In the evening, it’s red lanterns as far as the eye can see. It’s not a hutong with those little hole-in-the-wall restaurants nor is it the open-air noodle or dumpling-type places with steam pouring out into the night and customers at stainless steel tables. Beixingqiao station comes up next to Gui Jie (ghost street in English) a wider road with proper traffic and a collection of modern restaurants, nice grills, seafood, some nicer noodle shops, and a few other misfits. It’s a good place for a promenade when you’re feeling a bit peckish.
On Beijing Subway line 5, Beixingqiao Station Exit D will put you on the street. Head east for the best of it. We stopped at a grill that remarkably sold German beer in bottles. And equally remarkably was out of it the day we showed up.
A plate of peanuts with a soy/vinegar sauce, a bowl of salad, and a parade of grilled skewers – beef, chicken wings, cocktail weenies wrapped in bacon, garlic cloves, pork belly, and of course the peripheral meat products of tongue and various innards. The star of the show was a larger sword-like skewer laden with lamb.
We washed it down with Beijing’s commercial brewery, Yanjing (which completed my Beijing beer tour as I had already been to Drei Kronen the German brewery in Beijing, Slow Boat microbrewery, and Great Leap Microbrewery near the popular Nan Luo Gu Xiang Hutong outside Nanluoguxiang Station on Line 6. (Unfamiliar? Not on your subway map? Opened December 2012!)
Tourists might miss this spot, but as my friend Carlo puts it – if you’ve lived here for a bit, you know about it.
In Beijing on a Sunday? Head over to Tiantan Park and the Temple of the Sun and see how they spend a Sunday.