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Building 4, Nan San Li Tun Lu (Sanlitun)
(86) 010-6586-9507 | www.beijingbookworm.com
BEST FORLunch; dinner; quick bite; dessert; coffee
PRICE (APPETIZER; ENTRÉE)RMB 20-50; RMB 25-100
FAMOUS PLATESSandwiches; desserts
DRINKS AND WINEConnoisseur wine list; whiskey selection; cocktails; fresh juices and smoothies
# OF SEATS50-75
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
Sunny lending library-cum-café where expats sip cappuccinos and nibble Euro-style light bites in a cozy series of rooms lined with stuffed-to-bursting bookshelves. A jam-packed events schedule–encompassing everything from history seminars and film screenings to pub quizzes and children’s story hour–has made The Bookworm this city’s de facto Western-expat cultural center as well. In the evenings, the lights are dimmed and a snazzy cocktail menu rolled out for the networking set.
The expat literati, a cultured mix of students, “Old China Hands,” creative types, and professionals. Families with kids are a common sight on the weekends, especially when there are children’s events running.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Whatever you like. We’d wear comfy standbys, like our favorite jeans, clogs, and a cute sweater.
GO HERE WITH
Friends; family; kids
WHY WE LIKE IT
The hip, buzzing vibes are the big draw–we like coming for the special events and mingling with the cultural upper crust of the expat set. On quiet weekday afternoons, it’s also a great spot to settle down with a good book and a sophisticated drink or to bring your laptop to get some work done in a pleasant environment.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
On weekends, it gets way too crowded; unless you fancy enjoying your book and coffee smushed in standing-room-only surrounds, stay away.
GOOD TO KNOW
The Bookworm can be a little tricky to find. It’s on a tiny side street just south of the intersection of Gong Ti Bei Lu and San Li Tun Nan Lu. Keep an eye peeled for its lemon-yellow façade and huge sign. If you’re interested in attending an event, check their website for listings. Note that event tickets must be purchased in advance at The Bookworm (RMB 20/member; RMB 30/for non-member). They also run a small bookshop on site, mainly stocking China-related fiction, non-fiction, and travel guides.
Shunyi; Suzhou; Chengdu
Element Fresh (Beijing)
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