Locals usually eat a type of fried flat bread, “bing”, or a steamed white bun called “man tou” with their simple meals. These can be bought off sidewalk vendors and in the prepared food section of places like Walmart. Fresh western-style bread, however, is also easy to find although the quality will differ drastically from place to place. Sliced white bread can be found in all local grocery stores. Specialty breads like baguettes, ciabatta, and braids of challah can be found at some western-style supermarkets and hypermarkets as well as specialized western bakeries.

Schindler’s German Food Center: Besides meat, Schindler’s also has a bakery on premise churning out loaves of crusty bread and baguettes. There is one location in the city and one in the villa area of Shunyi. Daily 9:30am-7:00pm. Tel 6591-9370 and 8042-2251.

South German Bakery: A South German-style bakery offering up a range of tasty homemade cakes, pastries, sandwiches and even hot dishes in the upstairs restaurant. German expats and fans of the bakery’s heavier breads will find a large assortment of baguettes and loaves. Daily 9am-11pm. Tel 5867-0201. http://www.germanbakery.com.cn

Comptoirs de France: A posh and modern patisserie and bakery, Comptoirs de France whips up good-sized baked sweets and fresh bread. Cookies and sweets sit in glass jars on glass counters filled with blueberry, fruit and chocolate tarts, and rich truffles. A range of breads, salads, and sandwiches are part of the menu. Currently sporting several locations in the city, with one in the villa area of Shunyi. Daily 7:30am-9pm http://www.comptoirsdefrance.com

Coup’s Bakery: A café and bakery serving crunchy loaves and baguettes as well as Chinese-style pastries, Coup’s also serves soups and other entrees at reasonable prices. Tel 6587-1371

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