Cheap Eats: Beijing’s Best Student Restaurants

Cheap Eats: Beijing’s Best Student Restaurants
By Mark Turner ,

Beijing has a lot of high-end, fancy restaurants, but everybody likes to slum it from time to time. Here are a few of Beijing’s best student restaurants, for when you want Western food on a budget.

Cat’s Eye Pizza 猫眼匹萨View In Map
Cat’s Eye Pizza is a typical student restaurant; popular with the Beiwai clientele who frequent the northern branch, with its graffiti-scrawled walls. The service is snappy and the portions are not ungenerous. The main draw of Cat’s Eye is that its pizzas, around 30 RMB for a 12”, are arguably better than those to be had a Pizza Hut, but at nearly half the price. The closely packed seats and student favourites blasting on the sound system, make for a cheap and cheerful dining experience. Also of note are Cat’s Eyes baguettes; they include generous fillings and are considerably cheaper than other fare on offer around town.

Add: Beiwa Lu, Haidian District, 200 meters west of Zizhuqiao Bridge 北京市海淀区北洼路紫竹院桥西
Tel: 010 - 6848 2123

Helen’s Café
Helen’s Café is one of 


best budget student eateries. Just down Shuangqing road from mainstays Lush and Pyro Pizza, Helen’s is slightly off the radar for the city’sless intrepid explorers. Those that venture a few hundred yards down the road are likely to be pleasantly surprised. The restaurant is unfortunately still decorated with the DIY graffiti scrawl that seems to be synonymous with student hang outs, but it has a more of a typically European or American feel, and the cheap draft beer is a definite plus. The food is largely Western food cooked to Chinese tastes, however portions are adequate and pricing is very reasonable. Helen’s Cafe is a great alternative to more expensive establishments such as Lush when one is looking for a quick Western food fix in the “Wu”.

Add: Down Shuangqing road from mainstays Lush and Pyro Pizza
Tel: 010 - 8286 7558

Bravo 品诺
Bravo is in the same building as Wudaokou’s Lotus Centre; on the main drag, it is very accessible and often packed with both Chinese and foreign students. Gourmet this certainly isn’t, and guests may have to wait a considerable amount of time in line for a table, but on the positive side, the food is extremely cheap: just 25 RMB for a decent-sized pizza. The colorful and noisy crowds that the restaurant attracts make it not an unpleasant spot to have a budget meal. If you are in the area, in need of a bowl of pasta or a milkshake, and not a stickler for authenticity, then you could do worse than take a trip to Bravo

Add: 2F, Lotus Centre, Wudaokou (The entrance to Bravo is a flight of stairs next to Watson’s)
Tel: 010 - 5177 9058

LushView In Map
Lush is one of Beijing’s mainstays for student eating. There is constantly a buzz around this bar/restaurant/café, and the food in Lush is a step up from the average budget dive. It is a good choice for those looking for student food that is not the usual fare; burgers, bagels and omelettes are just a few of the things on quite a broad menu. Lush is slightly more expensive than other student-targeted places, but its genuinely classier and offers a slightly more authentic style of Western food.

Add: 2/F, Bldg 1, Huaqing Jiayuan, near Chengfu Lu, Wudaokou 五道口华清家园1号楼2层

Tel: 010 - 8286 3566

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