Old Town Coffee, Bar & Restaurant

Cafe in Běihǎi

This charming and very efficiently staffed cafe, with distressed exposed brickwork and great coffees, has a ground floor that's open all day; the upper floors morph into a bar in the evenings, where singers croon nightly from 8pm. There are Western favourites (spaghetti, burgers, steak, sandwiches), but for us the curry in a bread bun stole the show (it's a meal in itself).

Breakfasts with the sun shining are a joy, with waffles and cream, and a litany of coffees to select from. In mid-evening, the bulbs go out and candles are lit. The decor has got a slightly throwback '70s vibe, with cast-iron railings, plastic creepers, rattan furniture and the occasional mottled brass fitting.

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