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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.
Do keep in mind, coffee is relatively new in China, so not all cafés will serve the type of coffee you are used to in the West. These cafés should come incredibly close though, as they are tried and tested by foreigners living in Beijing.
Near the Lama Temple, Daily Routine is a quaint little coffee shop selling breakfast, brunch, lunch and with a good range of tasty hot beverages located on one of the most famous hutongs, or old residential dwellings, in Beijing. The coffee here is good, and the Wi-Fi generally works (which can be hard to find in Beijing). It is run by a friendly local couple who are more than happy to accommodate your orders. 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 Oasis Café, a real oasis of calm from the crowds that you’ll have encountered near the Forbidden City or in Jingshan Park. The café serves up a great English breakfast, if that’s what you need to get your day of exploration started, and makes a good cup of coffee if that is what you are after instead. 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 magnificant 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.
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, hot chocolate, 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 kids as they have more space and 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 still 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.