For many in China, meeting friends and family for breakfast (or brunch if mornings aren’t really your thing) is a weekly ritual, and one that is taken seriously. With so many places to dine in Dongcheng, choosing the perfect place to catch up over mimosas and toast can be difficult. For that reason, we’ve narrowed down the best breakfast and brunch spots in Beijing.
Cafe, Restaurant, European, North American, Vegetarian
For a casual, reasonably priced breakfast experience, ALBA Café is the place to go. The interior is minimalistic in design and open and airy. Large skylights let natural light in, and tall ceilings create the café’s warm ambiance, even on a cold day. If the natural light on the inside of ALBA isn’t enough space for you, customers can choose to sit atop their rooftop terrace, which, on a sunny day, makes for the perfect breakfast spot. ALBA’s menu is large and offers an array of breakfast and lunch dishes—there is even a customizable breakfast section! Alongside their sprawling menu is an equally lengthy drink menu. There is no shortage of choices here, so everyone in your party will be happy with their order.
ALBA café, Beijing | © Julianna Tetreault / Culture Trip
He Kitchen & Co.
Cafe, Restaurant, Fusion, $$$
Located in the uber chic and beautiful Wudaoying Hutong, He Kitchen & Co. is an unconventional brunch spot, drawing customers in with its sleek décor and delicious fusion cuisine. Unlike other restaurants, He Kitchen & Co. isn’t necessarily thought of as a go-to breakfast joint, but their menu says otherwise. Serving up impeccably plated, brunch-appropriate dishes, He Kitchen & Co. offers customers food made from the highest quality ingredients.
Customers here have fewer breakfast choices than other places, but He Kitchen & Co. makes up for the lack of options with flavor—impressive salmon and fruit toasts, juicy burgers, and mouth-watering rice bowls are just a few of their most popular items. Of course, He Kitchen & Co. also offers an array of beverages to compliment the meals; freshly brewed espressos, made-to-order smoothies, exotic cocktails, and locally brewed draft beers are the highlights of their drink menu.
He Kitchen & Co., Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing | © Julianna Tetreault / Culture Trip
Restaurant, American, Australian, South American, $$$
When it first opened, Hatchery
was best known by expats for its close-to-home burgers—the restaurant successfully mastered the art of crafting beef and fish burgers unlike other places in town. Now Hatchery has grown into much more than just a burger joint; the restaurant now boasts some of Beijing’s most sought-after brunch.
Loyal customers frequent Hatchery for its tasty and traditional Western plates, and of course, its beloved burgers. With its increasing popularity over the past year, Beijingers from around the city flock to the Dongcheng district to try the restaurant’s brunch for themselves. For foodies, brunching at Hatchery does not disappoint!
Cafe, Restaurant, European, Healthy, Vegetarian
Located in a hutong dominated sub-district in Dongcheng, Café Zarah
is a hidden gem that supplies hungry Beijingers with one of the best breakfasts in the city. Satisfying all of your breakfast and brunch cravings, Café Zarah is well known for its outstanding coffee (dubbed some of the best in Beijing by locals), scrumptious meals, and laid-back atmosphere. The interior of Café Zarah is spacious and full of natural light, allowing customers to bask in the Beijing sun while enjoying their meal.
Decoration wise, the restaurant is chic with wooden and concrete accents. Due to its greenhouse-like sitting area, it has a natural feel to it. Café Zarah’s food walks a fine line between decadence and nutrition, such as their guacamole. Add to all this, the restaurant’s wallet-friendly prices, Café Zarah should be one of your go-to places for breakfast in Dongcheng.
Café Zarah, Beijing | © Julianna Tetreault / Culture Trip
Great Leap Brewing #6
Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
This multi-location brewery is one of the most beloved eateries in Beijing. Offering customers not only locally brewed beer, but also tasty meals, Great Leap
has become a popular boozy brunch destination for expats and locals alike. Customers can choose from a more traditional breakfast, to a more Asian inspired one that includes dumplings, to a more brewery-themed meal with sandwiches. With at least six types of beer on tap at all times and more seasonal brews on a constant rotation, Great Leap is the epitome of a pub brunch.
Restaurant, German, American, Fusion, Pub Grub, $$$
Serving up the most sought-after sausages in the city, Stuff’d
supplies Beijingers with all of the protein necessary to start their day off on the right foot. Located in Dongcheng’s Wudaoying Hutong, this quaint eatery is not your ordinary breakfast spot; specializing in sausages and beer, Stuff’d is a favorite among carnivores. Eating here for brunch will certainly have you feeling Stuff’d.
Stuff’d, Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing | © Julianna Tetreault / Culture Trip
Toast at The Orchid
Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Asian, American
The Orchid’s Toast
restaurant is an essential breakfast spot for any foodie in the Dongcheng area. Located amid the vintage hutongs of Beijing, Toast’s atmosphere is a superb fusion of vintage and modern. With a stunning rooftop dining area, the restaurant caters to business casual groups, both large and small. Toast’s breakfast menu is comprised of extraordinary dishes, fit for even the toughest of foodie critiques—pancakes with cinnamon butter, poached eggs atop sliced avocado, and frittatas topped with Sichuan bacon are just a few of Toast’s delicacies. With a delightful mix of Mediterranean, Asian, and Western influences in every dish, and a friendly staff, it’s easy to see why Toast is rated as one of Beijing’s best breakfast spots.
Restaurant, French, European, Asian, Fusion, Vegetarian, $$$
Rated time and time again as Beijing’s best brunch spot, TRB (Temple Restaurant Beijing) Hutong
is an absolute must-try restaurant in the Dongcheng district. Located inside a historic temple and turned into a stunning restaurant, TRB Hutong is one of the city’s most exceptional establishments. Suitable for special occasions, or for an impressive business or family gathering, TRB Hutong offers a striking selection of dishes consisting of the highest quality seafood, meats, and plating techniques.
Between the restaurant’s stunning views, trained staff, and impeccable food and wine, it is no surprise that eating at TRB Hutong comes at a price, but it is certainly worth every penny. As one of the best brunch spots in all of Beijing, we highly recommend TRB Hutong.