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Just like the Manchurian hordes did 3 1/2 centuries earlier, Starbucks swept into Beijing in the 1990s and quickly conquered it. Branches are everywhere, including the China World complex, the Oriental Plaza, and the Pacific Century Plaza near Sanlitun. They were, however, recently driven out of the inner court of the Forbidden City. By far the city's most popular coffee chain, it is particularly beloved of young local women in search of eligible expatriates. But there are other options, many of which offer a better brew.

Despite the coffee invasion, Beijing is still ultimately tea territory, and the most pleasant sipping experiences can be found in small teahouses scattered about the city.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.