Situated in the Danshanzi area of Beijing, the 798 Art District is an innovative arty area renovated from an industrial site. In this cool area, you can easily find artistic restaurants. Have a look at some of the best places to eat.
Yi House is located on the first floor of the luxurious Grace Hotel, and offers exotic Mediterranean cuisine. Their seafood dishes are particularly fabulous; you can have lobsters and crabs grilled finely, or freshly prepared oysters and sashimi. They also provide a good selection of wines and cocktails which complements their courses perfectly. If you are going in the daytime, you probably should not miss their brunches which have been voted ‘Outstanding Brunch’ in the Beijinger’s Reader Restaurant Awards.
Chan Dou Su Shi (Broad Bean Vegetarian Restaurant)
Chan Dou Su Shi understands people’s concern about health, so they offer diners with a wide range of delicious and wholesome vegetarian meals. The dishes are exquisite, as every plate of food is decorated carefully with beautiful and colorful side dishes. Embellished in an antiqued Chinese style, the interior design of this restaurant is worth noticing. You can experience a spiritual and relaxing atmosphere while dining in Chan Dou Su Shi as the restaurant is decorated with Buddhist calligraphy and ornaments.
Established by a painter, Liao Ge Zi is a modern restaurant full of special characteristics. It was renovated from an art gallery and now serves Western cuisine. The restaurant is occasionally used as an art gallery, exhibiting paintings or photographs by young artists. Because of this, visitors are able to appreciate and familiarize themselves with contemporary Chinese art while dining. If you want to experience the spirit and atmosphere of 798 Art District, Liao Ge Zi is a good place.
At Café is a little cosy cafe. You can choose to sit inside the bright white coffee house, or at their courtyard, observing the business of 798 Art District. Besides providing Illy coffee, they also serve Italian food, such as pizza and salad. At Café has hosted tea gatherings for many famous artists, celebrities and even politicians, including Faye Wong, Wong Kar-wai, and Jose Manuel Barroso. They gathered at the cafe, sharing their stories, as well as encouraging young artists who are busily pursuing their dreams in 798 Art District.
Born and raised in 798 Art District, the owner of Shenji Cai Guan is familiar with the art zone and is able to tell you anything you want to know. The restaurant offers a wide variety of traditional Shanghainese cuisine, with signature dishes including steamed gluten, red-braised pork belly and stir-fried pea shoots in white wine. Dining in Shenji Cai Guan, you will feel relaxed. The restaurant is bright and comfortable, like having a meal in Jiang Nan (South of the Yangtze River) which is a beautiful and peaceful region saturated with rivers and lakes.
Being the first restaurant in 798 Art District, Xiao Wan Shi Tang has undergone great changes over the years, and is now housed in a two-storey building. The restaurant is famous for Hunan, Hubei and Sichuan cuisine, and most dishes are spicy and/or sour as this is the characteristic of cooking in these places. As Xiao Wan Shi Tang is one of the most popular restaurants in 798 Art District, if you go there in lunch or dinner time, you will probably have to queue up.
This restaurant grew out of an old Chinese factory and it tries to retain some of the characters of its heritage, keeping the industrial furniture, machines, and bricks as decoration. On the red brick wall, you can even find some old slogans of the former factory, like ‘chao ying gan mei’ (surpassing Great Britain and catching up with the United States in 15 years). With an antique interior design style, Old Factory does not offer traditional Chinese cuisine, but contemporary Italian dishes which creates an interesting contrast.
Famous for rolled sushi, Timezone 8 Sushi Bar lets you choose from eight signature makizushi (sushi rolls), six hosomaki (thin rolls), and 11 temaki (hand rolls). Some of the rolled sushi can only be tasted in Timezone 8 Sushi Bar, as they are specially designed by Alan Wong, the chef of Hatsune, a renowned Japanese restaurant in Kyoto. They also offer other Japanese food, like grilled items, deep-fried dishes, and traditional soups. It is noteworthy that they provide plenty of alcoholic drinks to complement their fresh seafood, including Japanese sake (rice wine), Shōchū (distilled beverage) and beers.
Offering tasty Thai dishes, Historia Thai Cuisine uses beef, chicken, and pork as the main ingredients for cooking yellow, green and red curry. They also occasionally pick fresh seasonal seafood for making mixed seafood curry. Dishes are fragrant, colorful and delicious. Their signature steamed fish with lime is especially fabulous: it tastes sweet, sour and fresh, offering a rich flavors and juicy texture. An interesting fact is that every chair in this restaurant is different, which means you will never find identical chairs.
In Zhen Li Cun, you can find almost all traditional Korean cuisine, such as nutritious herbal chicken soup, savory black bean sauce noodles, and spicy stir-fried rice cakes. They taste nice and are not as spicy as those in Korea, since Zhen Li Cun have slightly modified their dishes. They have made them less hot so as to cater for the majority. For the dining environment, their decor of wooden furniture and red lanterns will make you feel like you are dining in Korea.