12 sqm Bar and Café
This bar’s name accurately represents its size—which, at 130 square feet, is easily the smallest in the city (and possibly all of China). The tiny nook contains just three wooden barstools and a booth big enough for four. Despite its Lilliputian size, though, the bar serves a full range of beer and liquors—including several top-notch Scottish single malts. The space constraints mean patrons occasionally spill out into the street, but given that 12 sqm’s set on a bustling hutong with a colorful cast of passing characters, that’s just part of the fun.
Tip: Make this the first stop on a south-north bar hop; there are plentiful bars and lounges along Nanluogu Xiang.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.