Surf’s Up - Free Wi-Fi Cafes Around Town
It’s cold out, but that doesn’t mean you should stay holed up at home. Beijing has many cozy and creative venues offering free Wi–Fi access where you can write that masterpiece in a social setting.
With the branch on Nanluogu Xiang becoming more popular, try the more peaceful location on Guozijian Hutong if you prefer quieter surroundings. The nosh on offer is fairly substantial, including all day breakfast, and there’s a huge range of coffees (RMB 18-35), spirits and wine. The cafe comes more to life in the evenings, with laptop toting customers tapping away in the lamplight.
1) Daily 9.30am-11pm. 76 Guozijian Jie, Dongcheng District (6406 6493). 2) 101 Nanluogu Xiang, Dongcheng District (8402 4851). 喜鹊咖啡，1）东城区国子监街76号；2）东城区南锣鼓巷 101号
Featuring comfy chairs, a quiet atmosphere and photography exhibitions on the walls, this German cafe is a favorite with the keyboard-tapping crowd. They also serve cakes, soups, salads, and sandwiches from the owner's personal recipe book.
Daily, 9.30am-midnight. 42 Gulou Dongdajie, Dongcheng District. (8403 9807). 东城区鼓楼东大街42号
This cute and stylish serves coffee with intriguing titles like ‘Love affair over coffee’ (RMB 30). It also has a good range of tea (RMB 40), hot drinks and spirits, and a peaceful atmosphere conducive to working in comfort with little distraction.
Daily 10am-9.30pm. 37 Guozijian Hutong, Dongcheng District. (6404 2691) 颐圆咖啡馆，东城区雍和宫桥南路37 国子监胡同
Nestled down a relatively undiscovered hutong, this cafe is quiet, with a jazzy ambience. It mainly functions as an art gallery, but is perfect for working or simply relaxing. Daily 11am-11pm.
32 Qianliang hutong (off Dongsibei Dajie), Dongcheng District (6404 6297). 美术馆咖啡， 东城区钱粮胡同32号
Lazzy Cafe 闲散光音
It may have a spelling mistake in the name, but that doesn’t detract from the cheery vibe of this Wudaoying Hutong hangout. Large windows line the spacious shops and there is an intimate loft area for more solitary surfing. Grab brunch (RMB 52) while you work or sample a wide range of hot drinks (RMB 20-35).
Mon-Fri 8am-12am, Sat-Sun 9am-2am. 19 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District. (6446 2073) 东城区雍和宫桥南路五道营胡同甲19号
Waiting for Godot
Waiting For Godot pulls in a bohemian crowd with its permanent twilight and artsy vibe. Prime time is in the evening when beatniks and cultural critics flock to the venue to sample the wine, fine spirits and discuss existentialism. Best of all, they are currently charging only RMB 10 for coffees and sandwiches.
Daily 10am-1am. Bldg 4, 24 Jiaodaokou Dongdajie, Dongcheng District. (6407 3093) 等待戈多, 东城区交道口东大街4号楼24号
Three Trees Café 三棵树
With no English sign and three large trees obscuring the entrance (hence the name), it’s easy to miss this place; one of the first cafes of its kind in the area. The interior resembles a comfortable living room and the menu features salads, pizza and sandwiches, along with delightful drinks such as Rose flavored milk tea (RMB 35) that comes decorated with little rose buds.
Daily 9am-2am. 89 Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng District. (Next to Peking Downtown Back Packers Hostel). (8401 9868) 三棵树三棵树,东城区 南锣 鼓巷 89号
The Bookworm (Sanlitun)
One of the most well known wireless spots in town, this combination bookstore/landing library/cafe has large windows and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The Bookworm tends to attract a literary crowd with a taste for wine and has regular lectures, parties and events. Glasses of wine start at RMB 30 and a coffee comes in at RMB 15. The menu offers light sandwiches (RMB 42), salads and pastas as well as heartier fare.
Daily 9am-2am. Courtyard 4, Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District. (6586 9507)
Cenci Coffee 参差咖啡馆
Located in the up-and-coming creative hangout Fangjia Hutong, this venue attracts hipster coffee drinkers with a penchant for art. The interior is filled with the scent of fresh coffee and Chinese scrolls adorning the walls. The café offers coffee passport for RMB 100, which entitles you to 10 cups of the beverage.
Daily 10.30am-10pm. 46 Fangjia Hutong (just south of Guozijian Jie), Dongcheng District. (8400 2673) 参差咖啡馆, 东城区方家胡同46号艺术园区 (国子监南临)
This stylish cafe behind the Sun City apartments at Dongsishitiao has a warm interior, extremely tasty pastries (from RMB 10) and free coffee re-fills when you purchase a cup of their house coffee (RMB 25). Cafe bites include sandwiches (RMB 28), salads (from RMB 20) and pizza (RMB 50).
Daily 9am-12am. 12 Xinzhong Jie (north of Sun City), Dongcheng District (6417 8153). 东城区新中街乙12号
This quaint hangout on Dongsiliutiao functions as a bar and a cafe. The upper floor functions as a comfy cafe area complete with plush sofas, and the ground floor houses the swanky bar area. When you’ve done working, you can skip down the staircase to enjoy a quiet drink. Beers start at RMB 20 and cocktails come in at RMB 30.
Daily 2pm - late. 67-1 Dongsiliutiao, Dongcheng District. (6405 7678) 678 吧, 东城区东四六条67-1号
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