Chocolate lovers will adore this lovely café tucked away in the heart of Shunyi. Rich dark chocolate mixed with steamed milk, served with a side of homemade marshmallows, make their signature hot chocolates a guilty pleasure. Customers can sample a bite of ganache, tempting the purchase of a 24-piece box. The café also boasts a variety of chocolates and desserts.
Daily 9am-6.30pm. 9 Kaifa Jie (600m north of New Exhibition Center), Xibaixin Zhuang, Shunyi District (8049 6496)
Hang out with the hipsters and yummy mummies at one of Beijing’s most pleasant cafés. Rotating art exhibitions set the stage for a range of good eats and drinks. Parents can expect an excellent espresso, families will love the German-style breakfasts, and kids will sigh with relief as they wrap their hands around a nice warm mug o’ cocoa.
Daily 9.30am-midnight. 42 Gulou Dongdajie, Dongcheng District (8403 9807)
Comptoirs de France
Arguably the best hot chocolate in town, why not pair your tasty beverage with a bite-sized mini tart or almond croissant? While there, stock up on those old-time Christmas favorites including Yule logs, chocolate Santas, gingerbread men and houses, and German Christmas stollen (sweet raisin bread).
Daily 7am-8.30pm. 1/F, East Lake Club, 35 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District (6461 1525)
See Directory for more locations.
French Cultural Center (Alliance Française de Pekin)
An often neglected Beijing fun spot, the French Cultural Center is packed with family-friendly features that even non-French speakers can enjoy. Parents can read a newspaper in the lending library while little ones browse French story books – with so many picture books available, language won’t be a problem. Meanwhile, the café offers Paris-grade coffee, sandwiches, croissants, and of course, deliciously hot chocolates.
18 Gongtixilu, Chaoyang District (6553 2678)
Nestled in the center of the trendy Village North, the main event at Colibri is their range of artisan cupcakes (RMB 23) – baked in-store using fine ingredients and topped with soft butter cream. For the kids, pair one of these sweet delights with a hot chocolate. For moms and dads, try a toasted panini and finish up with a rich espresso coffee.
Daily 10am-10pm. LG51, Sanlitun Village North, 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District