There are a lot of Eastern and Western style bars in Beijing, in which you can enjoy a refreshing after-work drink with your peers. Most of the bars boast trendy decor and interior design, and some are characteristically Chinese, with an ancient courtyard or cozy roof terrace. We take a look at 10 of the best bars in the city.
Capital Spirits Baijiu Bar & Distillery
Bar, Bistro, Chinese
Capital Spirits is the world’s first bar focusing on baijiu, a Chinese alcoholic beverage made from grain. Hidden in a tiny hutong, it is an award-winning bistro full of Chinese decor, which won several Time Out Beijingawards in 2014, including ‘Best Specialist Spirits Bar’, ‘Best Newcomer Bar (Merit Award)’, and ‘Best Hutong Bar (Editor’s Choice)’.
Janes and Hooch is an American-style bistro offering plentiful fabulous cocktails and drinks. Janes and Hooch is a bar full of surprises, as they release a new cocktail menu weekly, so you can try something new every time you visit. With red brick walls, wooden flooring and dull lighting, the decor of Janes and Hooch is nostalgic. You can enjoy your cocktails on the large bar table on the first floor, or indulge in their champagne and whiskey with your peers on the second floor.
If you want to enjoy a nice craft beer, Slow Boat Brewery are really famous for their home-brewed beers. Situated in a hutong, Slow Boat Brewery opened in 2011 and brews great beers which contain no preservatives or chemicals. They have brewed over 17 different types of beers which are so popular that they can be found in various hotels around the city.
Ala House is a tiny whiskey bar located in the Central Park. Boasting 1920s decor, they provide a wide selection of whiskey, and you’ll be able to find staples such as Jack Daniels, as well as brands you have never heard of. This great whiskey bar won Time Out Beijing’s ‘Bar & Club Award’ in 2013 and 2014.
Housed in a traditional Chinese courtyard filled with wooden furniture and ancient fine antiques, the American-style bistro, Great Leap Brewing, aims to immerse customers in Chinese tradition. They serve home-brewed beers, which all embody cultural characteristics, for example, featuring tieguanyin tea flavor in their beers, creating an original brew. Besides great beers, they also serve plenty of bar snacks, such as chicken wings, pizzas, and burgers.
Mao Mao Chong is a pioneer of creative cocktail concoctions in Beijing. One of their signature drinks is called Mala Mule, which provides a Sichuan-style spicy taste. Mao Mao Chong’s creation has won several awards, the most recent of which is City Weekend’s ‘Best Cocktails Award (Readers’ Choice)’ in 2015.
Founded in 2009, d.Lounge is hidden in Sanlitun. The venue offers a wide variety of alcoholic drinks, with their colorful cocktails being the most popular among young drinkers. With red brick walls and wooden flooring, d.Lounge’s interior is reminiscent of an artistic factory, as it is also decorated with paintings and ornaments, as well as some comfortable leather sofas.
Opened by two North Americans, Jing A Brewing Co. brews great beers which are free of additives and preservatives. Their Airpocalypse Double IPA, Full Moon Farmhouse Ale, and Flying Fist IPA are particularly popular. The Flying Fist IPA is made from Citra and Simcoe hops with a blend of pale malts and speciality grains, creating a unique, smooth, and delicious taste.
Ace Café is a famous motorcycle, car, and rock n’ roll themed bar based in London, and 751 is their first branch in China. The architectural style of Ace Café 751 is particularly of note, as it is situated in the renovated 751 train station, which is in an industrial icon. The architects made an effort to retain the original industrial feel so as to match the rock n’ roll theme, tying in nicely with the trendy style of the 798 Art District nearby.
Housed in a two-story building, De Refter is probably one of the greatest bars in Beijing, and is where you can find plenty of Belgian beers. Their decor is trendy; the grey brick wall, the wooden tables and red wooden chairs look smart and modern, adding to the bar’s cool ambiance.