Chinese people are not considered to be coffee lovers. That is statistically proven by the fact that, in average, they drink just four coffee cups per person, per year, which is significantly lower than the consumption rate of people living in Europe and America. However, the Chinese market is very big and ever growing, which makes it perfect for growing and developing coffee businesses.
Also, the huge changes in terms of urbanization, as well as the ever growing number of Chinese people going overseas are things that are influencing the development of the culture of drinking coffee. Because the coffee is still new thing to the Chinese people who are used to drinking tea, people in this country prefer coffee with milk, like mocha and coffee late.
And one reason they don’t drink more coffee is because it’s considered to be rather a luxury product, which means that average worker in China can’t afford it. For instance, coffee latte in China costs a few times more than it would in the UK. However, Beijing alone has developed somewhat of an independent coffee scene and its inhabitants are more used to coffee than the ones in other parts of China.
Starbucks and Costa Coffee have been in China for a long time; they recognized the need of the market and started developing their businesses. And it’s going good for them. However, we are choosing to talk about the less corporate and megalomaniac coffee shops here which will give you the exceptional experience while in Beijing. So, here is our top ten coffee shops in the city of Beijing, China!
10. Central Perk
- Address: 616, Bldg A, Chaowai SOHO | CBD, Chaoyang Distrtict, Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +6590252524
- Webiste: https://www.facebook.com/centralperksingapore/
Could you ever imagine that one man’s passion towards a TV Show can turn into a lucrative business? Neither could we, until this point, but apparently that’s what’s happened with the one Chinese man who made his coffee shop to look just like the one from the popular American sitcom – Friends.
With the brick walls that match the ones from iconic TV series, tables that look just like the ones in Friends and even with the famous orange couch that has been the recognizable part of the show. They offer a wide range of coffee like their F.R.I.E.N.D.S. PUCCINO, the ice-blended beverage with original recipes that comes in six different variants.
If you are more a beer fan, this café offers that as well and you can sip it while you are watching the rerun of Friends on the TV screen. This café is a perfect spot for everyone who was ever a fan of this American series, and we would definitely recommend you to visit it. Still, if you didn’t quite enjoy the show (or it was way before your time) it is a good idea to see how things looked in the nineties. While in Beijing, this is the one thing you shouldn’t miss out on, we can assure you of that!
9. Cafe Flatwhite
- Address: JiuXianQiao Lu 4Hao 798 YiShu QuNei, Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 9 am – pm
- Telephone: +86 10 6432 2798
- Website: http://www.cafeflatwhite.com/
Located in 798. district of Beijing, this is the most searched and googled coffee shop in the neighborhood, and we will tell you why. Between the brick walls with black artsy windows hides a vast space of the Café Flatwhite. Its modern looks owns to the careful and imaginative designers who filled the space with beautiful wooden tables and wide and comfortable white, black and red chairs.
As you may have guessed it from its name, Café Flatwhite takes pride in preparing flat white coffee. Because of the smaller consumption of coffee in China, there are fewer places to have a good cup of coffee. Café Flatwhite is certainly enjoy this beverage. You will have no regrets by ordering the Ethiopian sidamo with cinnamon and lemon aroma or the Java grade one.
Also, if you are hungry and crave for the western food, this is the right place for you. We will recommend their steak or eggs benedict which will keep your stomach full and give you the right amount of energy for the day. You will get seated right away in café Flatwhite, but on the other hand, the service is rather slow considering staff to customer ratio. But because of the fact that the staff is attentive and polite, you will forget everything you didn’t like as soon as you get your order.
8. Cafe Flo
- Address: Shop g2-22, B2, Parkview Green, No.9 Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 5626 9779
- Website: http://www.flo-cafe.com/
When you set your foot in Café Flo you will see right away that this is something different from anything you have seen in a while. Vast space of this Beijing café is filled with broad wooden tables and comfortable chairs. An old looking floor just adds to the domestic experience of this café. The chandeliers that are hanging from the ceiling are looking rustic, but they stand in a perfect unison with the whole interior.
Café Flo offers a good deal when we talk about the food, and we are confidant to recommend their Wellington Beef platter with its mouthwatering smell and divine taste. Their cappuccino is what we are looking forward to, with its rich taste and unforgettable latte art.
If you are just up for the plain coffee, then the espresso is a right thing for you, given that its rich taste gives you back the energy and your “batteries” will be full and ready to endure the rest of the day. Staff of this Beijing café is really nice and attentive, and we, had an overall great experience, and we are definitely looking forward to seeing their friendly faces again and again.
