Beijing's best al fresco dining spots

We recommend the best spots for dining outdoors in Beijing

With its abundant roof terraces and courtyards, Beijing is the perfect city for al fresco dining when the warmer weather hits. Lap up the sun with our picks of the best spots to eat outdoors in the city.

Gulou

Toast at The Orchid

Gulou views and hutong cool at The Orchid's rooftop restaurant. You can't go wrong with the brunch menu, which includes hummus, handmade sausages and shakshuka.

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65 Baochao Hutong

Café Zarah

Smack in the middle of Gulou, this hip café is freelancer central: laptops, lattes and loads of sunshine.

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46 Gulou Dong Dajie (Miyun county)

Dali Courtyard

An old favourite for Yunnanese dining in the hutongs. Dali's courtyard is so damn pretty they even put it in the name. Be sure to try the grilled Yunnan-style cheese, prawns fried with lime-leaves and tea and the spicy beef with mint.

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67 Xiaojingchang Hutong (Miyun county)

King's Joy

High-end vegetarian cuisine in a refurbished Lama Temple mansion complex with candelbras and a full-time harpist (seriously).

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2 Wudaoying Hutong (Miyun county)

Sanlitun

Moka Bros (Sanlitun)

The convergence of youth, beauty and semi-employment; pumping beats, kale salads and open laptops. Gorge yourself on the banana pancakes, avocado breakfast sandwich and the milkshakes.

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81 Sanlitun Lu (Changping)

Mosto

Funky beats and a popular weekend brunch, with tables outside for when the weather's right. Don't miss the Wagyu beef burger. 

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81 Sanlitun Lu (Changping)

The Taco Bar

Critics' pick

Taco and tequila dispensary with a great happy hour and a terrace ideal for parties. 

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Nan Sanlitun Lu (Changping)

Element Fresh (Sanlitun)

Staple Western fare that never lets you down with healthy options and plenty of locations. Check out the terraces at the Sanlitun and Lido branches, and try the laffa bread salad, the breakfast burrito and the smoothies.

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19 Sanlitun Lu (Changping)

Tienstiens

The winding floors at this excellent French patisserie flood out into a gorgeous rooftop, complete with blankets and charming lights for when the sun sets. 

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Courtyard 4 Gongti Bei Lu

Liangmaqiao

Arrow Factory Brewing

Fantastic views of the Liangma River, plenty of light and a spacious rooftop at this Beijing microbrewery. Eat anything in sausage form.

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Liangmahe Nan Lu (Changping)

Great Leap Brewing #45 Brewpub

Critics' pick

New York-style pizzas and craft brews as well as a peaceful, shady terrace to while away a Sunday afternoon eating fried chicken platters from their Country Bunker Chicken Brunch (which is only served at the weekends).

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45-1 Xinyuan Jie (Changping)

Maison FLO (Formerly Brasserie FLO)

Critics' pick

French eatery with fabulous bakery, live seafood bar and Parisian elegance – the garden is made for springtime sipping. Anything from the bakery is worth its weight in butter (in a good way).

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18 Xiaoyun Lu (Changping)

Green Cow City Café

A hidden café with top-notch organic eats slinging all manner of organic foodstuffs and top-notch chow in Jiuxianqiao. Expect organic pizzas, bagels and ricotta pancakes.

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Courtyard behind building 13 Sanfangjie (Changping)

Bistro 108

The car-park connoisseurs over in Liangmaqiao have been reppin' their concrete terrace for just over a year now, but summer 208 is surely the season in which the rest of Beijing finally catches up. It may not look like much on first sight, but this secluded embassy spot serving classic French fare is a low-key spot to enjoy a juicy hunk of meat and much wine under the setting sun.

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Qicaibeilu

Bottega Jinshang

Bottega mark II had its sceptics at first – who'd want to trot to an unremarkable hospital complex for their dinners delizioso when there's so much buzz to be found in Sanlitun? Naysayers were soon quieted however by the Italian dreamscape that the Bottega bosses have crafted in this spacious venue, which, blessedly, now includes an embarassment of outdoor seating to while away the summer nights in. With a solid line-up of parties and events scheduled for the coming months, there's only one place to disco al fresco this summer in Beijing.

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20 Xinyuanli Xi

798

CBD

Bistrot B

Critics' pick

The Rosewood Beijing's French masterpiece is pure brunch bliss, and the terrace elevates it to a whole other level. Order the Dover sole meuniere, steak tartare and oysters.

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1 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie (Changping)

Migas Mercado

The CBD spawn of our dearly departed Sanlitun favourite, Migas Mercado boasts one of the most impressive terraces in Beijing, which stunning urban views to boot. Dinner under the watchful eye of the CCTV building, anyone?

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1 Jianguomenwai Dajie (Changping)

Xicheng

Bear Brew

Beijing's best rooftop is officially open and it's officially in Xicheng. This cosy, unassuming café is a sweet hutong spot on the lesser-trodden side of town, but head skywards to discover where the real magic happens: in the shadow of the White Cloud Pagoda, or Baitasi, this slatted rooftop is a perfect spot for a latte in the sun and an increasingly rare hutong skyline.

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26 Baitasi Dong Jiedao

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