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When Nature Calls: A Guide to Beijing’s Cafes by Bathroom

By Sarah Hansen , Comments (1 )     Add your comment Newsletter

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You can think of a cafe in terms of many things. Does it have decent coffee? How much space is there, and how many outlets are available for you to plug in your computer? Do the owners prefer breathy pop or more of an up tempo variety of music? But perhaps, if you are one of the many people who regularly goes to a café in Beijing for several hours, you might want to consider this question: What is the bathroom like?

You say you need to choose a place to sit for a while and finish checking your students' essays, apply for jobs, work on your freelance assignments, or just mess around on the endless entertainments provided by the Internet. What if while caffeinating you suddenly find yourself in need of a restroom? You could be out of luck, especially in Beijing’s hutong areas where often the only bathroom is a public one down an alley. Just as easily, you might discover a gem of a restroom. Of course you may want to consider the taste of the coffee or the general atmosphere when deciding where to go, but those aspects are secondary at best when your bladder is on the line. So, below is our list of Beijing’s cafes by bathroom.


Cafes without bathroom facilities – come with an empty bladder!

1) Costa CoffeeView In Map
Despite its convenient location for many foreigners, this particular branch of the popular chain, has no bathroom on its premises. Customers must rely upon the restroom that serves the whole building, as is typical for Costa. By walking into the main part of the building toward the clothing booths, you can look for and follow the signs to the public bathroom. Expect that it might be crowded and not especially clean. Definitely err on the side of bringing your own toilet paper.

Add: 33 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 5136 5868
Opening hours: 09:30-23:00, daily

2) Fish Eye CaféView In Map
This is a great place to hang out and get a latte or cappuccino (possibly a cupcake from Lollipop Bakery), but there is no bathroom. The closest is likely the Sanlitun South Village basement bathroom, which has a lot of stalls with varying degrees of cleanliness and fierce line jumpers.

Add:S1-18, 1/F Sanlitun Village, 19 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址:北京市朝阳区三里屯路 19 号 三里屯 Village南区S1-18
Tel: 010 6417 2588
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00, daily

3) Tous Les JoursView In Map
Reminiscent of other Chinese chain shops like Holiland and Weidome, you can find a large variety of unfamiliar baked goods, decent and cheaper coffee, but few seats and no restrooms. These locations may also not be in proximity to another easily accessible restroom.

Add: 1F, Nuo’an Dasha, 14 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Tel: 010 5130 9969
Opening hours: 7:00-22:00

4) Caffe BeneView In Map
This is a typically Korean cafe with a slick design, K-Pop, decent black coffee and Korean shaved ice dessert. However, there is no restroom on site or otherwise accessible in the building. You’ll have to crash the public bathroom in the neighboring mall.

Add: 33 Guangshun Bei Da Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Tel: 010 6473 2151
Opening hours: 07:00-24:00

5) Ocean GroundsView In Map
Carefully crafted drinks served by highly knowledgeable owners and relatively steep prices accurately reflect the high level of attention paid to all things coffee at this U Town resident. For a bathroom break from your decadent beverage, head to the nearby public mall restroom. Despite its rich appearance, you may still need to bring your own toilet paper along for a trip to these squatting style toilets.

Add: 3/F, U-Town, 2 Sanfeng Beili, Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8561 0961
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00

6) Beiluo Bread BarView In Map
Don't look for a bathroom inside of this cool fresh-made pasta/sandwiches and coffee joint. Take a short trip just around the corner to the hutong bathroom. Unlike some hutong restrooms, these do have stalls and doors. And of course squatting toilets, which may or may not be accompanied by soap and water in the sink. Extremely convenient to the café, though not the best of facilities. 

Add: 70A Beiluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8408 3069
Opening hours: 10:00-24:00, Mon-Sun

7) A Corner Café View In Map
This is a lovely, quiet spot with welcoming staff and comfortable environment but also necessitates a trip to the hutong's bathroom. The restroom is quite close but lacks stalls, paper, or sink. Corner Cafe does offer a sink with soap and paper towels for guests coming back from the restroom.

Add: 18-1, 277 Dongzhimen Nei, Beixinqiao Toutiao Nei, Dongcheng District, Beijing (near Exit B of Beixinqiao subway station)
Tel: 010 6406 0398
Opening hours: 11:00-22:00

Cafes with toilets – drink to your heart’s content!

1) Sweetmap Cafe View In Map
Inside of the small, quiet shop, the single bathroom contains a squatting toilet as well as a urinal and is generally exceptionally clean. Both restroom and sink area are scented nicely with potpourri as well as quaintly decorated. Sweetmap rounds its bathroom out with decent, if expensive, espresso drinks and light, easy-listening tunes percolate the cafe's airwaves.

Add: Flat 1, South Building 31, Sanlitun, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6415 1515
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00, Mon-Thurs, Sun; 10:00-22:30, Fri-Sat

2) Colibri, MS Bonbon, Starbucks (Sanlitun North Village)
Like cupcakes, upscale décor, strong black coffee and access to a posh restroom? You could try one of these three that stand side by side in Sanlitun North Village. The building’s restroom houses many toilets, each Western-style with paper and bin. At all times the restroom contains one or two women waiting to clean the stalls after you vacate and the sinks, soap, and paper towels are plentiful as well. This is likely the best public bathroom around. Seasonal music blesses the restroom with an air of joviality to boot!

3) Starbucks (Shimao Department Store) View In Map
Housed within the Shimao shopping mall, this very busy location may not often have seating or a particularly quiet environment, but the restroom is definitely acceptable. Like most other Starbucks locations, this store's bathroom is for one person and lockable. Though mysteriously frigid, the appliances and floor are kept clean, and paper products are always on hand. To make you feel safer, they keep a fire extinguisher within.

Add: 13 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8405 9070
Opening hours: 08:00-22:00

4) Sculpting in Time Café View In Map
Quiet, spacious, drinkable drinks – a clean restroom with multiple stalls and Western toilets is only marred by the heavy smoke hanging in the air for the non-smokers among us. But the bathroom is genuinely lovely.

Add:Shop 3A, Hairun International Apartment, 2B Jiangtai Lu (near the Lido Hotel), Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 5135 8108
Opening hours: 07.30-midnight, daily

5) YiLaiErQuView In Map
So you enjoy beating your friends at card and board games while sipping your coffee? Better check out this locale. The bathroom is a small single squat pot that is maintained properly with a separate sink just outside.

Add: 30 Dongsi Bei Da Jie (2nd Floor)
地址:北京市东城区东四北大街30号2楼(近簋街西口), 一来二去桌游主题休闲吧
Tel: 010 6401 1298

6) Backyard CaféView In Map
A good selection of food and caffeine, emphasized with a nice pastry/drink deal in the afternoons highlight the single restroom's attractiveness. Both the Western-style toilet and sink area are kept very tidy.

Add: 2 Sanlitun Beixiaojie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6464 7642
Opening hours: 08:00-21:30, Mon-Fri; 10:00-21:30, Sat-Sun

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Keywords: Beijing cafes by bathroom Beijing cafes

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