Beijing's best outdoor bars

The city's prime spots to sip a drink in the open air

Miles Rong
Make the most of the warmer weather by taking in the views and the fresh air with a drink in hand. Whether you fancy the cosy atmosphere of a hutong courtyard or want somewhere to take in the breathtaking views of Beijing from above, there's a bar for you. Here's our pick of the best spots for al fresco drinking in Beijing.

Sanlitun

Buona Bocca

Critics' pick

A chic Italian wine bar and aperitivo hangout off the main drag in Sanlitun with a great wine list. You're here for the Prosecco and the negronis. 

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Xingfu Sancun Sixiang Xingdong Lu

Jing A Taproom 1949

The 1949 courtyard beer hall has a strong pull for the young professional crowd, offering cheeky branding, quality brews and a solid events programme. The outdoor courtyard ain't bad, either. Be sure to try the Tuhao Gold Pilsner and the Workers' Pale Ale.

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Courtyard 4 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Miles Rong Bar

A massive rooftop in a less traffic-stricken corner of Sanlitun slinging cocktails from the notorious bar maestro Mr Ming. Have an old fashioned or a strawberry cooler and watch the sunset over Sanlitun's revellers and the embassy district's diplomats, who are perhaps one and the same.

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4-5 Sanlitun Dongsanjie (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

The Bookworm (书虫)

One of the city's most popular places to relax with a glass of white wine and a good book, The Bookworm's rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to while away the summer months.

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4 Sanlitun Nan Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

InfraRouge

Tapping into the chic gastrolounge vibes its sister bar in Shanghai is famed for, this sleek venue combines people-watching with date-night perfect views across Taikoo Li.

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Sanlitun Lu

Unico

Critics' pick

Unico sits atop the Topwin Centre, and although it’s only on the fifth floor, the south-facing CBD views are still pretty lit, especially at night. Floor to ceiling windows make the most of the urban vista, but what’s especially smashing about this joint is that the views within the bar are stylish to a T. 

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1 Sanlitun Nan Lu

Mesh

Housed in Sanlitun's boutique chic Opposite House hotel, Mesh’s seductive lighting, artsy décor and relaxed outdoor patio continue to draw an immaculately dressed crowd of high earners. 

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11 Sanlitun Lu (Sanlitun, Chaoyang)

Gulou

Great Leap Brewing Original #6

Critics' pick

The original gangster of the Beijing craft brewing scene, the charming hutong mothership belies its proximity to the nth circle of hell that is Nanluoguxiang. Unlike the other GLB bars, Number 6 doesn't serve food, but they do let you waimai in your eats from elsewhere.

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6 Doujiao Hutong (Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng)

Café Zarah

A marvellous outdoor experience. Gulou's number-one hipster spot may be verging on hackneyed, but we reckon summer in its exceedingly pleasant al fresco digs will pull it back from the brink. A sun-drenched interior courtyard, with a glass roof for smoggy days, is (roughly) centred around a looming oak tree. 

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46 Gulou Dong Dajie (Gulou, Dongcheng)

CBD

Migas Mercado

Migas Mercado is, like everything these days, in China World Mall, offering the requisite awesome views of the surrounding urban vista. It is also something of a vista in itself, being totally freakin’ huge – the sprawling terrace bar itself seems to go on for miles.

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1 Jianguomenwai Dajie (CBD, Chaoyang)

Blue Frog (CBD)

The newest venue of the popular hamburger joint at China World Mall offers a rooftop terrace and great views of the CCTV tower.

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1 Jianguomenwai Avenue

Mei bar

The party palace at the Rosewood is the new destination for Beijing’s young and wealthy set.

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Chaoyang beijie, Hujialou (CBD, Chaoyang)

798

O'Bar

A fancy spot at Lido's NUO Hotel with a massive terrace sporting private bungalows and plenty of pretty people. Knock back the delicious cocktails while taking in the views.

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2A Jiangtai Lu

Xian

The extensive bar attached to EAST Beijing hotel has plenty of live music, pizzas and a full games room for private events. Head over for their top-notch selection of all things barrel-aged.

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22 Jiuxianqiao Lu (Liangmaqiao, Chaoyang)

Liangmaqiao

Equis

At 3,600 square metres, or just shy of an acre, social lounge-cum-celebrity receptacle Equis doesn't want for room – nor rooms, for that matter. Its sprawling 180-person outdoor courtyard is as expansive as the menu and alone justifies a visit.

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48 Liangmaqiao Lu

Arrow Factory Brewing

Even before you consider the reliably tasty brews, central location and gorgeous rooftop terrace, Arrow Factory Brewing Taproom is worth stopping by for the food alone.

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Liangmahe Nan Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Paulaner Bräuhaus

At this Bavarian-themed eatery, diners can enjoy authentic German food and plenty of home-brewed beer in a casual outdoor terrace.

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50 Liangmaqiao Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

Chaoyang Park

Jing A Beer Garden (Damei)

This summer pop-up at Damei Central Plaza has the capacity to fit roughly 80 people and offers up plenty of Jing A favourites such as their signature brews, fried chicken and cheeseburgers.

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7 Qingnian Lu

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