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With the demise of staid, state-run canteens, where quality gave way to quantity and canteen workers took precedence over diners, Beijing dining has undergone an even greater revolution than other sectors of the economy. Countless small, private restaurants mushroomed across the city in the 1990s. Peking duck is still the most famous dish of the capital, though it is normally available only in specialist or larger restaurants due mostly to the grandeur of the dish rather than the complexity in preparation. Imperial-style banquets offer a contrast to staples like noodles and jiaozi (meat- and vegetable-filled dumplings) and are ideal for large group dining or for those eager to sample a host of different dishes. Vying with the local dishes are authentic specialties from such faraway regions as Guangdong, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Xinjiang, and even Inner Mongolia and Tibet. Western restaurants -- both Chinese versions and the global franchises -- have also taken root in the capital.
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