7. Biking Cafe
- Address: No.81-2 Beiheyan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100009, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 6455 3909
- Website: http://www.bikingcafe.com/
Located in Dongcheng district in Beijing, the Biking Café is a real little oasis in the middle of fast city. With a ray of lights that are coming through the huge windows and sending just the right amount of light trough the space, and its high wooden tables and chairs, this coffee shop is for everyone that are tired of the urban atmosphere of the city.
Every part of this place is thoughtfully designed to catch the eye of the beholder. For every tired traveler, we can recommend their iced coffee which will cool everyone down and prepare them for the day ahead. The rich flavor of milk mixed with perfectly roasted coffee seeds is a perfect reward after a long and busy day. Their waffles go great on the side with your coffee!
This is the perfect place also to book a biking tour through the city, given that the buses and the metro is often too crowded. As for the staff – English is not the problem here and everything is set to meet the needs of a bilingual culture. The owner is friendly, and ready to help at any moment from his seat at the corner. So, please do check out this venue, you won’t be disappointed!
- Address: S8-33, 3F No 8 building, 19 South Sanlitun, Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 5971 6200
- Website: http://www.wagas.com/
Before we start about Wagas, it is important to mention first, that this Chinese brand has their coffee shops all around China and that they are very popular and well known within this region of the World. This particular one is located in South Sanlitun Street in Beijing, and, like any other Wagas restaurant offers many possibilities to start or to finish your day.
This place is perfect for family gatherings or coffee time with your friends. The comfy chairs are nicely placed besides the round wooden tables and all you can do is lean in and sip your coffee or frappe and enjoy the day. Like any other chain coffee shop, this café is looking rather commercial and it has that vibe that leaves you with the feeling that you live in a very fast world and all you can do is to keep up the pace with it.
This is not bad, given that it can be motivating to see a vast number of people rushing in and out, or taking a little break from this constant rush. In Wagas, coffee is everything. They offer various coffee choices, but we would recommend picking their latte to contradict the modern times with this more traditional choice of beverage.
If you are up to more cooler and refreshing fruity choice, then their squeezed orange juice is the perfect solution during those hot summer days. The service is very fast; given that the queue is most of the times very long, they manage to keep it attentive and very polite. If you like this kind of coffee shop, Wagas is the right choice for you definitely.
5. Green Cow City Cafe
- Address: Behind the green gate, Building 13, Sanjiefang, Jiuxianqiao, Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 6435 9561
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/greencowcitycafe/
The story of the Green Cow City Café is an interesting one. The husband and wife team made a farm a decade ago because they couldn’t find the quality products for their restaurant. And, quickly they found themselves among vast green fields of organic vegetables and properly fed animals. Here, you are safe to pick anything that crosses your mind. We can recommend for sure, their bagel or the hummus pitta bread. If you opt for meat, the perfect choice lies in their organic sausages.
And that’s not all because this café sells a vast number of products that are hard to find, like baked wheat germ, so you can purchase some for your home. Their coffee is something we are always looking forward to, because it contains the flawless amount of well roasted coffee seeds and milk.
But you won’t make bad choice if you go for a plain espresso, because its strong taste will give you the right amount of energy to continue your day with more enthusiasm. The service here is pretty good, and the owners are trying to put their love and care in every aspect of the business. A warm recommendations for this one, folks!
4. Bridge Cafe (Qiaokafei)
- Address: 12-8 Huaqing JIayuan, Wudaokou; Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 8286 7026
- Website: http://www.foodspotting.com/
This coffee shop is extremely popular among students, especially because they offer the completely American menu that differs from every coffee shop around.
This coffee shop, with its wide wooden coffee tables is without a doubt the perfect place to have a coffee while you are collecting your thoughts or making plans about your next step. And people around, most of all students, will give you proof for that, especially given that they are mostly studying here.
The coffee selection is broad and perfect for any coffee lover. We do strongly recommend their iced coffee or coffee late to help you concentrated while cooling you down. The chai is also a very good option here if you are not in the mood for coffee. The service in the Bridge café is very nice and well-mannered, but you should have in mind that this coffee shop is extremely crowded and to reserve your seat on time.
3. Orchid Terrace Coffee Shop, Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong
- Address: No.26 Jianguomen Wai da Jie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
- Working hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10 am – 11 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 8287 7113
- Website: http://www.cfgbj.com/
Orchid Terrace Coffee shop represents the perfect combination of the East and the West. Located in Chaoyang district, this coffee shop is one of a kind gem.
