The best restaurant and bar openings in Beijing this March

All the restaurants and bars we're buzzing about this month

Image: The Music Bar at Hyatt Regency Wangjing
Spring’s well and truly here, bringing with it both warmer weather and a raft of intriguing new openings, not the least of which is Pushkin Literature, the newest addition to Gongti’s ever-packed main drag. If you happen to have recently passed by Yoolee Plaza, odds are the Russian restaurant’s already caught your eye – it’s hard to miss the two-storey-high portrait of Alexander Pushkin.

In hotel dining news, newly opened PuXuan Hotel and Spa has been making waves thanks to its ultra-luxe digs, central location and authentic French bistro Rive Gauche. While on the other side of town, Hyatt Regency Wangjing has finally opened the doors to all of its own signature restaurants and now boasts the likes of Cang Yue – a Chinese restaurant specialising in both northern and southern-style cooking – cocktail lounge The Music Bar, all-day dining restaurant Market Café and izakaya-style eatery Shunpachi.

rive gauche
Image: Rive Gauche

Out in Maizidian, the folks behind Japanese ramen chain Tetsu have launched their latest concept Gyu Tetsu, a Japanese barbecue and izakaya restaurant specialising in both high-quality beef and sake. Interested in a nightcap? Head on afterwards to Stir, a cosy neighbourhood speakeasy that serves up a refreshingly breezy menu of classic cocktails.

If eating less meat is on the agenda (or you’ve managed to reach your limit of Japanese barbecue), then check out Obentos’ newest branch in Lido, located just a couple doors down from the similarly new Great Leap Lido. Choose from a classic range of hearty bento boxes (that also come in vegetarian and vegan options), grain bowls, smoothies and more, all in cheery sun-lit confines.

Prefer something a little more #lit? Shuangjing’s newest, and brightest, addition comes in the form of Lit Lounge Bar, a swanky, two-storey bar where real flames actually encircle the bar. With its extensive gold trim, fake marbling and, oh yeah, actual fire, it’s all pretty #extra – not that we’re complaining. Expect Beijingers to be lured like boozy moths to a flame.

Meanwhile, things get a little more understated (relatively, that is) at Cue, which serves up contemporary Southeast Asian eats, as well as cocktails, in a sleek, neon-filled lounge. Later in the night also sees live DJs take over a separate dance-floor – head on over for excellent third-storey views out over Liangmaqiao, courtesy of an outdoor terrace.

WechatIMG8Image: Cue, courtesy of John H

For fans of Southeast Asian cuisine, Beijing’s been blessed with another two new additions in the form of Sanlitun street-style food hall Kup Kup Kup (try the sriracha chicken wings) and Singaporean fusion concept Tease by CreatureS. Located in Baishu Hutong, Tease offers a much-needed break from Wangfujing’s formal hotel dining scene – though its in-house bar La-Bar-Atory still means serious business. While you’re still in Wangfujing, here’s a helpful reminder that WF Central is also home to Southeast Asian restaurant Mulu's second branch, which offers up considerably swankier digs in comparison to its Xinsi Hutong counterpart – and a killer cocktail list to match.

Rumours currently abound of a new restaurant from the French fine dining pros at TRB, set to launch at the start of May in Chaoyang Joy City. Named Merci, TRB’s newest outing is set to separate itself from its siblings by focusing on authentic French bistro cuisine – we’re already starting to feel thankful. Continuing on our flight of French fancy, Beijing’s other titan of French dining, Flo, has launched its long, long-awaited (it was originally scheduled for last year) casual food court concept Miam Miam out in Sanyuanqiao’s Galleria Mall. Rather than focusing on French cuisine (as its name suggests), expect to find a vaguely hectic menu with Thai curry, burgers, pizza, noodles and more on offer.

Speaking of food courts, as we so often sadly are, Liangmaqiao’s new 7,000-square-metre food goliath Hello Mart is not only home to a café, bakery, supermarket, art gallery and pub, but also a sprawling food court. Diners can find hand-pulled noodles, four-tiered hamburgers (eat one in 15 minutes and it's free, or so the sign says) and dumplings. Shoppers can also choose from tanks of live seafood and have them cooked then and there – if you're into that.

Hello Mart 蔬菜区(1) (1)
Image: Hello Mart

Not everything can be about fine dining, thankfully, and sometimes only a sandwich will do. Next time the mood strikes, head on over to the recently opened Queenie's in Jiadaokou – just next door to Side Street – for the same down-and-dirty sandwiches and extensive beer selection we all know and love.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a food update without a sprinkling of closures, and this month comes in the form of beloved cocktail nook Botany. No news yet on whether the beleaguered bar will find another place to put down roots. Meanwhile, Beijing’s best, if only, Danish bakery Gertz has also closed its doors, leaving the city decidedly pastry deprived. Danish devotees can breathe easy however with the announcement that a new spot at 1949 is in the works (tentatively slated for April).

You might also like

See more
  • 4 out of 5 stars