Archive for (co)Working in Beijing

Coworking in Beijing: Cheese’s

Craving a cheesecake? Or cheese in general? This place will get you sorted.

Conveniently located halfway between Sanlitun and Gulou, this dessert/ salad / cheese place is   a great place to work from. Why?

  • Free unlimited filter coffee and tea refills
  • Comfy chairs and sofas
  • Good wifi
  • Right next to Zhangzizhonglu (line 5) station
  • Like 10 kinds of good cheesecakes (RMB28)
  • Massive salads (RMB28)

The only annoying things:

  • Some 5 French songs spinning on repeat all day. Bring headphones. Gosh makes me wonder how does the staff deal with it?!
  • Stinks like durian- they have durian cheesecakes and some kind of durian rice cheese dish
  • The bathroom is outside around the corner. A hutong bathroom. Means you have to leave your shit to go pee. Then suddenly you regret all the refills
  • Chinese teenagers love this spot, especially after 6pm

 

Cheese's Beijing dessert shop 

Cheese's tuna salad

Cheese’s tuna salad

Address:

257 Donsibei dajie, Dongcheng, Beijing

Coworking in Beijing: YuanFen Flow (798 art district)

After all this time working around Sanlitun and Gulou I finally made to the mysterious “far-away coworking spot in 798” which turns out has a name of YuanFen Flow. And it’s friggin awesome. You’ll have to see it for yourself, but imagine a combination of a contemporary art gallery, a loft, ex-ceramic insulator plant, someone’s house and of course a co-working space with hot desks, private offices and a cafe.

We were greeted by the chairman and curator- David Ben Kay who made us feel like at home, offered us some heavenly Vietnamese coffee and showed us around his creation- a 10 year’s worth of building, furnishing and decorating.

A day at this space will set you back 50RMB (including free flow of coffee!) or if you’re ready to commit for a month- 500RMB. There are some great deals for small teams to rent an office space too.

Despite the somewhat long commute (and too many temptations to ditch work and hangout in galleries and design shops), this place is truly a catch. I’ll be based here for now!

YuanFen

 

Address:

Yuanfen Flow

798 art district, Seven Stars East Street

(In between At Cafe and the Cave cafe)

 

 

Coworking in Beijing: The Bookworm

I finally made it to The Bookworm and I’m thinking, where have you been all my life (in Beijing)! It is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events space,  and you’ll find it in Beijing, Suzhou and Chengdu.

It is super spacious, quiet- I mean no teenagers babbling, but latin lounge music is loud enough in some parts of the place.

Excellent location right across the Sanlitun Village and it’s a short walk from the Tuanjiehu (line 10) station.

You’ll find good internet, comfortable seating for your taste- comfy armchairs, tall bar stools, even spots for working standing up. You’ll find lots of books and even a piano if you wish to take a break from working.

Slightly on the downside –  although their menu will satisfy your craving for western food, it’s on the pricier side, with breakfast 40-90RMB, 50-70 RMB sandwiches and salads.

Coworking in Beijing: MAAN Coffee, Waffle & Toast at Sanlitun

One day I’m biking to Sanlitun and I see this masive Maan Coffee place that has a terrace and just looks grand. Had to check it out!

It turns out it’s one of the coolest places I’ve found so far to work from in Beijing- and 10 mins from the house so.. score! Bonus- open 9am-2am.

Talking about score, RMB19 for a large coffee and delicious waffles on the menu (RMB25-60), lots of space (it’s huge), a terrace (smokers will aprreciate) and just a very fancy yet cool atmosphere. It was very nice and quiet in the morning, but around 4 the students tarted creeping in doing their schoolwork and making noise. I also had a Skype call to make and it was just too noisy and the internet was not good for that.

So I’ll definitely be back there, but will make sure sto stop working or leave somehwere else in the afternoon.

Address:

Hard to miss: Due West of Workers’ Stadium North Gate, Gongti Bei Lu, Sanlitun, Chaoyang district / 朝阳区工体北路工体北门西

maan maan

Coworking in Beijing: 3wcoffee at Haidian

After spending some time at tha Garage cafe, I ventured out to see what’s else around there, primarily because my VPN wasn’t working at the Garage cafe.

