Beijing

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Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceWine Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Nuoyan Wine Bar

Move aside, Merlot, it's mǐjiǔ time! Try something new at this rustic tavern specialising in Chinese wine made from glutinous rice (米酒; mǐjiǔ), a delicately sweet tipple that's the same potency as sherry. There's...

Top ChoiceBrewery in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Great Leap Brewing #6

Lost in a maze of alleys east of Houhai, this tumbledown courtyard is where Beijing's craft-beer scene first burped into life back in the heady, pre-Xi days of 2010. The bar, with its lovely walled yard, remains...

Top ChoiceCafe in Dashilar & Xicheng South

Soloist Coffee Co

Partway down a gentrifying hutong is this exquisite coffee roaster and cafe, born here as a pop-up during Beijing's annual Design Week, and now a small chain. Supposedly once a public bathhouse (the building is...

Top ChoiceClub in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Dada

Ever since this Shanghai export touched down in 2012, Dada has become Beijing's premier venue for esoteric, bass-heavy beats, while remaining unpretentious and divey enough for the casual party-goer. By combining...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Arch Bar

First-rate cocktails come with a first-class price tag at this exquisite cocktail bar hidden inside the Duan Qirui Former Government Building compound. Arch plays on its historical location with exposed beams, a...

Top ChoiceCafe in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Bear Brew

Bear Brew

Run by two affable, aproned Chinese bears (who speak excellent English), this gay-friendly hutong hangout pours a host of house creations such as a 24-hour cold brew with Coke, a ‘dirty’ (espresso shot dumped on...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

MO Bar

Legendary bar Hope and Sesame from Guangzhou, voted one of Asia's best bars in 2019, crafted the molecular-style cocktail list at MO Bar, an uber-glam hangout in the Mandarin Oriental. Arrive early to bag a...

Microbrewery in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Great Leap Brewing #45

Raise a flagon of Beijing's original and best craft beer at this industrial-chic outpost of Great Leap, a couple of clicks north of the Sanlitun action. A chalkboard lists the myriad beer styles on tap, which are...

Craft Beer in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Slow Boat Brewery

Drop anchor at Slow Boat, one of Beijing's original American-run craft brewers, for three floors of busy, beery fun. At least a dozen beers are on tap at any time; Monkey's Fist IPA and Zombie Pirate Pale Ale are...

Bar in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

La Social

Day of the Dead meets Chairman Mao at this carnivalesque hotspot where revellers dance to Latin beats. Cocktails (from ¥60) are heavy-handed with the tequila, which you can soak up with Colombian arepes (grilled...

Craft Beer in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

NBeer Pub

The flagship bar of an all-Chinese craft brewer, NBeer is a Beijing original pouring sours, stouts and every style in between. If you only try one (good luck with that), make it the award-winning Beijing Gose...

Cafe in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Bookworm

Any author of note passing through Beijing will give a talk at the Bookworm, a beacon in the city's international literary scene since 2005. You can thumb through some 10,000 books (including a comprehensive...

Brewery in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Jing-A Brewpub

A stylish setting for a raucous night out, the flagship of Beijing-born craft-beer brand Jing-A is meticulously on-trend and unashamedly American – but with China-inspired brews and cocktail recipes from local...

Lounge in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Cinker Pictures

At this sophisticated nightlife concept, bartenders mix cocktails inspired by classic films (the ‘Dude’s’ White Russian is sexed-up with mole bitters and vanilla cream), while a modern European menu (mains ¥68 to...

Gastropub in Sanlitun & Chaoyang

Arrow Factory Brewing

Run by veteran British expat Will, Arrow Factory combines inventive craft ales with impeccable pub grub, served in a two-tiered building with a roof terrace facing the Liangma River. Choose from a dozen or so...

Cafe in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

1901 Cafe

This baroque-style, three-storey townhouse is a late-Qing gem that's barely changed inside or out since it was built in 1901, hence the name. It was donated to the Cathedral of Our Saviour nearby a few years...

Cocktail Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Tiki Bungalow

You can almost feel the warm ocean breeze at this quintessential Tiki bar – or that could just be the heat from its flaming rum cocktails, served, appropriately, in skull-shaped mugs or even sharing 'volcanoes'....

Cafe in Dashilar & Xicheng South

Berry Beans

Meticulously fussy coffee is the draw at this little hutong gem, part of a building that once offered more sybaritic pleasures (it was a Republic-era bordello, one of many in the neighbourhood). Contemplate that...

Cocktail Bar in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Nina

Set up for aperitivo with a bar list that boasts spritz, snacks and multiple variations on the Negroni cocktail, this charmingly simple hutong bar pulls in a hip crowd of Italian expats who gather at the wooden...

Cafe in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Lotus Cafe & Bar

At this popular rooftop cafe with seating indoors and out, your coffee, cake or sandwich is served with a side order of eye candy: the White Dagoba Temple, all 59 curvaceous metres of it, lording it over temple...