Summer is here, and you know what that means: lazy Sunday afternoons soaking in the sun. However, finding that perfect outdoor patio requires a bit more planning when there are kids involved. With that in mind, we round up the most family-friendly venues for alfresco dining, taking into consideration cleanliness, service, bathroom facilities, menu quality, and suitability for different ages.
For special occasions and indulgent brunches, it’s hard to beat Capital M’s wraparound patio with views of Qianmen. The weekend brunch (Sat-Sun 11.30am-3pm) offers great value at RMB 268 for two courses or RMB 298 for three courses, including a cocktail and bottomless tea or coffee. There’s also a kids’ menu.
Great Leap #45
Quieter than its bustling #12 counterpart on Xinzhong Jie, the Xinyuanli branch of Beijing’s preeminent craft brewery is a great place to enjoy a leisurely afternoon or refuel after a trip to Sanyuanli Market. Station yourself on the shade-filled rooftop patio and order one of the best pizzas in town – or, if you’re feeling brave, the fried chicken brunch for four (available only on weekends).
Located down a tiny alley off Baochao Hutong, this boutique hotel is one of the city’s worst-kept secrets. The hotel’s restaurant, Toast, now offers brunch (10am-2.30pm) every day except Tuesday to both guests and Beijing residents. Be sure to reserve if you want a table on The Orchid’s lovely patio.
Element Fresh (Various Branches)
An oldie but a goodie. The Sanlitun, Lido, and Solana branches of this popular chain are all well-suited to an afternoon of soaking in the sun. What’s more, the Indigo Mall branch has its own kids’ play area and is located right next to the sprawling, free, and American-designed Indigo Playground.
Spoonful of Sugar
This cafe’s Qianmen location makes it a bit of a stretch for most families, but its charm, healthy menu, quality of its coffee, and focus on sustainability makes it worth dropping by the next time you’re in the area. Head to the leafy rooftop patio, which offers panoramic views of surrounding Dashilar.
Palms LA Kitchen and Bar (Sanyuanqiao Branch)
Families don’t have to trek all the way to Gulou to enjoy Palms LA’s signature Korean-Mexican fusion food. As a bonus, only this branch has a breezy outdoor patio surrounded by trees. Tip: Replace your taco shells with crunchy cabbage for a Paleo or gluten-free meal.
There are only so many times we can invoke Zarah’s family-friendly weekend brunch, courteous service, and beautiful outdoor space before you should simply head there and experience it for yourself. Go on – the summer awaits!
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This article originally appeared on page 23 of the 2016 June-July Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact email@example.com.