With such an explosion in Western food choices in Beijing, it's no surprise that crepes are making their way onto the scene. And let's be honest - who doesn't love crepes? What is it about these extremely thin pancakes that makes them so delicious? For one, they're way more versatile than the average flapjack. Fill them with some chocolate and whipped cream, and they make a great dessert. Or, crack an egg, throw some bacon and cheese in, and it's a breakfast of champions. Handheld crepes make great street food for a tasty snack on the go, or on the other extreme, a carefully-crafted crepe can be the piece de resistance of a gourmet meal. Whatever the taste or occasion, there's a crepe for you.
1) The brunch crepe – Crepanini
Crepanini is a cute little spot on the Southwest corner of the 3.3 building in Sanlitun. The taste is authentic – the owners hail from Brittany, where crepes originate – making it a great place to meet a friend (just one though as the tables are tiny!) and catch up over brunch.
The lunch special runs from 11:30-2:00 and includes a simple crepe or panini, dessert crepe, soda or Qingdao, and an espresso for 55 RMB. There's also a 75 RMB option that lets you choose any crepe or Panini from their extensive menu. It's a great way to try the best of both their sweet and savory crepes without breaking the bank.
The restaurant is small, and the kitchen is smaller. On a number of visits, the preparation time has been quite long. During the latest visit, the kitchen was only turning out one Panini or crepe at a time, so wait times were excruciating and waiting until everyone was served was out of the question. If you have the time, though, the taste definitely makes it worth the wait.
2) The crepe experience - Moment Gastronomy Cafe
The delightful Moment Gastronomy Cafe was hands-down the best crepe experience this foodie has had in China. Tucked away in the bottom of the Sanlitun Soho complex, its comfortable and contemporary vibe provides a much-needed change of pace.
Moment's got a great combination of fresh ingredients and inventive recipes, guaranteeing that you won't encounter a bland meal. If you're into spicy stuff, try the Violet Crepe (39 RMB), consisting of grilled chicken breasts, fresh lettuce, jalapenos and a chili spread with chili peppers sprinkled around it. The spread is what makes it great, though you may want to order some sour cream on the side if the spice is too much. For dessert, the honey, banana, and walnut Lola Crepe is tough to turn down. For the ultimate indulgence though, try the Una Crepe (40 RMB) - nutella, almond, dried cranberries, ice cream, and cherries.
The drinks are as well-crafted as the crepes, which is saying something. The iced caramel macchiato was an eye-catching drink with layers of caramel, coffee, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle. The plain cup of coffee is good too if you're looking for something more straightforward.
Moment also has a lunch special where 75 RMB gets you a soup or salad, savory crepe, sweet crepe, and a drink. Definitely not a bad deal.
3) The late-night crepe – Crepes “Coctail” Bar (on the Bar Street)
After a big night on the bar street, what could sound better than a banana and nutella-filled crepe? How about a banana and nutella-filled crepe washed down with Sangria? This crepe stand, whose name is more than a bit unclear with the number of signs around it, is located on the corner of the Sanlitun Bar Street just across the street to the north of the Village. They not only sell deliciously messy crepes until the wee hours of the morning, but they also sell draught beer and sangria to wash it down. The stand is never a planned stop in the night, but always a welcome one.
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Keywords: crepes in Beijing western food Beijing French restaurants Beijing Crepanini Beijing
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