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Wudaoying: Hidden Gems in and Around this Hutong

By Jill Levine , eChinacities.com Comments (1)     Add your comment Newsletter

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A mélange of old Beijing culture and a newer, more creative generation of young Chinese artists, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, Wudaoying Hutong and its surrounding alleyways  have flourished over the past few years. Often casually nicknamed “the Brooklyn of Beijing,” the area is known to attract the quirky and the offbeat. Smaller unique venues dot the area alongside well-known mainstays like Vineyard Café, Veggie Table and fixed gear bike shop Natooke. Here are a few smaller eccentric spots worth exploring:

Food and Drink

1) Stuff’d (formerly known as The Vine Leaf) View In Map
Nestled in an alley in Jianchang hutong off Wudaoying, Stuff’d’s signature menu item are homemade sausages; some are with mustard, some are wrapped with bacon, but all are filling and delicious. This lunch place, which turns into a pub on weekend nights, offers a range of other cheap Western favorites including flatbread pizzas, sandwiches and burgers stuffed (of course) into pita bread (the massive pulled pork one has coleslaw and avocado all for 55 RMB) as well as locally brewed beer.

Add: 9 Jianchang Hutong
地址:北京市东城区箭厂胡同9号
Tel: 010 6407 6308
Opening hours: 11:00-14:00; 18:00-22:00

2) Wu Jian (Hardware) View In Map
Located in a cozy hutong alleyway, Wu Jian is a tiny and quirky neighborhood bar. With minimalist decoration and a handscrawled menu including PBR and 10 RMB house red and white wine, the little spot seats less than ten people making it a cozy place for a social gathering. The bar serves breakfast in the mornings offering a range of options, the best of which is toast with a spread of artisanal jams and sesame butters.

Add: 38 Jianchang Hutong Dongcheng
地址:北京市东城区箭厂胡同38 号
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30-22:30; Wed-Thurs, 5:30-21:30

3) Chez GerardView In Map
A few doors down from Wu Jian, tiny hutong Western supermarket Chez Gerard is a favorite among Gulou area expats. With its large range of spices, cured meats, fresh bread and canned goods, there are many reasons to love Chez Gerard. The store also boasts a large cheese fridge with goat, brie and blue for sale at fairly reasonable prices and an alcohol section with cold craft beers, imported wines and liquor.

Add: 40 Jianchang Hutong, Dongcheng, Beijing,
地址:北京市东城区箭厂胡同40 号
Tel: 010 6415 0118
Opening hours: 10:00-22:30

4) Daily Routine View In Map
In the vast sea of Wudaoying coffee shops, Daily Routine (日常生活) stands out for a few reasons. A large and centrally located café, the hidden gem here is the pay per item English breakfast menu served all day on Saturdays. The rest of the menu is promising as well albeit a bit more expensive: a variety of fruit, sweet pancakes and waffles round out the brunch offerings. In addition to regular seating downstairs, the coffee shop also boasts a tiny attic space with couches and of course, cats.

Add: 北京市东城区五道营胡同34号
地址:34 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8400 1159
Opening hours: 11:00-23:00

5) You House View In Map
Another little venue in Wudaoying (read, less than 10 seats), it is easy to miss on the main alleyway. The tiny restaurant provides an authentic sushi experience in the center of Beijing by serving an assortment of rolls and sake daily after 5pm.

Add: 27 Wudaoying Hutong
地址:北京市东城区五道营胡同27号
Tel: 156 0138 3087
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 17:00-23:00; Sat-Sun, 12:00-23:00, Colsed on Tue.

Shopping- Beyond the Vintage Stores

1) Swap ShopView In Map
Having started two years earlier by Robin and Judy Liao, Swap Shop has maintained its message of conscientious living through recycling. The store is crammed with jewelry, books and kitsch items from around the world. Customers can sell items for store credit (hence the name of the store). The store itself is tucked away off the main ally of Wudaoying.

Add: West Gate, 67 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng
地址:北京市东城区五道营胡同67号西门
Tel: 010 6407 6094
Opening hours: 12:00-21:00

wudaoying hutong
Source:  eefeewahfah

2) Paul and Bing’s
A little bit of DIY in Beijing, Paul and Bing’s offers artsy (and less than artsy) types to have a go at designing and painting their own ceramic cats. Cute cat postcards are available as well.

3) SQY-TView In Map
SQY-T is a tiny store in the beginning on Wudaoying featuring incredible graphic designs by architect Li Han. The designs are inspired by both Beijng’s urban sprawl and history and are imprinted on bags, t-shirts, pillowcases, pencil cases, mugs, prints and even mousepads. Be careful in browsing as you’ll want to buy everything, but the designs can be seen here: http://www.sqy-t.com/cn/headline.asp

Add: No.78 Wudaoying Hutong
地址:东城区五道营胡同78号
Tel: 010 8404 0148
Opening hours: 9:30-21:30

Beijing is a city of eccentricities. As the Wudaoying hutong area gradually becomes more gentrified the quirky spirit of the neighborhood still manages to shine through. In marrying old style hutong culture with modern artistic culture, the neighborhood manages to balance aspects of old and new China, making it a unique haven in a quickly overdeveloping city.

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Keywords: wudaoying hutong hidden hutong Beijing sightseeing

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1 Comments ( Add your comment )

1
comment|41148|52297
Rin

Damn,this place looks awesome! I've just moved to Yunnan from Hebei, a bit too far for me to go visit now!

Nov 04, 2013 15:43

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