Vineyard Cafe

I just want to say Vineyard Cafe is now my favorite restaurant in Beijing. Their food is consistently excellent, the service is great, the manger is cool, the environment is fantastic and it’s the only restaurant I can find that isn’t playing piped-in Christmas carols at ear-splitting volumes. In fact, today they weren’t playing any Christmas carols at all; I was in heaven.

Their English-style brunch is the best in town for the money (if you want to spend a lot more, this place is highly recommended), their pizza and salad lunches are a smoking deal, and their apple pie with fresh cream has been my dessert of choice since I discovered this place four months ago, thanks to my friend and co-blogger. It’s also right around the corner from a subway stop making it easy to get to, and it’s on a street with so much “local charm” I’m willing to place bets it’ll be the next Nanluoguxiang not too long from now.

I wasn’t paid anything for this, but wrote it simply because I love the place. Last Sunday I was invited for brunch at my earlier haunt, Steak & Eggs, and the entire time I kept asking myself why I hadn’t suggested Vineyard instead. Why eat (barely) adequate when you can eat great for the same price?

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

I could say “I told you so.”

Oh heck with it. I’ll say it. Told ya so!

December 25, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

As a p.s., I’m probably booking the hotel I stayed at during the Olympics – it’s closer to the fabu coffee place Brendan turned me on to by the Drum Tower – but definitely an easy walk to the Vineyard. See you there!

December 25, 2008 @ 5:29 pm | Comment

Lisa, I never heard of the place until you introduced me – I wasn’t eating back then, I was working and ordering Annie’s from the office. Now that I have some time to enjoy life, the Vineyard is a godsend. Thank you.

You’ll have to introduce me to the coffee place you mention – sounds great but no idea which one it is.

December 25, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

Brendan knows about the coffee place – he introduced me to it – it’s right by the Drum Tower and I’m spacing on the name, but it’s truly charming. If you are facing north, it’s on the east side of the Drum Tower, right in the main square.

December 25, 2008 @ 6:20 pm | Comment

Well, I agree that The Vineyard’s breakfast deal is a good one… what with the fresh-pressed apple juice and coffee included. But somehow the English-style baked tomato and beans doesn’t really hit the spot for me like that crazy Steak’n Eggs corned beef hash patty.

That said, it’s a good restaurant, and I agree about the street.

@otherlisa: I’m not sure if you’re talking about the place I like… but there’s a cafe in a funky little house at the southwest corner of the Bell Tower. Is that it? That place has tons of charm, but hardly any customers. Too bad.

December 26, 2008 @ 1:18 am | Comment

Michael, it’s called “Excuse Coffee” and I think it would be the southeastern corner of the little square between the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower.

December 26, 2008 @ 2:51 am | Comment

Alright, then we’re talking about different places… the place I like is on the northwestern corner of that square more or less… north of Drum & Bell Bar.

December 27, 2008 @ 12:23 am | Comment

thanks for this great recommendation! went there last weekend, the english brunch was like a slice of home … do check out my blog, btw

January 4, 2009 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

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