This Italian chain is a favorite among expat families. They have an expansive menu of pastas, salads and soups, but it’s their pizza that put them on the map. Instead of a thick, doughy Pizza Hut-style crust, Annie’s opts for crispy and thin so you’ll fill up on toppings, not empty carbs. They have all the classics including pepperoni, but we recommend the Melanzane (eggplant) or the Prosciutto e Fungi. If the couch looks too good to leave, get the pizza delivered.
If you want culture and comfort food in one setting, try these square pizzas in a traditional Chinese courtyard setting. This restaurant in Houhai combines the tranquil ambiance of hutong Zen with the heartiness of Italian pizza and pasta; the result is the ultimate place to nurse your post-meal food coma. There are interesting pizza options, like roast chicken, but try their Pizza Margherita for a simple taste of delicious homemade goodness. Their veggie burger is rumored to be the best in Beijing –
another must-try if you still have stomach space!
Nearby the Tree
As its name suggests, this is the more tranquil and less smoke-filled cousin of the original pizzeria. Pasta is the specialty here, but its proximity to The Tree allows for ordering from the award-winning pizza menu. Although the second floor of Nearby the Tree has a comfortable bistro-style get-up, keep in mind that you can only order pizzas from the first floor. But order pizzas you must: Oozing mozzarella and rough-sliced pepperoni will have you asking for more.
If you’re wondering where to get Beijing’s biggest pies, this is the place to go. Kro’s Nest serves up the usual American fare, so order some cheese sticks, onion rings, and fried chicken as well. The newspaper-style menus are fun for kids and the selection of pizzas are extensive, to say the least, Design your own by choosing from an ingredients list and crust options like thin, original and Chicago. But a word of caution: Kro’s Nest is a popular place for a drink so kid-friendliness diminishes after 8pm. Go for lunch or an early dinner but don’t expect quiet family dinners.
Michael’s Place is a cozy neighborhood restaurant in Shunyi that prides itself on serving hearty Italian family dishes. Their menu features a long list of appetizers, as well as soup, salad, and pasta, but their pizza is freshly made in a brick oven and keeps the expat clientele coming back. The comfortable décor of the pizzeria makes you feel at home and is the place you would choose for a casual, frills-free meal. Those who want to stay homebound can take advantage of their fast delivery service. Dawn Lo