Grab Hutong Eats

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Hot Bean Cooperative
When it comes to chicken wings, it’s all about the sauce and Hot Bean Cooperative has them all: honey, garlic, tomato and “wickedly spicy.” Their melt-in-your-mouth wings are served in pairs on a Chinese-style skewer, but there’s more than meat at this eatery. Sides like creamy mashed taters, sticky mangoes, and baby octopus in wasabi jelly make for a well-rounded meal. Avoid the hutong hipsters and dine in the daytime.

Daily 10am-10pm. Chaodou Hutong (50m north of Jiaodaokou Nandajie and Kuan Jie intersection), Dongcheng District (8401 6165) 东城区交道口南大街炒豆胡同

Kyline Pavilion
Treat your children to a history lesson while chomping on succulent grilled taro cakes in this Ming dynasty courtyard. Claypot meat stews and deep-fried breaded goose liver (don’t tell your children) are house specials, but their tangy eggplant dish is also a must-order. Remember to request a non-smoking table upon arrival.

Daily 10am-2pm, 5.30-9.30pm. 6 Qilin Bei Hutong, Kuan Jie, Dongcheng District (6407 3516) 东城区宽街麒麟碑胡同6号

Vineyard Café
Despite their extensive menu, it’s the brunch options that make this charming hutong café a weekend favorite. Try the eggs benedict with salmon or a full English breakfast. So popular is this little café that it’s almost impossible to get a table without a reservation, so plan ahead.

Tue-Sun 11.30am-11.30pm. 31 Wudaoying Hutong (just north of the Confucius temple), Dongcheng District (6402 7961) 东城区五道营胡同31号

Eat Greek at kid-friendly Argo. The ultimate shareable cuisine, dip fresh warm breads into generous serves of baba ghanoush and hummus as your little ones play in the kids’ corner. All of your Greek favorites are here, but if giant plates of moussaka are too much for little mouths, opt for the kids menu.

Daily 11.30am-11pm. 59 Wudaoying Hutong (100 meters west of Vineyard Café), Dongcheng District (8403 9748) 东城区五道营胡同59号

Hutong Pizza
If you and your family accomplish unraveling this hutong maze, there is a prize inside – Hutong Pizza’s delicious, thin crust pizzas. Your kids will gladly sink their teeth into these gooey-cheese pies that come in Mediterranean, Margherita, eggplant, and more. When you’re stuffed to the gills, head to Houhai for a scenic stroll or a ride on a paddleboat.

Daily 11am-11pm. 9 Yindingqiao Hutong, Xicheng District (8322 8916) 西城区银锭桥胡同9号

This article is excerpted from beijingkids August 2011 issue. View it in PDF form here or contact to find out where you can pick up your free copy.

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