1. Janes and Hooch

prac_info Courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu • 6503 2757 • Subway: Tuanjiehu

Google Map

Cocktails, bourbons, and ales are served at this split-level speakeasy bar and lounge to the accompaniment of smooth jazz and blues music.


Ingredients for cocktails at Manhattan-style bar Janes and Hooch

2. Botany Bar

prac_info 1209 Unit 2, Yonglee Plaza, Gongti Bei Lu • 6463 6091

Google Map

Swanky yet homey apartment bar with work-of-art cocktails such as Amortentia, infused with rosemary sprigs and toasted sesame seeds.

3. La Social

prac_info 3rd Floor, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu • 5208 6030

Google Map

This is a Columbian bar with serious food options, including arepas (corn flatbreads with varied fillings), and excellent cocktails. The eclectic decor includes a picture of Jesus framed by yellow bulbs, velvet lampshades, and neon busts of Mao. It is closed on Sundays.


Fried arepas at La Social

4. Mai

Google Map

This smartly designed cocktail bar, Mai, has outdoor seating in a narrow courtyard, plus a giant silver sofa and bar chairs inside. It draws a cool hutong crowd, especially at weekends.


Pina colada cocktail

5. Migas

prac_info 6/F Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Bei Lu • 5208 6061 • Subway: Tuanjiehu

Google Map

This chic Spanish restaurant and rooftop terrace bar is always packed with a hip cocktail-drinking crowd that comes here for the DJs and great alfresco views. Try the chargrilled octopus.

6. Hidden House

prac_info 39 Xin Dong Lu, Chaoyang District • 8418 5718

Google Map

The cozy alcoves at this utterly charming speakeasy are perfect for quiet conversation and the cocktails are new takes on old favorites.

7. Slow Boat Brewery

prac_info 6 Sanlitun Nan Lu • 6592 5388 • Subway: Tuanjiehu

Google Map

A seasonally updated selection of delicious beers and award-winning burgers are served at this smart but laid-back bar, run by two American expats.


Craft beers at Slow Boat Brewery

8. Amilal

prac_info 48 Shoubi Hutong, Dongcheng District • 8404 1416

Google Map

This Mongolian-owned whiskey bar in a tiny hutong has it all – a mishmash of comfortable furniture, random cultural artifacts, tiny tables, hushed conversation, and a number of roaming cats.

9. Centro

prac_info Kerry Center Hotel, 1 Guanghua Lu • 8565 2398 • Subway: Guomao

Google Map

Set in the lobby of one of the city’s swankiest hotels, Centro boasts live music and the last word in cocktails.

10. Mesh

prac_info B1, The Opposite House, 11 Sanlitun Bei Lu • 6410 5220 • Subway: Tuanjiehu

Google Map

Ultra-trendy lounge bar Mesh features a cool outdoor deck terrace and bamboo garden. It’s a popular spot for after-work cocktails and evening drinks on weekends.


Tables on the deck terrace at Mesh


1. Dusk Dawn Club

prac_info 14 Shanlao Hutong, Dongcheng District • 6407 8969

Courtyard venue with trees growing through tables and regular live shows.

2. School Live Bar

prac_info 53 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District • 6402 8881

This hutong venue is one of the city’s best music spots.

3. Yugong Yishan

prac_info 3-2 Zhangzizhong Lu • 6404 2711

The city’s most satisfying music venue, with an eclectic booking policy.

4. Blue Note

prac_info 23 Qian Men Dong Dajie • 170 0000 0288

The jazz club’s first branch in China.

5. Dada

prac_info 183 1108 0818 • 206 Gulou Dong Dajie

Super-hip DJ lounge and mini club import from Shanghai.

6. Hot Cat Club

prac_info 6400 7868 • 46 Fangjia Hutong

This compact pub is the mainstay of Beijing's live Indie music scene.

7. Modernista

A 1920s-themed jazz and piano bar (see Modernista) that also serves Spanish tapas.

8. Temple Bar

prac_info 206 Gulou Dong Dajie • 131 6107 0713

This institution has live shows, a wide drink selection and late-night pub food.

9. East Shore Live Jazz Cafe

A classic pure jazz venue (see East Shore Live Jazz Café) with terrific views over Hou Hai.

10. Jianghu Bar

prac_info 7 Dongmianhua Hutong, Jiaodaokou Nan Dajie • 6401 5269

Cozy courtyard bar hosting jam sessions.


Jianghu Bar’s rustic interior

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