Coffee loving locals all know that hutongs are the best places to find good coffee in Beijing. They usually have smart décor, excellent service, and above all they attach great value to the quality of the coffee. Culture Trip has whittled down the best hidden hutong cafés in Beijing – be sure to check them out.
Cafe, Chinese, African, American, Japanese, $$$
This café is located in a two-storey building and is adapted from an old Baitasi hutong. Customers can enjoy a classic pour over or the original yuzu matcha latte on the second-floor balcony, where the local landmark, the White Pagoda of the Miaoying Temple, is almost within reach.
Pick a sunny afternoon to visit Fusan in the Tan’er Hutong, order a ‘Dirty’, take a seat by the window, and watch the hutong residents passing by. There is no better way of experiencing how beautiful life in Beijing is. The baristas are very friendly and willing to share their knowledge of coffee. What’s more, its signature dessert, an apricot-shaped apricot mousse, is amazing both for your tastebuds and your Instagram.
A coffee at Voyage Coffee is like a ritual back to nature. The rustic cottage exterior and simple wooden tables and chairs all seem to have a magic effect, letting you focus completely on your cup of red cherry brewed coffee or Black Forest espresso. Located on the Beiluoguxiang, it’s not far from the famous cultural shopping street Nanluoguxiang and local fashion scene Guloudongdajie.
THECORNER.’s Chinese name ‘I and Ditan’ is borrowed from the title of a famous essay by Chinese writer Shi Tiesheng. Shi used the essay to recount his deep love for Ditan Park, making it a perfect name for the café by the park. THECORNER. is spacious, and features a modern industrial interior design that makes customers want to stay there longer. Other than the pour over, the place also has several original signatures like ‘citrus’, made from double espresso and tonic, and ‘falling’, made from double espresso, Beijing pear syrup, cinnamon whiskey and hot water.
Metal Hands’ Jiaodaokou branch is truly a hidden hutong café, so hidden that you’ll probably need to ask the neighbors to find its door. The café’s modern, simplistic design is sleek and eye catching, but the tranquil atmosphere makes it at home in its hutong neighborhood. It offers classic coffee, as well as the latest hit, nitrogen cold brew.
Everything in this café is evidence of the love the owner has for Fantizi, traditional Chinese characters that are the official written language of Hong Kong and Taiwan, different from the simplified Chinese used in the mainland. Other than the classic coffee, Fantizi also provides Chinese flower tea and Taiwanese desserts. If you successfully write a piece of traditional Chinese calligraphy, you’ll even get a 10% discount on the priciest dish that you’ve ordered.
Coffee aside, the biggest reason you should go to the Lotus Coffee & T is its view. Through windows decorated with greenery, you can catch a glimpse of Miaoying Temple’s white pagoda, which is the landmark of the Beihai area. Its simplistic décor is blended with elements of traditional Chinese architecture, like golden tiles and garden window lattice. This style echoes its name — a blend of new (coffee) and old (tea). Downstairs is a youth hostel named Pagoda Light.
This café is a must-visit for photography lovers, as it also features a photography studio upstairs, complete with an exhibition space. The studio still holds on to traditional black and white silver print photography techniques, and the owner believes that making coffee is the same as developing photos – both require the unification of mind and hands. The studio is reservation only, but why not take a look at its works over coffee first?