A long-loved institution in Baochao hutong (narrow alley), with home-cooked Yunnan staples like grilled goat’s cheese.
Baochao Hutong (100m north of Gulou Dongdajie)
Lamb skewers, baked flatbreads and other Xinjiang street eats a short walk from Gulou’s main drag.
16 Dongsi 6th Alley, DongSi, Dongcheng Qu, 100001
Vietnamese fare at a charming hutong courtyard restaurant. Dali Courtyard Xiaojingchang hutong’s brilliant Yunnan hideaway does daily-changing set courses.
Qiangliang Xixiang No.10, Dongcheng District
Wang Pang Zi Donkey Burgers
Delicious donkey-meat buns open 24 hours.
80 Gulou W Ave
Beijing’s coolest lane-house bar pays tribute to China’s fiery liquor, baijiu.
16 Xinsi Hutong, Dongcheng
School Live Bar
Beijing’s answer to legendary New York rock venue CBGB is the centre of the capital’s thriving live music scene.
53 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng
Craft beer with Chinese characteristics and three outposts in the city.
6 Doujiao Hutong, Di’Anmenwai Avenue, Dongcheng
The go-to night out for Beijing’s alt-indie cool kids. Free entry.
Ggulou East Street, 10007
The hangout of choice for the city’s laptop-latte creative set, with a tree-covered hutong courtyard and evening DJ sessions.
2 Gulou E St, Dongcheng
Likely Gulou’s best-made coffee, set on tourist-lite Wudaoying hutong close to the Confucius Temple.
Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng
Cosy cafe-bar that moonlights as an arthouse cinema, pulling a high-culture crowd.
64 Dongsishiyitiao, Dongcheng
Danish mid-century modern meets Chinese minimalism at this ace furniture store.
42 Guozijian St
Pronounced “fanji”, this minimalist designer furniture store is worth a look, if only for its quiet courtyard cafe.
Mega Mega Vintage
Beijing’s best vintage clothes store.
Bamboo Bicycles Beijing
David Wang’s Kickstarter-funded hutong workshop specialises in super-unique, bamboo-made bicycles.
Paint by Dongliang
The go-to concept boutique for young, up-and-coming Chinese designers.
Hip hutong hotel with a traditional Beijing courtyard, pretty garden and great in-house restaurant, Toast. Under $100, rooms are a bargain.
Beijing’s most design-y digs reboots a 1950s hutong into a very cool boutique hotel next to Houhai Lake, with a rooftop bar and an alley cafe.
Chinese New Year is 5 February