So it begins. My hunt for the best cafes in Beijing! I will be here all the way through August 2017 for work. As you can imagine, that leaves me with many weekends to explore the best of Beijing. I’ve already done most of the sightseeing during our trip middle of last year (Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven). So this time, it’s time to venture into the world of cafes & coffee.
Being a foreigner, navigating life in Beijing can be pretty tough, especially with all the blocked websites that we heavily rely on. The only resources we have to find out more about Beijing are limited to websites like timeout, quora and some blogs. Nevertheless, I did some research for cafes to go and Soloist Coffee seemed to be popping up everywhere. Thus, I made my way to Qianmen for my very first stop, Soloist Coffee.
- Take the train to Qianmen Station
- Walk into Qianmen Street
- About 5 minutes in, walk into Dashilar/Dashilan Street (Lar or Lan? Not sure. Websites are pretty inconsistent)
- Turn right when you can, then turn left when you can
Not the best guide for explaining how to get to the cafe but I hope the map below makes up for it 😛
Qianmen is a long shopping street with rustic building designs incorporating modern and up to date fashion brands. The cafe is located at a street that branched out from the main shopping street – Dashilar. It’s located in a small little hutong (alleyway).
There’s no huge signboard so be sure to remember this picture above or look for their little worn out signage. The cafe is almost hidden. You would never expect such a popular cafe to be in such a place.
Upon entering, you can either place your order immediately at their counter or secure a table before ordering.
Their coffee prices are on the high side – 40 yuan for a Cappuccino. But if this place has been getting praises for their coffee, I’m more than happy to give it a try.
They also serve food for lunch/brunch/snacks where you have the option to order a set meal.
There are two floors in this cafe, so I went up to take a peek.
Honestly, it was pretty warm outside. They must’ve had a lot of sunscreen on.
So, what’s the verdict for the coffee? I’d say it’s definitely on par with one of the best coffee I’ve had so far. The texture was very smooth and light with subtle flavours. On their receipt, they noted down that “Good coffee is worth drinking without sugar” and I absolutely agree with this statement. The best coffee I’ve had did not need any sugar at all – just a perfect balance between properly brewed coffee and milk.
That’s everything I ordered though. I simply came here just for that cup of coffee. Didn’t have the stomach to eat anything else cause I came straight after lunch.
Was it worth it? Yes. The experience of coming to Soloist Coffee Co is not just the coffee itself, but also venturing into a small little hutong and discovering a gem in a place that you would never expect. On top of that, the ambience of the cafe was pretty cozy and the coffee is great – the perfect place for a catch up.
Stay tuned for the next cafe hunt!