These are the best (and worst) bars to ghost your mates from

Don't blame us when you become a social pariah, though

Ghosting, the ninja, the Irish goodbye or the French exit – call it whatever geographically nebulous name you fancy – we're all familiar with the concept of needing to duck out of the sesh early, ideally without the mafan of convincing you're friends that you're a) too sloshed to stay any longer, b) too boring, c) are ditching them for another party or d) all of the above.

Not all bars are created equal, and some in Beijing are significantly easier than others to slip out from and be on your bike faster than your friends can call on you to order the next round. If a sneaky early night is on your radar, plan ahead with our handy guide to the best bars in Beijing to ghost from. Please note: this guide is intended for ditching groups of friends only; don't be a dick and leave a date hanging.

By Amy Hawkins


Jing A Brewpub Xingfucun

There are many things worth celebrating at the new Jing A: the food, the atmosphere, the extensive, warren-like layout. But if the first two features aren't doing it for you, the third will help you plan your escape. With plenty of rooms to 'just take a peek into' dotted around the place, you'll lose your bathroom buddy in no time. There's even another set of doors to exit through, from which you can turn a firm 180 degrees from the smokers out front, and walk the long, cold, solitary road into the night.

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57 Xingfucun Zhong Lu (Xingfucun, --select--)


If you've already made it to Dada, you're hardly slipping away early, but the nocturnal adrenaline can make goodbyes harder and hugs tighter, so it's reassuring to know that Gulou's premier sweatbox is perfect for ghosting from. With low lights, ample crowds and a circuitous layout, carving out space for a boogie can seamlessly turn into a disappearing act. Plus, the toilets are outside.

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206 Gulou Dong Dajie (below Temple Bar) (Miyun county)

Temple Bar

It's worth considering while moshing in the smoke and sweat-filled fire disaster waiting to happen that is Temple whether in fact you've already ghosted your own soul, such is the despair that awaits you the following morning. But if such existential angst ain't your jam, rest assured that the hectic revellers and downstairs bathrooms make it all too neasy to 'go out for some fresh air' and never return.

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206 Gulou Dong Dajie (Miyun county)

Capital Spirits and The Distillery

This cosy-yet-sophisticated hutong bar at first seems a rather conspicuous choice for a French exit. Yet with the secondary room to investigate, and the hutong blessing/curse of outdoor – and in this case quite far away – toilets, you can pop out suspicion-free, head home, and face the wrath tomorrow morning, insisting that your 'phone died'.

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95 Longfusi Dajie (Dongcheng, Dongcheng)


Rather than having to duck out to a grimy hutong toilet, a night at Equis will leave you both pampered in the bathroom department and with nearly an acre of decadent bar space to get lost in. There are five separate zones of revelry here that demand exploration; and while you're at it, why don't you explore that very nice lift that whisks you down to the lobby.

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48 Liangmaqiao Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)

Little Creatures

Located on the first floor of Yu, there's no getting boxed in at this cheery, thoroughly concrete bar. Blessed with not one, not two, but three (!) exits and an open plan layout that leads to other places to eat and toilets located upstairs, Little Creatures is a haven for hiders. With these many choices for excuses, maybe you'll end up staying out of indecision.

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Chunxiu Lu (Chaoyang, --select--)


The Tiki Bungalow

Critics' pick

The new and improved Tiki Bunglow is at least 50 percent bigger than the original, and seems to be designed with easier exits in mind. The entrance sits between the two drinking spaces, across which groups will naturally spread out as the night goes on. This scenario is perfect for having everyone assume that you're with someone else, although the bar is still ultimately cosy so make sure to put some distance between yourself and the bar pronto if you don't want to be called back into the party.

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46 Fangjia Hutong (enter from Jiaodaokou Bei Santiao, next to Peiping Taphouse) (Beixinqiao, Dongcheng)


Nina at first seems like a tricky spot to escape from – the small, square, open space leaves little to the imagination, and the bar is at the opposite end to the door, making your direction clear when you get up from the table. That said, it's one of the few hutong bars left with a decent outdoor space, so cop a fag on the terrace before following your smoke away into the night. Plus, the toilets are outside.

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66 Beiluoguxiang (Chaoyang, --select--)


This sky high bar has stunningly clear views of the city outside and stunningly clear views of the glam clientele within. Come for the former, be foiled by the latter as you try to make your escape. It may feel like you're trapped by the 80 floors between you and the streets, taxis, freedom, etc, but you only need to make it to the lift to reach the sweet embrace of isolation and betrayal.

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1 Jianguomenwai Dajie (CBD, --select--)

Paddy O'Shea's

Beijing's premier Irish bar isn't exactly architecturally hospitable to snakes, with its open plan layout and a terrace fence that makes the distinction between Paddy's and not-Paddy's all too clear. But this is the kind of spot where everyone's likely to be too pissed to notice a loss from the gang, and there are frequently sports matches being screened, which you can helpfully add to the list of things that your friends care about more than you. Score.

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28 Dongzhimenwai Dajie (Changping)


The confusing layout here is a shirker's gift. The entrance is through the restaurant, up some stairs, through a room, then you reach a balcony from where you descend to the drinking and dancing area, with the bathroom up a little stairway yet again. Plenty of space to get 'lost' in, but you'll probably bump into someone you know on the way out.

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44 Baochao Hutong (Gulou, Dongcheng)



Critics' pick

This intimate first-floor bar in Yoolee Plaza is nigh on impossible to ninja out from. There is a single, small door that's in full sight of the handful of seats within, and the jumble of antique furniture, though cosy, makes it tricky to navigate and slip out undetected. The trickiest part though? Figuring out how to make a clean exit without stopping to pat Botany's resident doggy door greeter. 

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21 Gongti Bei Lu (Sanlitun, --select--)

Slow Boat Sanlitun Brewpub

Sanlitun's biggest pub at first seems pretty French exit-friendly – surely three floors provide ample opportunity for a ghostly goodbye. Unfortunately most of the action is up on the third floor, with the bathrooms and bar at the opposite end of the space to the wide, painfully open staircase that takes you excruciatingly slowly to the outside world.

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6 Sanlitun Nan Lu (Changping)

Great Leap Brewing Original #6

This cosy hutong joint is hopeless for ditchers for two reasons. Firstly, it's tiny, so your absence will be swiftly noticed. Secondly, every spot in the place offers full visibility of the rest of the set up, putting paid to any notions of sneaky maneuverings. Sure, the toilets are outside, but they're also totally in sight of anywhere in the front garden, which is where most of the seats are. So expect to be called back into the action post-wee, unless your friends are also secretly hoping that you'll disappear.

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6 Doujiao Hutong (Nanluoguxiang, Dongcheng)

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  • 4 out of 5 stars