Invito With a beautiful lakeside terrace and second floor balcony, Invito boasts some of the most peaceful al fresco dining in the city. The summer menu focuses on light, shared tapas items. The wine selection includes some top shelf bottles acquired at wine auctions, but the specials on by-the-glass wines served from the Enomatic wine machine keep the place affordable.
Pinotage Run by the people behind Winelink, the city’s only South African restaurant caters to wine lovers. Glasses start at just ¥25. You can also taste all of the wines on the list for ¥80, and there’s always a selection of 12 wines you can taste free. Located just outside the city, the large outdoor porch is surrounded by greenery and ideal for summer evenings.
Camoes The Legendale Hotel is the closest thing Beijing has to Versailles, so it naturally has a gorgeous garden and outdoor dining area. The hotel’s Camoes Portuguese Restaurant stocks Portuguese wines, ranging from the Coroa d’Ouro (¥310) to the pricier Quinta dos Carvalhais (over ¥1,000). The ¥108 business lunch also comes with a glass of sangria.
Le Little Saigon This Vietnamese restaurant’s leafy rooftop is a beautiful spot to sample the decent list of French wines.
Relative newcomer Modo also features an Enomatic wine machine, as well as an excellent wine list. The food, made up of "small plates," is also excellent. From the new spring menu, we recommend the malfatti and the beef tournedos.
There’s no better place to spend a sunny Sunday than outdoors, and Beijing has al fresco brunches galore. Taverna+ launched a new brunch this year, which is a great deal at RMB138, and an even better deal considering the beautiful location in 1949's Sanlitun courtyard.
For a real taste of nature, head to The Orchard. The restaurant is surrounded by flowering trees and an idyllic lake. Produce and herbs grown onsite feature prominently on the menu. The brunch buffet is ¥180, ¥100 for kids, free for kids under 4. Outdoor seating is limited, and brunch is popular, so reservations are a must.
Cafe Zarah's outdoor tables provide the perfect spot for people watching on a weekend afternoon. Order a powdered sugar waffle (¥20) or a “Good Morning Beijing” (¥40)—two rolls, cheese, salami, cucumber and one egg. Sip your caféau lait (¥30), browse the net with free Wi-Fi and soak in the Gulou hipster fashions.
Both Element Fresh'sSanlitun and Lido branches are all equipped with outdoor decks, and each will be a popular brunch spot this summer. The breakfast menu features huge sets, as well as a variety of dishes and add-ons so you can mix and match to create your own ideal brunch—which for us is the bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese (¥60).
Livewell This healthy café’s Central Park location makes it perfect for the CBD lunch crowd. Sit outside next to a grassy hill and munch on a chicken avocado sandwich (¥38) on fresh ciabatta bread paired with a berry indulgences smoothie (¥29). Next door, iF sells Beijing’s best fresh juices, and neighboring Pekotan has a good range of snacks and deli items.
Panino Giusto The strip of Western restaurants on Xingfucun Zhonglu is an expat magnet, especially on warm, sunny days. Panino Giusto offers outdoor tables and what may be the biggest sandwiches in the ‘Jing. The menu is extensive, but we particularly like the porcone (¥28)—coppa salami, rucola, cheese, tomato and whole grain mustard on ciabatta.