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After a day of sightseeing, or in the middle of it, there is nothing better than resting those weary feet and warming up with a cup of hot tea or coffee. To help you make your day run smoother, we have listed the most convenient and best cafe's for tourists visiting Beijing — after all, you have no time to waste looking for a cup of coffee.
Coffee has become popular very quickly in China, with cafés popping up everywhere. Apart from the ones listed you're likely to find many more during your travels.
Near the Lama Temple, Metal Hands is a coffee shop run by real coffee aficionados located on one of the most famous hutongs, or old residential dwellings, in Beijing. The coffee here is good, there are amazing cakes inspired by Asian flavors. We can recommend the matcha cake!
If you’d rather stick to what you know, Costa Coffee is also very close to the Lama Temple, on the corner of Wudaoying Hutong.
Located near the Forbidden City is a brand of Big Small Coffee, a welcomed escape from the crowds that you’ll have encountered near the Forbidden City or in Jingshan Park.
The café serves up pastries, breads, and other sweets such as ice cream, and has a huge coffee menu. You can choose from a wide variety of beans. In summer, it provides a cool air-conditioned refuge, while in winter the heating will warm your toes.
Tired from exploring Xisi’s old hutongs? Fear not, Await Café is a great place to take a break, located conveniently centrally on Xisi South Street. It has a lunch menu, a long range of hot drinks, and also makes fresh fruit juice. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or just in between. And while you are in the area, why not visit the historic Xisi Church, also known as the Church of the Saviour?
Sanlitun, a popular nightlife area for both foreigners and locals, also has a lot to offer in terms of tea and coffee during the day. One of the most popular cafés is Moka Bro’s, famous for its good baked goods, coffee, and healthy meal selection (also known as their ‘power bowls’. Moka Bro’s also does a good smoothie, whether you prefer your smoothies with vegetables or fruit. There is no better place to relax after a day of shopping in Beijing's Sanlitun area.
In the village of Mutianyu, near one of the most beautiful sections of China's magnificent Great Wall, the Schoolhouse is perfect for a treat after climbing. The café serves lunch and dinner, and also has a good selection of hot and cold drinks. They accommodate families (enough coloring supplies for the little ones), and also double as an art gallery hosting various arts and crafts days for kids.
To find out more about how to get there, visit their website. Of course our guides will know how to get there too.
Gulou district, home to the famous tourist street of Nanluoguxiang and the Drum and Bell Towers, has a wide variety of cafés available, but not all of them are of high quality.
Café Zarah, one of the best ones in the area, has just been refurbished and is a favorite for expats and locals to go to meet friends, or get some work done. They serve great coffee, have working Wi-Fi, hot chocolate, brunch options, and an array of lunch items or just snacks.
Alba Café, a few doors down, is also a solid option. Although the coffee is not as incredible as at Zarah, Alba is a better option if you are traveling with a family as they have a bigger menu. When the weather is nice enough to sit outside, Alba is also highly recommended as they have a great rooftop. And while the weather is cold, they make a great mulled wine!
If you’d like us to include any of these cafés in your Beijing tour, please let us know. We can include as much or as little as you’d like, whether you prefer to take it easy, or want to see as much as possible.