Hoping for a brush with Sanchez or Hazard off-pitch? Well, gone are the days when footballing legends survived on a diet of warm ale and superking fags; we’ve cherry-picked Beijing’s healthiest hotspots, where you’re most likely to find them limbering up and tucking into a kale salad...
Indulge in a regal vegetarian feast at King’s Joy restaurant, a carrot’s toss from the Lama Temple. Dine like a strict Buddhist (or athlete in training) by picking from the garlic-, onion- and other strong flavours-free menu, or try flavoursome local classics such as sweet ’n’ sour ‘monkey’s head mushrooms’, truffle-grilled glutinous oil rice or spicy braised tofu. Be sure to book ahead and gussy up smart.
If you’re at risk of OD-ing on moo shu and bao du, pay a trip to Moka Bros for crowd-pleasing Western and Asian-influenced wraps, salads, smoothies, pastries and energising power bowls. Nab a place early at breakfast and brunch, when tables go like hotcakes – that potent coffee has garnered a loyal following. There are several outposts to choose from, each styled with the requisite hipster flair.
Juice by Melissa
Get your five-a-day, and more, at this relaxed juice joint and super-food cafe in Dongzhimen. Sign up for a juice cleanse, sip a cold-pressed juice or energising tea, and nibble on virtuous, vitamin-packed fit foods. Signature smoothie flavours include Pumpkin Spice, Melon Grass, Kale Cooler and a guilt-free Chocolate Mylk. We’ll be paying a return trip for the garlic hummus with raw veggies, the teriyaki tofu, and the apple-banana quinoa muffin. Green really is the new black.
As is fashionable these days, Cafe Zarah has something of a split personality: it’s a cafe, restaurant, event space, lounge, and art gallery in the heart of Beijing. Zarah has lofty ambitions – aiming to provide a platform for art and culture between Europe and Asia, as well as whipping up tasty all-day eats that tip their hat to both continents. Set inside a traditional courtyard house, that’s been reinvigorated with shark-sleek steel and concrete fittings, in-the-know epicures come for the seasonal specials, and stay for the photography exhibitions, music and cultural events.
Chelsea vs Arsenal / Bird’s Nest / 22 Jul, 2017 / theatrebeijing.com
King's Joy / 2 Wudaoying Hutong / Dongcheng / +86 10 8404 9191 / lunch & dinner daily
Moka Bros / G/F / Nali Patio / 81 Sanlitun Bei Lu / +86 10 5208 6079 / 8am-10.30pm daily / + branches / mokabros.com
Juice by Melissa / Shop 101 / Dong Wai Gong Guan / 3 Xinzhong Dong Lu / Dongcheng /
+86 130 4112 1556 / 7am-9pm Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm Sat-Sun / + branch / juicebymelissa.com
Cafe Zarah / 46 Gulou Dong Dajie / Dongcheng / +86 10 8403 9807 / 9am-midnight Sun-Thu, 9am-1am Fri-Sat / cafezarah.com