Drinking in Beijing occurs in one of several districts, each with its own atmosphere and social connotations. The city's oldest and still most popular drinking district is Sanlitun, located between the east second and third ring roads around the Workers' Stadium (Gong Ren Ti Yu Chang). This area got its name from Sanlitun Road; a north-south strip of drinking establishments a long block east of the Workers' Stadium that at one time contained practically all of the city's bars. Now known as North Bar Street (Sanlitun Jiuba Jie), it has been overshadowed by other clusters of bars on South Bar Street (also called Dongdaqiao Xiejie) a half block east of the City Hotel, in the Xingfucun area north of the stadium, and scattered around the stadium itself.
Cafes & Other Drinks Spots like Starbucks swept into Beijing in the 1990s and quickly conquered it. Branches are everywhere in the city. By far it has become the most popular coffee chain in Beijing.
The fastest-growing spot for late-night drinking is the Back Lakes (Shicha Hai or Hou Hai), a previously serene spot with a few discreetly fashionable bars north of Bei Hai Park. Neon has become a common sight, and several dance clubs are in the works, but for now this remains the finest place in the city for a quiet drink.
Beijing bars generally open around 5 or 6pm and stay open until the last patrons leave, usually by 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.
49 Beixiao Street Dongzhimennei
Xidan Cutural Square Basement, 3rd Level
Featuring a cover band that plays Chinese pop songs and a belly dancing show every night at 9.
Chaoyang Park South Gate
On Mondays see Danny California and Humble Mike, while Jacqui Staton plays with the Big Easy Band from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Sundays there is a kids brunch and at night Sweet Willies Jazz Quartet plays with guest singers. Dou Peng sings dinner music every night
Black Jack Garden
On the Northside of building 2 in Xingfu Yicun. (The hutong across from the north gate of Worker's Stadium)
Arty hangout with Southern USA Decoration, blues, southern rock and jazz music. One of the owners is a tattoo artist, another is a DJ, and the third is an actor who played Puyi in The Last Emperor.
The Blue Lotus Cafe
11 Qianhai Beiyan, Xicheng District
The right place to drop by to enjoy a cup of coffee in a great atmosphere after a nice walk around Qianhai lake.
8 Yong'an Dongli, Jianwai Avenue
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