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5 brilliant bars in Beijing to check out this month

Sip a tipple at these new(ish) bars in Beijing

Image: courtesy of The Vending Machine
Need somewhere new to take your boo this weekend? Maybe you've become such a regular at your local that they have your drink ready before you sit down. Or perhaps you just want to sample something a little different in this big ol' city of ours. Whatever your reasons, head to one (or all) of these spots this weekend to have a drink in a different den.

Ginger

Ginger-infused cocktails are, quite literally, the name of the game at this Sanlitun drinkery. Self-described as a dive bar, Ginger’s doing its part to live up to expectations with its range of affordably priced cocktails (by Beijing standards, that is), pared-back drunk foods and manic jumble of donated artwork.

With an approach to interior design that can only be best described as everything including the kitchen sink, recline amongst palm trees, mannequins and a portrait of Sting before hitting the dance floor (weekends are dedicated to house music).

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Xindong Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

The Vending Machine

Deriving inspiration from its namesake, this tricked-out bar from the pros behind The Black Moth features a hidden entrance behind a wall of vending machines, a dizzying array of neon lights, Plastered 8 artwork and arcade machines equipped with ready-to-play retro classics.

If that sounds like there’s a lot going on, that would be because there is. Even the drinks veer slightly left field, with a menu based around draft cocktails coming in flavours such as Eucalyptus Fizz and Macadamia Nut Milk. Is this the future of bars? Who knows. The Vending Machine certainly isn’t playing around, even if we were. 

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7 Gongti Xi Lu (Gongti, --select--)

Great Leap Brewing Lido

Great Leap's newest location in Lido offers beer drinkers just another reason to celebrate the weekend. With all of the regular and seasonal beers on tap, as well as house-made ginger soda and nine taps for guest beers, this swanky watering hole is leaping for greatness. To make the deal even sweeter for those headed east, Great Leap's menu features all your usual favourites, but with the addition of a delicious, fully loaded Reuben sandwich (100RMB), which, quite frankly, is worth making the trip to Lido alone.

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2A Jiangtai Lu (Lido, --select--)

The Merchants

Hanging out behind China's national art gallery, this sleek wine bar provides a quiet, sophisticated air for those who want to taste wines from a specially curated selection. Sourced from some of the finest producers across the globe, The Merchants' wine collection is something to behold, and us punters can choose to either taste by the glass (50-650RMB) or the bottle (300-3,000RMB). If you're feeling decidedly more than peckish, go all in for their eight-course set menu that changes daily and relies on locally sourced ingredients.

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77 Meishuguan Houji (Dongcheng, Dongcheng)

Da Xiao (Beiluoguxiang)

Da Xiao – arguably one of our favourite coffee shops in Beijing – has opened a new branch in Beiluoguxiang. Ordinarily exciting news in itself, this time round Da Xiao’s teamed up with aptly named craft brewers Crafters to offer both coffee and beer. Expect the same excellently made, well-priced coffees alongside Beijing-brewed ciders, IPAs, ales and meads from the newest brewers on the block. 

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12 Qianfuxiang (Gulou, Dongcheng)

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