You voted. We listened.
Zijing Yuan (紫荆园) has been voted most popular canteen among Tsinghua University international students.
In a survey completed by 80 Tsinghua international students in October 2019, Zijing Yuan came in first place for favorite canteen. In second place came Qingfen Yuan (清芬园), followed by Taoli Yuan (桃李园) in third place.
Zijing Yuan is located in the Northeast part of Tsinghua University. It is a 5-6 minute walk from the Zijing Student Dormitories. Proximity to the student dormitories was one of the main reasons this canteen was chosen as the top choice. Other reasons included large variety of choices and pricing.
Zijing Yuan is around 13,000 square meters and features five floors. The canteen serves different types of Chinese cuisine on each floor, and has a total of 3,300 seats.
ZIJING YUAN: THE QUICK FACTS
- Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Outdoor patio seating available on top floor (weather permitting)
- Take-out is available for a small extra charge in plastic bags. It is recommended you bring your own containers, unless you enjoy eating a medley of Chinese food from a clear plastic bag
- Bathrooms are located on basement floor
- Tip: Bring your own pocket tissues as napkins are not provided for free (or you can purchase pocket tissues at the beverage stalls on each floor)
Five Floors of Food Options
Basement Floor: Enter Zijing Yuan and walk down the stairs to find Qing Qing Pizza Restaurant. This restaurant offers Western food options such as pizza, chicken wings, fries, and pasta.
First Floor: Divided into eleven food stalls, Zijing Yuan’s first floor is busiest during breakfast time. Students come here to grab fresh soymilk in take-out cups, bowls of noodles, steamed buns, ma la tang, and baked goods.
Second Floor: Featuring cuisine from the Southeast part of China, here you’ll find dishes that are mainly stir-fried and stewed. You’ll also find traditional Beijing snacks such as tanghulu (candied hawthorn berries on a stick).
After choosing your dishes, the staff will ask, “要米饭吗 (yao mi fan ma)?” which translates to, “Do you want rice with that?”
Third Floor: This floor contains cuisine from the Northeast part of China. Here you’ll find vegetable and meat dishes that are boiled, braised, stewed, steamed, and stir-fried.
If you perhaps find some Chinese food to be too oily or salty, the recently opened “Healthy Food” stall will appeal to you. This salad bar features a wide selection of raw and cooked vegetables with protein options.
Fourth Floor: For those that like it hot and spicy, the fourth floor at Zijing Yuan features Sichuan cuisine that will satisfy your tastebuds. You’ll find dishes with bold and spicy flavors, including ma la tang and ma la xiang guo.
Pricing for food at Tsinghua University canteens is quite affordable. Some food stalls have set prices for food items or plates, while others charge by weight. A typical lunch at Zijing can cost anywhere from 4 to 20 RMB.
All floors at Zijing Yuan contain stalls that sell beverages including bottled water, plum juice, soft drinks, and tea. Fresh watermelon is also offered when in season.
“It’s hard to choose between all the canteens, but if I had to choose one I’d go for Zijing because it’s conveniently located near the dorms, the food is great and cheap, and the size [of the canteen] is impressive,” says Federico Zaiter, a Master’s student in the Department of Computer Science and Technology from Uruguay.
“I would say Zijing because it’s near, there’s a huge food variety, and my friends eat there a lot,” says Guido Meyer, a Master’s student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering from Germany.
Behind the Name: Zijing Yuan (紫荆园) translates to Bauhinia Garden. The Bauhinia flower is the official flower of Tsinghua University.
A big thank you to the Tsinghua international students that participated in the survey.
If you’d like to contribute your opinion or any additional information, please contact me here.