Café De La Poste

French in Drum Tower & Dongcheng North

Just down the street from the Lama Temple, this long-time expat favourite, with a relaxed vibe and friendly service, is Běijīng's original French bistro. A small bar area opens into an intimate, nicely lit dining space, and the food (unlike many French restaurants) is unpretentious, affordable and authentic.

The steaks (from ¥60) are impressive cuts of meat, but there's also a good vegetarian selection, as well as imported French cheeses and delicious homemade desserts. There's a set lunch during the week, brunch at weekends, and an impressive wine list, including inexpensive house French wines for ¥90 per bottle. The bar stays open late and has clientele spilling out onto the pavement in summer.