Hutong Hedonism: A Few of Nanluoguxiang's Top Bars

Hutong Hedonism: A Few of Nanluoguxiang's Top Bars
By Benjamin Donaldson ,

Nanlouguxiang (南锣鼓巷) has always been a lively hub in Chinese ancient cultural history, and more recently, general expat quirkiness and consumerism. This picturesque, albeit slightly touristy, commercial and entertainment strip, offers a glimpse into China's ancient past, while at the same time enticing domestic and international visitors with a wide selection of drinking holes and hang out dens. We've listed a few homely stop offs for those exploring Nanluoguxiang.

1) Ned's View In Map
Ned's is a rustic Australian watering hole with colours and textures reminiscent of the ruddy red sands of the Australian desert. It is a tiny two storey space which makes for an intimate and friendly atmosphere. You will inevitably leave with more friends than you came in with. If you're finding the wateriness of Yanjing or Qingdao beer a little too underwhelming, then you should definitely stop by Ned's. There is a large selection of beers available including VB, Crown, Redback and Pure Blonde all for around 30 RMB. Make sure you take advantage of the daily happy hour from 18:00-20:00 which gets you 10 RMB off Aussie beers and 5 RMB off mixed drinks.

Add: 84 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 150 1136 2081
Opening hours: 18:00-late

2) 12SQM View In Map
12sqm is just that. Well it was until its relatively recent expansion to a whopping 45sqm. It is full of the quirky charm that has become quite familiar in the Gulou area. Bare brick walls and a wide smoothened oak wood bar top add to the natural careworn feel of the place.

There are plenty of hard-to-come-by spirits in stock including single malt Irish and scotch whiskeys. A wide selection of beers such as VB Hoegaarden, Budvar and Bavarian wheat beer are on offer as well as Italian coffee and Australian beef meat pies. It is geared towards expats and is pretty successful in being a home away from home for Westerners. The bar is non-smoking, no dice games allowed and the management swears by the real 'non fake' alcohol. The size adds to the exclusivity of the place and once you get a seat you might want to hang onto it.

Add: 1 Fuxiang Hutong, Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6402-1554
Opening Hours: Mon-Web, 17.00-1.00; Thurs-Sun, 12.00-01.00

3) Passby Bar 过客酒吧 View In Map
Passby bar is a quaint hutong hideaway that, lilke most of Nanluoguxiang, attracts backpackers and those in search of something more rustic and rudimentary. The food is nothing to write home about but its the ambiance and atmosphere that people frequent this place for. It now has a non-smoking area and with an array of battered books and magazines its a place to chill out, exchange your wildest travel stories and learn a bit about China from a non political non economic perspective. Quite refreshing!

Add: 108 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8403 8004
Opening Hours: 09.30 – 02.00

4) Salud 老伍酒吧 View In Map
Salud is a wonderful multilevel cultural experience which plays host to a large variety of traditional Chinese performances with live DJs. The main reason to go there is to indulge in their large selection of house rums. They have a multitude of flavours which go nicely with Salud's famed tapas. Recently, this place has gained so much popularity that the crowds could possibly be a drawback. However, the multilevel layout helps disperse the crowds and the warm winter wine is definitely worth a visit to help dispel those winter blues.

Add: 66 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6402 5086
Opening Hours: Daily, 15.00-Late

5) Mao Mao Chong 毛毛虫View In Map
This increasingly popular bar has just recently relocated from its original Wudaoying spot to Banchang Hutong, just off Nanluoguxiang. Besides a visibly larger interior with high-beamed ceilings, skylights and rustic decor, this homely bar now also serves Italian-style thin crust pizza as well as other mouth-watering Western dishes. Its drinks menu is just as impressive, with beers going for as little as 13 RMB and a newly updated cocktail menu offering a delicious selection of reasonably priced mixed drinks.

Add: 12 Banchang Hutong (near south end of Nanluoguxiang), Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址:北京市东城区板厂胡同12号, 近南锣鼓巷南端
Tel: 010 6405 5718
Opening hours: Closed Tue, 17:00-late

6) Zha Zha Café喜鹊咖啡 View In Map
This homely cafe on Nanluoguxiang breaths familiar comfort and warm cosiness. Its all day breakfast, affordable prices, free wifi and a calm and tranquil environment, makes this a popular place to while away a lazy day with friends. This is more of a day than a night place, but they do serve a large selection of beverages and are open until 2am (or whenever the last customer leaves).

Add: 101 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8402 4851
Opening Hours: 10:00-02:00 

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Keywords: top bars Nanluoguxiang Beijing Nanluoguxiang bars best bars nanluoguxiang


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