The cafe sits along a bustling wet market in Dashanzi. It was a bit tricky to find, but the contrast between the peaceful inner courtyard and its chaotic surroundings made brunch taste that much sweeter.
Green Cow Cafe is in a very local area just southeast of Indigo Mall. Assuming you’re coming from Lido, the easiest way to get there is to take Jiuxianqiao Lu (酒仙桥路) and turn right (north) on Jiuxianqiao Nanlu (酒仙桥南路).
Turn right (south) again at the next T-intersection (confusingly, the road is still called Jiuxianqiao Nanlu).
Keep going straight until you reach the market area called Sanjie Fang (三街坊). Green Cow City Cafe will be on your left, sitting a bit further back from the road. You’ll recognize it from its turquoise metal doors and the sign that says "Green Cow."
The first thing you’ll see upon entering the cafe is a small courtyard with a couple of picnic tables and umbrellas.
The restaurant was quite busy for Sunday brunch, so we opted to sit outside. The staff was nice enough to bring out an oscillating fan and a steady supply of cold lemon water.
We were given two menus – a brunch menu and a regular menu – which we had to tick off and give to the wait staff. The brunch menu was a la carte with an extensive selection of bagels, toppings like cream cheese and smoked salmon, eggs, sides like yogurt and fruit, coffees, and teas.
Dishes are made with organic produce from Green Cow Organic Farm, so you can rest easy about taking the kids. Prices were on the higher side (RMB 30-45 per item on average), but not outrageous considering the wholesomeness and quality of the ingredients.
Brunch cost RMB 240 for two people. We had:
- 2 iced coffees
- 1 order of ricotta pancakes (two per plate)
- 2 sesame bagels with plain cream cheese and salmon
- 1 bowl of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
Service was friendly and accommodating, if a bit slow due to brunch hours. There’s a composting toilet onsite, so don’t worry about having to wander out into the wet market in search of a public bathroom.
Green Cow City Cafe
Tue-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-8pm. South of Bldg 13, Sanjie Fang, Jiuxianqiao, Chaoyang District (6435 9561) 朝阳区酒仙桥三街坊13号楼南侧
Sijia Chen is a contributing editor at beijingkids and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, education, travel, environment, and culture. Her work has appeared in The Independent, Midnight Poutine, Rover Arts, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @sijiawrites or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Sijia Chen