It can be a pain for cheese lovers to live in China, because cheese, not being part of the popular food culture here, is not as easy to find as in the Western world. But thanks to some quality Western restaurants and upscale supermarkets that sell imported goods, it’s possible to try good, quality cheese in Beijing. The list contains the best places for takeaway cheese, cheese platters as well as Chinese-style cheese. Scroll down for more!
Cheesemonger, French, $$$
It might not be easy to find authentic French artisan cheese in Beijing, and it’s even more rare to find a homemade French artisan cheese shop in town – that’s why Le Fromager de Pékin (LFP) stands out easily. Its founder, Liu Yang, was trained in cheese-making in France. He makes cheese with equipment imported from France and follows the standard procedures in traditional French cheese-making, to achieve “a taste of France away from France.” The shop is also the supplier of many French restaurants in Beijing. It’s also got an online shop.
Le Fromager de Pékin (Pizza)
Pizzaria, Italian, French, $$$
The original Le Fromager de Pékin (LFP) shop might be a bit far for people who live downtown, but worry no more as now you can go to its second branch on Gongti Beilu, which specializes in cheese pizzas – not any cheese pizza, but pizzas with the shop’s special French artisanal cheese melting on it. There are also flavors that you can’t possibly get in other restaurants, such as the Tomme & Sichuan Pepperoni and the Potato & Sichuan Pepperoni White Pizza. The restaurant’s also got an 80 yuan cheese platter which allows you to try LFP’s cheese in the most affordable way.
Market, Healthy, $$$
Sanyuanli Market is one of the best and most popular fresh food markets in Beijing, mainly because its comprehensive collection of international ingredients, which of course includes your favorite cheese. The market is always brimmed with expats or staff from local restaurant on their daily shopping. Don’t worry about language issues, since Sanyuanli is known for its multilingual service.
Grocery Store, European, $$$
April Gourmet is a famous chain grocery store that specializes in imported goods in Beijing. On top of providing a wide range of foreign brands, the store is known for its reasonable prices. The best part is that the Xingfucun branch is open daily till midnight, so you could relax even if you work late or suddenly feel a craving for cheese late at night.
Grocery Store, European, $$$
Jenny Lou’s is another chain grocery store favored by expats. It’s got one of the fullest collections of imported cheese in Beijing. Noticeably, its wine is sometimes on discount, so Jenny Lou’s can be perfect place to pair up your wine and cheese of the day.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
The Italian restaurant is one of the best places in town for a cheese platter as well as raviolis, pastas and steak. The seasonings it uses are all imported while the vegetables are all claimed to be home-grown. Above all, the price is quite reasonable. Located in the Gulou area, Mercante is an ideal place for cheese lovers to relax themselves in the middle of their Beijing tour.
Lao Shi Dumplings
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
What has a dumpling restaurant anything to do with cheese? Indeed, dumplings and cheese are conventionally two irrelevant food, but Lao Shi Dumplings managed to pair them up in its innovative Cheese Chicken Corn Dumplings, and, guess what, the flavor is pretty good!
Wenyu Cheese Shop
Dessert Shop, Chinese, $$$
You might find it hard to believe, but the word “cheese” in Beijingers’ dictionary is not the same as in the Westerners’ dictionary. For them, the cheese is a kind of imperial court dessert made out of milk, sugar and rice wine. One of the best places for such dessert in town is the Wenyu Cheese Shop in Nanluoguxiang. It’s always packed with foodies, so you need to arrive early to make sure you can get a taste of the authentic Beijing cheese.