Beijing's best gift shops

Great gifts in these Beijing gems


Struggling to find the perfect Beijing gift for the person who has everything? Head to these unique Beijing present shops - including bike shops Brompton Junction and Natooke, and unique old Beijing food shop Liubiju - and you're sure to find some inspiration.


UCCA Store


798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang district See full address details


If wandering through one of 798’s more prestigious galleries inspires you to redecorate your home in obscure objets d’art, then the UCCA Store’s got your fix. From the artists’ corner – fitted out with a guard ’cause this is the real stuff, yo – you can pick up a red ‘memory sculpture’ by Chen Wenling (18,000RMB) or a Yang Maoyang bust (260,000RMB).


But there’s more than just the highbrow fine art. The store showcases a handful of contemporary Chinese designers as well as some old-school brands. Update your wardrobe with a Fake Natoo coat (5,880RMB), Dongtian & Maggie sunglasses (from 1,380RMB) or a pair of Shulong sneakers (80RMB). Read more




Three Stone Kite


25A Dianmen Xi Dajie, Xicheng district See full address details


We’ve loved this shop for years. A staple of the Houhai area, Three Stone Kite specialises in, wait for it… kites! Owner Liu Bin learned the traditional Chinese art from his grandfather over 20 years before opening shop in 2003.


Shaped as everything from swallows to dragons, these gorgeous paper kites start from 100-200RMB, while the topof- the-line ones cost over 10,000RMB.


On request, Liu can whip up custom designs and the shop occasionally offers kite-making courses. Even if you’re not taking them to the park for a day out, these kites make beautiful, decorative gifts. Read more




+86 Design


798 Art District, 4Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang district See full address details


Like Neo in the Matrix, make sure you follow the white rabbit – or in this case, the little blue or black bunny faces spray painted along the streets of 798.


Leading you into the centre of the art district, the +86 Design store – complete with its own mega-sized blue bunny – sells everything imaginable. Items include pieces by artist Wu Liangyan (30,000–54,000RMB), tea sets (588-3,500RMB), Marshall headphones (917RMB) and handmade, leather Züny stuffed animals that could double as doorstops (285– 525RMB). Read more




Concertino


4 Ju’er Hutong, Dongcheng district See full address details


We like what Concertino has been doing with its original branch on Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie for some time now. We like what’s happening at the new shop even more. This Ju’er Hutong branch of Concertino is half knick-knack store, half Western grocery. It’s a bit of a mish-mash of everything. Knickknacks are whatever strikes owner Yan Chulong’s fancy.


We grabbed a few neon stickers with ‘chaos’ written boldly in Chinese, though a velvety American flag blanket has its appeal. In the food and drink side, you’ll find everything from pasta and tomato sauce to tins of sardines and Ritter Sport bars, with prices comparable to Jenny Lou’s or April Gourmet. One wall of shelves is solely imported wines and beers.


Bread from Wekipedia bakery is delivered daily and, tucked in the corner, there’s a fridge full of cheese and a few cold beers. Yes, we’ll always have Chez Gerard on Jianchang Hutong, but we’re happy to see the baguette and cheese movement continuing its crawl westward. Read more




Liubiju


3 Liangshidianjie, Dongcheng district See full address details


There are a few branches around town, but we can’t get over the original one in Qianmen. Founded over 480 years ago, Liubiju is one of the oldest brands in the capital.


Pickles and other preserves ferment in deep white-and-blue ceramic vats while Beijingers hurry about stocking up on these condiments. We can’t imagine that the scene’s changed much from its early days.


The dry bean paste is perfect for a real old-Beijing zhajiangmian sauce for noodles, and you won’t be able to resist snacking on pickled cucumbers (jianghuanggua, 酱黄瓜) as you browse. Read more




LoOne Commune


30 Andingmennei Dajie, Dongcheng district See full address details


Like your photography strictly digital? Then you’d best keep walking right on past this Andingmenwai Dajie shop that’s devoted wholly to the realm of film and lomo cameras. If the idea of a vintage Polaroid or Hong Kongimported Holga sets you aflutter, however, then a venture to LoOne won’t be a wasted one.


A range of film, instant and lomo cameras (plus film and accessories) is stocked here, starting at 400RMB and ranging well into the thousands for more esoteric tastes. It’s grimier than Sanlitun’s Lomography shop (also a favourite), but that’s exactly why we love it. Read more




Today Art Museum gift shop


32 Baiziwan Lu, Chaoyang district See full address details


Review coming soon!







Natooke


19-1 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng district See full address details


Natooke is a fixed-gear bicycle and juggling ball shop. The bikes (from 2,800RMB) are held in high esteem locally. Bike rentals and juggling workshops also offered. Read more






Brompton Junction


L2-09 Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang district See full address details


Beijing's best spot for picking up a folding bike, the city's best protection against rampant bicycle theft. Read more

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