Its vast space is filled with numerous wooden chairs and tables that are calling for the more traditional spirit of China, while on the other hand upbeat staff reminds you that you are living in a fast decade that seeks change all the time.
If you are hungry, and there on time, we will recommend their breakfast brunch that offers a vast variety of tastes that can satisfy even the most requiring customers. Their flat white is something you should look forward to, given that their coffee per milk ratio is perfectly balanced and tuned to make the beginning of your day more energizing and comfortable.
The service here in Orchid Terrace Coffee Shop is polite and attentive, but the queue line can get very long so do keep in mind that you may have to wait a few moments before you can make your order.
2. Chapter, Conrad Beijing
- Address: No.29 North Dongsanhuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020, China
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:00 am – 10:30 pm
- Telephone: +86 10 6584 6270
- Website: http://conrad.hilton.com/
Chapter Beijing is certainly one special place and should definitely be on your “to do” list when visiting Beijing. Its strange interior leaves you with the uncanny feeling that you saw this place before, and that’s for sure because of their big wooden chairs that are leading to the gallery on the second floor.
The comfy chairs with cushions are screaming “pleasure” and “rest” and that is one thing that this coffee shop promises – taking rest of the world as we know it and entering the magical space of comfort and happiness. We certainly recommend you to have their Godiva Afternoon Tea that will satisfy you while you are exploring their seamlessly never ending library.
The cappuccino here is one for the champs so feel free to give yourself in to the rich taste of coffee with the perfect amount of milk. The service here is remarkable, the one more thing why you would want to visit this place more often. But beware that you might have to reserve spot – this Beijing’s gem is well known!
1. Cafe Zarah
- Address: Gulou Dongdajie 46 | Dongcheng, Beijing 100009, China
- Working hours: Sunday to Thursday: 9 am – midnight; Friday to Saturday: 9 am to 1 am
- Telephone: +86 10 8403 9807
- Website: http://www.cafezarah.com/
Café Zarah is located in the sole center of Beijing. It represents the perfect mixture of the European west and the Chinese east. The exterior looks like a classic Chinese building with the slanted rooftop. It has a garden with trees that have the traditional Chinese lamps hanging from the branches which makes the night atmosphere just marvelous.
The interior walls are brutalism looking with just grey concrete, but it doesn’t give it an unwelcoming look, on the contrary it puts out an artsy feel. The other thing that perpetuates the artsy feel is the paintings hanging from the grey walls. The paintings are in term what makes Café Zara an art gallery and not just your regular run of the mill café.
The exterior interior and the garden combined makes a perfect place for spending the warm summer evenings for enjoying the perfect atmosphere under the lamps hanging from the trees or inside next to the paintings. Zarah’s staff love a good coffee so they delegate their well skilled baristas into making and serving the best one for you! What they offer is the classics, as in Americano, espresso, double espresso and the cappuccino.
All of them are not in the Chinese tradition but well made by the caring baristas and taste perfect. You should also try their flat white, latte macchiato and café au lait. And not to forget, their special coffees the Vietnamese coffee is to die for, which comes with special instructions on how to get the full experience. If you prefer the sweeter variants go for the moccaccino or the caramel cappuccino, and if it’s too hot outside we do recommend any of the iced coffees they offer.
Other drinks they serve come as the regular traditional Chinese tea, healthy drinks and of course the alcoholic ones. Out of these we can recommend you try one of their local cocktails or the prosecco. If you decide to go for a bite, the food you order always comes very nicely decorated and it tastes fantastic.
We recommend you to choose any of their healthy meals, those definitely won’t disappoint you. Café Zara brings out the best in Beijing. The best mixture in western and eastern cultures makes it the perfect spot to choose to spend your free time.
The coffee and the café market in Beijing and in whole of China is growing and expanding by the second. The places are still new, which means they are fresh for you to discover! Be an adventurer and explore them, we have chosen for you the best ones to the date.
Every offer choice from the cafes we came up with, in the list above, is proven to be good multiple times, but you won’t go wrong if you also try something we didn’t list because all of the venues above are perfect in their own special way.
If you liked our Beijing café reviews you might also like the one we did about top 10 cafes when visiting Macau. For the European café scene you might like our articles on The Top 10 Cafés of Copenhagen and The Top 10 Cafés of Amsterdam