The old lanes and alleyways of Beijing’s Xicheng District have long been home to the locals of Beijing. However, the area has undergone huge changes since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Nowadays, in addition to the original authentic local shops and eateries in this area, it has become a place of cultural convergence where Chinese and Western culture exist side by side, creating a unique blend of both modern and traditional ways of life.
Besides the main tourist attraction in Beijing’s Xicheng area, like The Bell and Drum Tower, you will find countless small specialty restaurants and eateries to choose from. Along with the countless diners in the restaurants, you’ll also spot lots of people with laptops whiling away the hours in the various coffee shops. You really can see a little bit of everything here, but even among the many eye-catching cafes and shops, Cafe Zarah stands out. With its gray exterior, wooden furniture, and the structure of an original building found in the old lanes of Beijing, the simple European style of Cafe Zarah is not a common sight for passing locals who are attracted by its unique design.
Upon entering, you will see an L-shaped bar that fits in with the traditional style. Make your way over to the bar and you’ll see that, while they definitely serve coffee, there are also plenty of other things to enjoy, like a selection of sandwiches, pasta dishes, and a wine list for which Cafe Zarah has become famous. It really is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Cafe Zarah is also a great place to spend an evening, where you can often find live music performances by local bands and musicians from all over the world.
If you enjoy the fusion of Chinese and Western food, check out Aroma international restaurant, Asia Bistro for authentic Asian food, Roombeijing for Western dishes, Oyster Talks for oysters, or Peacock Alley for afternoon tea.