How is your summer so far? OK! Right, it’s still ‘’rainy cool spring’’ for some of my readers, so… #SorryNotSorry!
That doesn’t stop you to enjoy a nice brunch, does it? Maybe not outside because of the rainy days you may go through (or snowy ones?), still spring & summer bring back the sun and the season of #Brunch.
I think I’ve always loved brunch: this idea of big fat & rich breakfast with fresh orange juice and… champagne and macarons! I see you drooling a bit guys! Even before Gossip Girl era, brunches were juicy and full of gossip. Then it became a trend, and god we love it! You can finally appreciate a brunch in a nice place even if you are not part of the Upper East Side close circle. Same here, in Beijing, as nowadays, at 10 am, it is already above 20/25° Celsius. On a sunny Sunday morning, what would be better than greasy eggs served on a golden slice of bread? Add to that a bagel and a glass of freshly pressed lemon juice. #YUMMY
Still, brunch usually means food, alcohol and… terrace. Tricky in China, especially in the North, where the sun is actually an enemy for the Chinese skin. You have to know that tanning here isn’t something that Chinese like to do… they’d rather stay out of the sun and away from a darker/golden skin. Indeed summer starts mid-April, that doesn’t mean bar and restaurant owners will open up huge terraces so you can enjoy the sunny hot day. Here, it mostly happens inside. If you are looking for outside tables, I can give you some good address though.
As I told you up here, Beijing gets warmer and warmer in a matter of… days. Spring is a short season, temperatures reaching 25 to 30° early in April/May. Indeed, there is time to plan nice brunches all over the city. On that last Labor Day, my friends and colleagues asked me to join them in that occasion. And we found the perfect spot in the heart of the Chinese capital: 1949 – Tap Room (京A).
Located in Sanlitun, the European district is this nice area full of Westerner shops, coffee place, bars & restaurants; among them, 1949, which is one of the best terraces in town. Indeed it is in the center of an animated and loud neighborhood, still, the originally Brewer Bar is, somehow, protected from the noisy horns and cars engine. Here, it is a greened-grass and some #streetart & sculptures, nothing else. A gallery and a restaurant around, Tap Room is a beer bar where you can actually eat delicious westerner plates in the afternoon or the evening. A lot of people usually come here on Fridays or Saturdays as the area is the best place to warm up before a night out in Sanlitun’s nightclubs and trendy cocktail bars (more of that later).
On this day, we gathered to enjoy a peaceful breakfast sitting in the sun and eating American-made bagels and drinking Chinese green tea. As I said, not many restaurants will provide that kind of environment and outdoor service. Sanlitun is one of the fewest places where you can eat and drink outside. Q Mex (Mexican) & Home Plate & Blue Frog (American) are among the best bars to visit when you travel in Beijing. Still, brunch time happens in Tap Room, nowhere else. OK, maybe somewhere else, but let’s focus on that one first.
I mentioned that it was a nice quiet area, which means it is surrounded by big buildings and not that easy to find even for people who live here. Don’t worry, I never keep a secret like this long: behind Comfort Inn & Suite hotel and ZhongYu Plaza, you can find this animated location and get it all done in a day (be aware of the number of bars and restaurants though…).
In term of finances, Sanlitun is one of the most expensive places in town. Still, from time to time, in order to appeal more foreigners, owners offer themed-menus where actually you won’t splash out all of your savings. 1949 is part of that discount policy, as it is for their brunch menu. Trust me, those salmon bagels were worth the trip, as the Scrambled-Eggs!
I went back a month later (last weekend) to see if there were any changes as Summer is actually here (from 20° to 30°C in a month in the morning). The gallery behind (Gallery 49) opened with new paintings and sculptures, as the terrace was overwhelmed especially because EVERYONE loves the brunch there! So a piece of advice: go early (around 9-9.30am) or take a reservation outside and try the Beergarita as well even if you have to work on Monday, it is worth it!
I leave you below the location and address and who knows, we may meet around a nice salad on a Sunday morning someday.
See you soon guys!
All pictures are mine (with my camera) and you can find more on my instagram account: @romain_blog