Which is the best cafe in Beijing?

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Different cafés for different people.

Although Starbucks, UBC and SPR are as common in Beijing as pimples in high school, there is a far better network of cafés for those who aren't n00bs, tourists or wannabe entrepreneurs. 

For students and fun douchebaggery

Lush - Wudaokou. Voted the best student hangout. Music and beer at night and burgers and wraps by day. Two wifi networks, VPN and regular. Bathroom sucks. Food is kind of treehuggerish.

The Bridge Cafe - Wudaokou. Three floors of students, mostly Westerners and Koreans smoking, studying and hooking up. Decent food, great staff. Food is good value and always safe. Each floor has its own wifi.

For business meetings

Esquires Coffee - The Place. Bright, cheery and attentive staff. Many small companies come here for meetings because of the bright lights, abundant tables and central location. Coffee is good too. Decent wifi.

For games and cards

D&D Cafe - Chaowai SOHO. Delish Thai food and snacks, but best of all free board games to play with from Settlers of Catan and Carcassone to Magic and Monopoly. Two floors, each with its own decor. During the day, one of the best places to work.

For the ultra hip and artsy

Trends Lounge - The Place. Large café space which doubles as one of the largest art design bookstores in Choayang. Good wifi and lots of power plugs. Food and coffee ok, but lots to read here. This is one of the best meeting spaces in all of Beijing, hands down. Also. frequented by a lot of models and design people located in the same building.

...and finally the best café in all of Beijing? Well, it's not really a café at all.

THE BEST CAFE at least for me

The UNION Bar and Grill - Sanlitun Village.

This is where the cool and geeky techs, journalist and bloggers work from. During the day, it's like a tech startup conference. If Starbucks is for the masses, this place is like a VIP club for the digital elite during the day. The staff is great and helpful and the space is huge. During the day, this place is laptop-friendly with many plugs and strong wifi.They sell bottomless iced tea and coffee for 20rmb - you can't beat that. After 4 pm at happy hour they have free homemade potato chips.

The food here is very good if somewhat pricey but still a good value for what you get. Of any place that I would say is the best place, it would be the Union Bar and Grill (during the day; at night, it's a different type of place).

I am sure there are a lot of other great cafés in Beijing, but these on this list have a certain kind of atmosphere that makes a café...well, a café.

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