3wcoffee is a two floor coffee place next to Teamwork cafe, well equipped for work and co-work. Good wifi (router with VPN), electrical sockets by nearly every table, upstairs quiet area for meetings or calls. Coffee was good (RMB28) and it wasn’t too crowded.

http://3wcoffee.com/

3wcoffee

 Address:

1 Shanyuan St. (Caihefang Rd., At 1/F of Lifangting), Beijing 100080

Coworking in Beijing: The Garage Café 车库咖啡

My first stop of exploring Beijing’s official coworking spaces (not counting coworking-friendly cafes) is The Garage Café, located in the north west part of Beijing, Haidian area.

First impressions- not easy to find. I’m glad I had google maps in my pocket and a friend’s description how to find it: “it’s a in little walking sidestreet, on the second floor, entrance shared with a hotel”. Sounds exactly right, I was walking down the little side street and was looking upwards looking for anything Garage related on the windows.

It’s the largest co-working space I’ve ever been to, but I guess appropriate for Beijing’s proportions. At the moment there are about 50 other people staring at their screens and surprisingly I’m the only westerner here. Needless to say, everything is in Chinese. Seems like they host some tech events here that can be found on their website, majority of which are in Chinese.

You can work here for free, there is a cafe on site naturally with somewhat elevated prices (RMB 28 for a cappuccino or a meal), but I’m definitely not complaining. Also, opening hours 08:30-22:30 are very attractive for me the early and late bird all in one.

It’s quiet, chairs are comfortable, good internet, lots of light, if not the 1 hour commute, I’d be here everyday. Here’s what Tech crunch people had to say about it.

The Garage Cafe

Address:

48 Haidian W Ave. At 2/F of 鑫鼎宾馆, Beijing

Directions: Take line 4 to Zhongguancun, exit D, walk down Haidian St, turn right at the KFC, enter through Xin Ding hotel.

 

Coworking in Beijing: Coffee around Gulou St

On my first day of working in Beijing I owe thanks to Pugongying coffee place.  We were intending to go to work at Zarah coffee place, but because it was full, we tried right next door and found this cosy quiet little place. Strangely barely anyone there. French music playing. Good coffee (RMB 28). Got to point out the authentic to the hutongs squat toilet by the way, and FYI, only pipi!

Good wifi, good coffee, easy to get to- I’ll be back!

2013-05-31 12.38.10 2013-05-31 12.38.33-1 2013-05-31 13.04.40 2013-05-31 12.37.55
Address:

40 Gulou Dongdajie (near Jiaodaokou)

鼓楼东大街40号

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The second spot- Corner coffee
+10 points for the hammock,
+10 points for the rooftop terrace
+10 points for a large cup of coffee (RMB 25)

-5 points for the noise

2013-05-31 15.08.12 2013-05-31 15.08.28
Address:

3 Nanxiawazi Hutong

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[Update, January 2014 Zarah is closed, for renovation perhaps?]

On the third day, I made it to cafe Zarah. It’s a great place to work at, seems like it from the number of westerners staring at their laptops and sipping coffees. I particularly like this place for the atmosphere and a bar/ standing desk where you can work standing up. I know living in Beijing there are many things killing you, but sitting is killing you too and I like a chance to stand working once in a while. I like it also because it is quiet enough for calls and the internet speed did not cause troubles either.

Other pros of cafe Zarah are the menu- affordable coffee (RMB 18) and German bread sandwiches, for those craving a good western lunch.

It’s a bit hot inside but you can also sit outside to get some “fresh air”.

Zarah 2013-06-03 17.46.57

 Address:

42 Gulou Dongdajie (near Jiaodaokou)

鼓楼东大街42号

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On the 4th day on Gulou street I find myself in Alba cafe. It’s nice, popular among other western digital nomads and good for working. Delicious coffee that will cost you RMB 20-30, pasta, salads, sandwiches and cocktails on the menu. Major pros- rooftop terrace and long working hours (8am-2am), so good for both early and late birds.

2013-06-04 18.16.36-1

alba

Address:
70 Gulou Dongdajie (east of Nanluogu Xiang), Dongcheng District
东城区鼓楼东大街70号

 

Coworking in Beijing

Before I even go to Beijing, I snooped around to ensure I will have some good places to work from with good internet and accessible location.

Deskwanted will help you find the closest one to your needs.

The map below shows the most popular coworking spots around the city, so pick the the one nearest to your home. Unfortunately Cafe O’Henry is no longer open for business as of May 2013. Also, there a few more not marked here (3wcoffee, innovation works), but I’ll make sure I cover the whole ground.


View Co working spaces and incubators in Asia By Start Up Noodle in a larger map