Pure Lotus is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in central Beijing serving all sorts of delicious tofu dishes - including a vegetarian sausage called the "Buddha's Finger". There is a sense of occasion from the minute you arrive in the candle lit entrance area and the food is presented exquisitely. We had dumplings and chilli tofu, washed down with jasmine tea. The only bad thing about Pure Lotus is that it's on the other side of the world!
12号 Nongzhanguan South Road
Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100026
Google map: bit.ly/h7CAD7
An Asian restaurant that serves great food at a reasonable 'Western' price.
Situated on the top floor of a shopping complex in the embassy district of Beijing this was a real find. The aubergine curry was sublime, the chicken in the balti was tasty if not immediately recognisable. Friendly service and a welcome change from the local cuisine.
This is a chain which has a range of restaurants across the far East. In a city where you can get cheap and plentiful food this is a restaurant that produces quality food in smaller quantities. More pricey but worth it. An eight-course sampler of signature dishes is 228 yuan.
Wangfujing shopping mall
Room 101 is a bar and restaurant in Dong Cheng district. It is one of the only foreign-managed places in Beijing which is open 24/7. They also have 24-hour delivery which is a godsend - their paninis are delicious! They also have lots of live music events, free wi-fi and a terrace with BBQ.
+86 (10) 6402 7532
Located 3 mins walk south of Andingmen subway station at 199 Andingmen Nei Dajie.
At the Nanxincang branch of Da Dong Roast Duck they have 22 private rooms, making it a great restaurant to do business – it is also the best Peking duck in Beijing. You have to reserve, though, because it is a popular place and the queues can be horrendous.
Yunnan food that people from Yunnan actually eat. Serving the Yunnan Provincial Government Office, Yunteng Shifu offers authentic Yunnan cuisine made with ingredients which are flown in direct from the southern province. The restaurant is open all day and the somewhat kitsch, jungle interior can feel like a breath of fresh air after dusty Beijing.
Yunnan specialities include goat's cheese (rubing), pineapple rice (bolo fan), 'crossing the bridge' noodles (guo qiao mixian), proscuitto-like cuts of ham and the hot, fresh wonderfulness which is Dai mint salad.
There's no English menu but everything is illustrated with photos. Yunnan food is very trendy in Beijing and can be hugely overpriced, but a meal here for two with Yunnan beer or tea shouldn't cost more than £10. Highly, highly recommended.
Set back from the road, Yunteng Shifu looks to be part of a posh housing estate. Look for the building with large gold characters down the side of it and stone steps leading up to the entrance.
Yunteng Hotel, 7 Donghuashi Beili Dongqu (bet. Chongwenmen Dongdajie & Donghuashi Dajie) Beijing, China 100019
Nearest metro stations: Chongwenmen (line 5) or Beijing Train Station (line 2).
Vineyard Cafe is a courtyard restaurant and bar located near Yong He Gong (The Lama Temple). They offer a delicious selection of home-style European cooking including pizzas, salads, sandwiches, quiche, baked potatoes, moussaka and seafood. They also have an extensive beer, wine and cocktail selection, fresh coffee and a well stocked bar. Home delivery and takeaway available. Check out their blog here: www.vineyardcafe.cn
31 wu dao ying hutong, dong cheng district
+86 10 6402 7961
If you want something cool to wear or to take back home this shop really stole my heart, they take iconic and retro images from around Beijing and take classics like the "I Climbed The Great Wall" t shirt and add a fun twist.
They also have retro mugs and posters. Worth popping in anyway, as it's on nan luo gu xiang which is a really fun place to walk around and see all the old hu tongs. There's a great Korean restaurant nearby too.
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