Hidden hutongs: Nanluoguxiang

Explore Nanluoguxiang's side alleys for some hidden gems


Yeah, yeah - you've seen Nanluoguxiang, Beijing's most tourist-friendly street, a million times. But what about its side alleys? Read on for some oft-missed gems

2012

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Its name might be out of date pretty soon, but this little bar doesn’t care – it’s too damn quirky to dig what the mainstream thinks, maaan. From the silver arms sticking out of its front to the top-hat lamps in the main room, 2012 is an all-out exercise in kitsch. We especially like the back room, where you can kick back with a drink and idly toy with a plasma ball while admiring the kooky, movie-themed displays.
2012 61 Xiaoju’er Hutong, Dongcheng district. Open 1pm-12am daily. (156 0118 0101). 东城区小菊兒胡同61號

Great Leap Brewing

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A real hidden gem, this courtyard bar offers several absolutely delicious draught beers, ranging from honey-flavoured brews to India pale ales. They’re reasonably priced – at 25-50RMB, they’re less than what you’d pay for, say, a Guinness elsewhere. It’s tricky to find, but it’s well worth a leap of faith.
Great Leap Brewing 6 Doujiao Hutong, off Di'anmenwai Dajie, Dongcheng district. Open 5pm-10pm Tue-Fri; 2pm-10pm Sat; 2-10pm Sun. (5717 1399) 东城区豆角胡同6号院

Suzuki Kitchen

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This dinky Japanese place is still relatively new, but has managed to drum up good business among the student population thanks to its wallet-friendly menu and big, stomach-filling portions.
Suzuki Kitchen 77 Xiaojuer Hutong (off Nanluoguxiang), Dongcheng district. Open 10.30am-2pm; 5.30-9.30pm daily. (6403 1518). 铃木食堂,东城区小菊儿胡同77号

Tan

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Tan offers up a fine selection of CDs by local bands such as Pet Conspiracy and Wu & The Side Effects, as well as vintage typewriters, summery clothing and – for reasons unclear – a selection of plastic Smurfs. It’s well worth perusing.
Tan 5 Heizhima Hutong, Dongcheng district. Open 11.30am-11pm daily. (6402 2756). 东城区黑芝麻胡同5号

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