (but I still ordered too much)

Pros: excellent food, friendly stuff

Cons: noisy, crowded

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Brilliant Restaurant - Edit

The Xu Xiang Zhai restaurant is on the Guozijian St near the Lama temple and opposite Confucius temple. This restaurant does a huge vegetarian buffet. There is huge selection of food very delicious. They also have a table with a selection for hotpot but I did not understand and the couple next to me were laughing as I tried to eat it raw. Then she signed to me when she got her hot pot, but I had eaten too much and was full. The deserts were v yum :) These were my favourite.

I only paid 68 Yuan, which included food, drinks and desert. Later the monks came to eat at this restaurant. This restaurant is excellent for Vegetarians and even Non vegetarians too. The nearest subway station is Yonghegong.

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Friday buffet before 8pm - best deal in Beijing! - Edit

I have to agree with other reviewers: best vegetarian restaurant in Beijing. I live just around the corner (moved recently) and decided to give it a go with some other veg/vegan people last Friday.

For vegans, be aware: the dessert table (aside the generic fruit--bananas and apples) is not for you. They have egg or dairy in a lot of the desserts, so if you're going for that you need to look elsewhere.

Aside from that, I was impressed with the availability of sparkling water, pu'er cha, range of dishes entirely made vegan, FABULOUS sushi nori, and mini / personal hot-pots with lots of fresh veggies and other trimmings to put in them! All included in the price of 68RMB.

Pros: good value for price, lots of flavor, excellent variety

Cons: few vegan desserts, ends at 8PM

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very smart and really good food! - Edit

This restaurant is close to Yonghegong - lama temple metro station, less that 5 minutes walk from there. It is opposite the Confucius temple.

The place is very smart and was quite busy for dinner.

It has a very extensive and varied menu. There is also the option of buffet which looked really good with a wide range of dishes for 68 yuan but the buffet finishes at 9pm so go early if you want this.

We ordered from the a la carte menu and had dumplings - they were steamed, yummy even when eated cold the next day for leftovers! and had swiss chard/spinach inside as the filling. The gong bao chicken dish was lovely with a sweet, sticky sauce and peanuts. We also had a good mushroom dish with tofu, green peppers.

Really enjoyable and good for special occasions also.

Pros: excellent food, smart

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for buffet lovers... - Edit

i came a little late for the buffet around 8pm. but still there was tons of food to try. like awesome sushi, miso soup, beijing duck a.s.o.
for 68RMB you can eat till you explode!
isn't that something? start searching for it from the Lama temple, else you getting lost easily.

Pros: buffet, cheap, all u can eat

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Best restaurant I've been to - Edit

I visited this restaurant in October 2005 but I heard that is still was there a couple years ago. It has been the best restaurant I've been to. The buffet selection was huge, tens of choices between warm foods, lots of mock meats, sushi and dessers (I didn't eat desserts because I was too tired to ask if any of them were vegan). You could also ask cooks to cook the ingredients of you choice. It cost then only about 55 yuan.

Pros: Huge buffet, Interesting mock meats, cheap

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What dreams are made of! - Edit

This place is a vego's dream!
The buffet offers so many different dishes you can't even try them all! Plus, they change the menu everyday for even more variety.
There is everything from sushi to curries, stir-fries and soups, cakes and fruits. All you can eat and drink! Juice, tea, coffee, milo, water on offer. Take it easy though...I felt pretty bad for wasting some of the fried rice I couldn't finish. I just hate waste!
I will be back for sure.
Had to wait a little to get a seat, but it was lunch on a Sunday so probably the most popular time of the week.
Perhaps call ahead to make a reservation?

Pros: Great variety, Great price

Cons: May have to wait a little

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Praise for Xu Xiang Zhai - Edit

Great food and large menu. We didn't have the buffet, but it looked delicious. We had the mushrooms in chili oil and the pepper steak. Both amazing. Nice atmosphere and friendly staff. Get a booth seat!

Pros: Excellent food, English menu, Good service

Cons: Wine selection was a tad expensive

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A Must-Try in Beijing - Edit

This is perhaps the best vegetarian restaurant in Beijing; at least that is what I found and what I was told by local Buddhists dining beside me. It has an enormous range of local and other (mostly Asian) foods, a good range of drinks (teas, soft drinks, coffee) and a nice - albeit extremely crowded - atmosphere. It is very similar to the large, all-you-can-eat buffets which are very common in Taiwan, but this is the only such one I found in China.
I went here twice, and they were my best meals in China.

Pros: Great food!, Located in a beautiful setting, All you can eat

Cons: Expensive

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Fabulous and good value - Edit

I visited this restaurant twice whilst visiting Beijing. On both occasions I was highly impressed by the quality and value on offer here. The buffet is super value at 68RMB and the variety of dishes on offer is astounding. Food was both interesting and flavoursome and there was a lot of variety on offer.

I particularly enjoyed the "pepper steak" dish, but on the whole, the food was excellent.

Unlimited drinks were available too including tea, coffee, cordial and milo.

If you don't want to order the buffet, English and Chinese menus are available.

Some staff speak a little English.

Service was excellent.

They take credit cards here.

I'd absolutely go back here.

Pros: Delicious, Great Variety, Super value

Cons: none

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One of the best - Edit

That's by far one of the best veggie restaurants I've seen in my entire life. Make sure you check out the buffet. The got everything from western cuisine to japanese cuisine or even ice-cream. The range of different food is enormous. And absolutely delicious. I hadn't even been able to try half of it. Definitely a MUST SEE no matter if you are vegetarian or vegan such as I am, if you're in Beijing.

Pros: excellent food, wide choice, cheap

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Good Buffet - Edit

We went to this restaurant (April 19th) after our visit to Lama Temple. It is across the street. Buffet started at 5:30 and there were lots of different kinds of food. Food was excellent. They also had some japanese food. We paid 68 Yuans each.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff

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