After you’ve worked up an appetite perusing the converted factories of Beijing’s bohemian 798 Art District, treat yourself to a meal at one of these great restaurants.
The 798 Art District is home to a collection of cutting-edge galleries, but it takes more than art to build Beijing’s coolest neighbourhood. Occupying the decommissioned Bauhaus-style factories dating back to the 1950s, the area’s eateries are every bit as exciting as the exhibitions on display, and these are the top 10 restaurants to sink your teeth into.
Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian, Chinese
This vegetarian restaurant creates an atmosphere so tranquil that Buddha himself would be happy to meditate here. Buddha’s Bite serves up a huge meat-free menu with a huge selection of vegan dishes, too – the tourist-friendly service and mouthwatering dishes will even make meat-eaters happy.
Eatalia strives to bring authentic Italian fare to the Chinese capital, importing a number of traditional ingredients for a true taste of the Mediterranean. Diners can look forward to large bowls of pasta and huge plates of pizza, as well as delectable desserts like gelato and tiramisu washed down with bottles of Italian wine.
Situated in a revamped brick building that blends in seamlessly with the area’s industrial vibe, Timezone 8 is another international eatery serving a crowd-pleasing menu. Prepare your appetite for club sandwiches and Philly cheesesteaks, as well as an assortment of Japanese meals like ramen, tempura and sushi.
Craft beer lovers need to make a reservation at this trendy microbrewery. Choose something from the series of beer taps pouring a selection of Chinese and international beers, grab a table in the leafy sitting area outside, and feast on a burger from the tempting pub grub menu. Cheers!
As the name suggests, the 798 Art District is famous for its galleries… of which this restaurant is, in fact, also one. Opened by a contemporary painter, Liao Ge Zi occupies space in a converted art gallery and still hosts regular exhibitions. The artwork provides an eye-catching backdrop to the modern Western cuisine coming out of the kitchen.
Situated inside the Gracie Art Hotel 798, Yi House offers exotic Mediterranean cuisine that lives up to its glamorous boutique surrounds. This bistro specialises in seafood – imagine grilled lobster, boiled crab, fresh oysters and world-class sashimi – while the breakfast menu has been recognised as the city’s best brunch by ‘The Beijinger’ blog.
The 798 Art District is better known for its international cuisine, but this restaurant prides itself on showcasing authentic Chinese fare for visitors. Owned and operated by born-and-raised locals, Shenji’s signature dishes include steamed gluten, red-braised pork belly and stir-fried pea shoots in white wine.
There are plenty of old factories in the 798 Art District, but only one Old Factory. This converted warehouse is still plastered with many of the Communist work slogans from its former life, supplying a scenic taste of the area’s past while you’re sinking your teeth into the menu of Chinese and Italian dishes.
Cava is another Western-style restaurant sitting among the galleries of the 798 Art District, plating up a delicious menu to help you refuel in between sightseeing. Tuck into a tasty pizza or a grilled sandwich surrounded by the spacious, stylish interiors that make Cava Cafe one of Beijing’s chicest eateries.
At Cafe is one of the most relaxed places to eat in this trendy corner of Beijing, with a shady courtyard out front and industrial-chic decor inside. Sitting just off the busy Jiuxianqiao Road, this Western-style eatery serves coffee, pizza and other international meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.