Explore Beijing’s hutong and discover some hip spots
Bamboo Bicycles Beijing
26 Langjia Hutong
One of the best things about Beijing’s hutong is their unpredictability — down the charming Langjia Hutong, you’ll find a workshop where you can make bikes out of bamboo. The team behind the establishment holds regular classes, where people can learn to construct their own customized bamboo bikes (prices vary), while mingling with other nimble-fingered riders.
School Live Bar
53 Wudaoying Hutong
This scintillating sweatbox is Beijing’s coolest music venue — you won’t be able to walk through it without rubbing shoulders with the singer of some local rock band. Indie music abounds on stage, which acts as a great incubator for the city’s hottest new groups. Gigs take place most nights, so kick back, relax and let the beer and tunes flow until the early hours.
The Tiki Bungalow
46 Fangjia Hutong
Shuttered in early 2017 after a city clean-up, this brilliant tiki cocktail bar was resurrected soon after in a nearby spot. Some of the city’s most delicious drinks are back on the menu, mixed by staff wearing satisfyingly garish Hawaiian shirts. Try the Bungalow cocktail, a swish blend of dark gold and chocolate-infused rum, coconut water, fruit juices and vanilla extract.
16 Xinsi Hutong
Beijing’s only bar specializing in baijiu (Chinese sorghum wine) has recently opened in a new location. The original venue had earned a loyal following before a brick wall was built in front of it. At the new spot, the baijiu tipples and gin concoctions put it back on track to becoming the city’s baijiu hot spot once more.
Dusk Dawn Club
14 Shanlao Hutong
This hutong courtyard venue is home to great local acts, including the brilliantly named Boiled Hippo. It recently landed itself in hot water after staging a provocative art show. After a period of closure, the DDC is up and running again. Check in for gigs from local and international touring bands.
Crescent Moon Uighur Muslim Restaurant
16 Dongsi 6th Hutong
Many restaurants along 16 Dongsi 6th Hutong have shuttered, but not Crescent Moon, one of the city’s best Xinjiang-style eateries. In a quirk of lane house life, a Cultural Revolution-era car is parked on the same hutong. After enjoying the lamb skewers, head east at the exit to see this historical artifact.
This story first appeared in the October 2017 issue of Smile magazine.