All this month, we’ll be introducing 50 picks for some of the best family-friendly restaurants in Beijing. These reviews originally appeared in the January/February 2013 issue of beijingkids (see end of post).
Type of cuisine: Vegetarian, Chinese
English menu? Yes
General kid-friendliness of menu: Baihe is a great option for vegetarian or health-conscious families. The dishes generally contain very little spice and emphasize fresh ingredients.
Best dishes for adults: Vegetarian mutton shashik (RMB 48), roasted fungi (RMB 68), stir-fried Japanese tofu (RMB 68)
Kids’ menu? No
Best dishes for kids: Pizza (RMB 58-98), qianceng bing (千层饼) or thousand-layer pancake (RMB 20), stewed pumpkin with lily bulbs (RMB 36), dry pot potato (RMB 36)
Kids’ play area? No
Play areas nearby: Nanguan Park (南管公园). To get there, walk east on Caoyuan Hutong until you reach Dongzhimen Beixiaojie. Cross the street and walk east along Xiyangguan Hutong (西羊管胡同) until you see Nanguan Park on your left. Alternatively, stroll west along Caoyun Hutong until you reach Yonghegong Dajie – a great neighborhood to explore on foot.
Kid-friendly staff? Yes, but not English-speaking and moderately attentive.
Bathroom: The bathroom features a clean sit-down toilet, but doesn’t have a changing table.
Seating: Baihe has indoor seating with tables and chairs; one section is in an open ceiling courtyard, with plenty of natural light streaming in. Highchairs and kid-sized chopsticks are available.
Price: RMB 300
Credit card accepted? Yes, both local and foreign (Visa only)
Must-order item: Any of their cleverly-disguised “meat” dishes. The “mutton” is actually made of mushrooms, while “fish” turns out to be beans and seaweed.
In a nutshell: Located in a quiet courtyard in Dongzhimen, Baihe Vegetarian continually surprises with its creative vegetarian fare. Though not cheap, the restaurant isn’t bound by Buddhist traditions and does employ garlic and onion in its cuisine. Even if you’re not overly hungry, Baihe is a suitable place to kick back and enjoy a warm pot of tea while getting some work done; the restaurant offers free Wi-Fi.
Also try: Elaine’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Xu Xiang Zhai Vegetarian Restaurant, Tianchu Miaoxiang