hanging out in hutongs

December 5th, 2011 / by / in: travel / No responses

A couple blocks from our hutong was Nanluoguxiang, another hutong mostly made up of cute stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It’s worth taking a stroll through if you’re in Beijing, especially if it’s a nice day.

Random Chinese wedding! Complete with gawkers, photographers, and police officers. We decided to gawk too. “White people photo time,” I yelled.

Pretty dress.


Aahhhh, why is this food stall so cute?

Empty hutong


Nearby was a great restaurant called Dali Courtyard that serves Yunnan cuisine. I definitely recommend this place — it’s 100 yuan (around $16) and there’s no menu. You get whatever the chef feels like that day, around six or seven courses. And every course we had was really good. Yunnan is in southern China, and the food kind of reminded me of a mix of Chinese and Thai food in terms of flavours.

Since we don’t speak Mandarin, I’m not entirely sure what everything was, but all of it was tasty. I loved this salad with big tofu noodles.

This was a whole fish, rubbed with spices.

Shrimp with fried herb leaves and chili. YUM!

Seriously, all these courses and only $16. Sigh.

Do you like sitting outside in a cute hutong courtyard? Do you like eating amazing food for practically nothing? Then this is the restaurant for you!

Anyway, I’ve said it before, but if you’re in Beijing, plan to visit some hutongs. They’re an important part of Beijing life and a way to see a little slice of how people actually live. Beijing is working on preserving the hutongs it has left, so there are a lot of cool restaurants and bars popping up in former hutong residences. Like everything, they’re a bit hard to find, but worth it!

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