While there are many good restaurants in the Back Lakes Area, Han Cang is a tasty, clean, and inexpensive rustic restaurant specializing in Hakka dishes. When I visited (June 2008) most of the customers were local Chinese, with most tables ordering the house specialty of salt baked whole fish. Since this was our first dinner in Beijing, we opted for the more conservative Hakka style fried rice. It came served in a wooden basket and was really delicious! We also had really good vegetable and chicken dishes there. Our favorite was a simple green bean sprout dish with garlic.
It was really easy to order from the menu, which had pictures of the dishes and English descriptions of the food. We ordered one rice, one meat, and one vegetable dish for two people. Cost for a very filling meal with tea or beer comes to about $10 USD pp, or about 140RMB. You can sit inside (usually air conditioned or with fans running) or outside on the covered patio with nice views of the lake.
Tip: Finding specific addresses in Beijing can be difficult, with street names continuously changing. Han Cang is the first restaurant on the right side when facing Qian Hai lake, across the street (Di'an men xi daije) from the north entrance of Bei Hai Park. The exterior of the restaurant has a lot of dark wood and a large exterior eating area.
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