Bear Brew is the café of hutong dreams, the likes of which are now rarely found in the expat heartland of Gulou. Tucked into a ribbon of alleyways just underneath the White Cloud Pagoda, Bear Brew is – gulp – chic yet cosy. The small space fits the bill of bright and airy hipster spot, but is made a touch homelier by the impressive display of succulents and the not-so-cool plastic patio doors. There’s also a small garden and a dreamy rooftop, with one of the city’s best views, onto the aforementioned pagoda.
The menu here is all about coffee, with twists such as a Dirty (25RMB), which we learn is iced milk with a shot of espresso added on top. The coffee is both good and good value, although there is an ice drip number for 45RMB, if that’s what you’re into. Food-wise, don’t expect much – there is a small selection of cakes, most of which were unavailable on the day we visited. But vibes-wise, you’re onto a winner.
Good for A rooftop brew with a touch of lao Beijing; Working – a friendly atmosphere and fast WiFi will have you spending a whole day here.
Coffee and cake for one Around 65RMB