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Beijing’s Best-Kept Secrets: Hutong Bars

By Ashley Johnson , Add your comment Newsletter

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Beijing’s hutongs hold many secrets hidden within their walls, and exploring the maze-like alleys of the city is an essential way to discover the city’s ancient and dilapidated charm. Hutongs also happen to be home to some of the city’s most charismatic watering holes. Here’s just a few…

1) Fangjia Hutong方家胡同

The Hot Cat Club at Fangjia Hutong is a hotspot for jazz and blues enthusiasts. The décor isn’t fancy, but it’s enough for a customer interested more in music and inexpensive drinks. Another Fangjia hangout is El Nido Bar, a scruffy hole in the wall next to a bicycle repair shop. El Nido offers a host of budget-priced beer varieties from around the world as well as a decent wine and liquor selection. The décor is Spartan to say the least, with only a few seats and some old beer posters, but at El Nido you make your own atmosphere with cheap beer and good friends. Imports range from 28-45 RMB and most domestic brews are around 10 RMB. Wine is equally budget-friendly.

Hot Cat ClubView In Map
Add: 46 Fangjia Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址: 北京市东城区方家胡同46号
Tel: 010 6400 7868
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-00:00

El NidoView In Map
Add: 59 Fangjia Hutong (20 metres east from Andingmennei Dajie), Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址: 北京市东城区方家胡同59号(丛安定门内大街往东走20米)
Tel: 010 8402 9495
Opening hours: Daily, 16:00-late

2) Wudaoying Hutong 五道营胡同

Only two streets north of Fangjia Hutong is the constantly-developing Wudaoying Hutong, which has some bars worth visiting. One of them is V.A. Bar, a respectable new addition to the live music scene. Boasting one of Beijing’s best sound systems for a venue of its size, V.A. Bar holds regular jam sessions on Monday night, performances by local bands on weekends, and an open mic night every Wednesday. The bar also hosts occasional movie screenings. Visit their website for a complete list of performances, and keep in mind that most nights there have a small cover charge. School Bar is another popular spot in Wudaoying Hutong. Completely different from V.A. Bar, School is a bit on the rowdy side, as DJs rock out every Friday and Saturday night for a young hipster crowd. School also offers great drink specials and some unique liquor selections. The staff is friendly and the night is always unpredictable.

V.A. BarView In Map
Add: No. 13 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing  
地址: 北京市东城区五道营胡同13号
Tel: 010 5844 3638
Opening hours: Daily, 14:00-late

School BarView In Map
Add: 53 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址: 北京市东城区五道营胡同53号
Tel: 010 6402 8881
Opening hours: Daily, 20:00-late

3) Baiziwan Lu百子湾路View In Map

Dao Le is a relatively new wine bar with an interesting layout. Its long and narrow passageway is sectioned off into cozy nooks separated by curtains, with each section filled with lounge sofas. Dao Le features an extensive wine list and a small but sophisticated food menu – and the perfect wine has been paired with each food selection. The location is not a typical go-to area for most in Beijing, but this makes it an even more special place to relax and savour the taste of your favourite imported wines – away from the mainstream.

Add: 2-012, 22 International Art Plaza, 32 Baiziwan Lu, Chaoyang District (East of the Today Art Museum), Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区百子湾路32号二十二院街艺术区2-012 (今日美术馆东侧)
Tel: 010 5821 1353

4) Dongmianhua Hutong东棉花胡同View In Map

Situated in Dongmianhua, Jianghu Bar is a haven for music lovers of all types. The atmosphere is great and the bar jams out seven nights a week, usually with experimental, folk or indie. The bar offers cheap drinks and guarantees a good time.

Add: 7 Dongmianhua Hutong, Jiaodaokou Nandajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址: 北京市东城区交道口南大街东棉花胡同
Tel: 010 6401 4611
Opening hours: Daily, 19:00-02:00

5) Nanluoguxiang 南锣鼓巷 View In Map

Nanluoguxiang has several interesting bars of note and one of the most well-known is the Pass By Bar. Perhaps the best thing about this bar is the atmosphere, which is very much like the surrounding hutong – warm and welcoming, cozy and quiet. The drinks are reasonably priced and the Italian cuisine is certainly passable. The outdoor seating is perfect for warm weather, while the books inside set the mood for bundling up indoors with a glass of wine and a good read on a cold winter day.

Add: 108 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
地址: 北京市东城区南锣鼓巷108号
Tel: 010 8403 8004
Opening hours: Daily, 09:30-02:00

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Keywords: secret bars beijing hutong bars Beijing hidden bars Beijing bars Beijing

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