Eatalia, Carpe Diem – Hou Hai, Beijing

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When in China, do as the Chinese? But that can be a bit dangerous if you are vegetarian. In a city where people barely understand what you are saying, finding vegetarian food can be quite the task. Even more so when you think you are talking to a person who may possibly have eaten scorpions, worms, cockroaches, and god knows what else… oh! the curse of imagination! In such a situation, finding Eatalia – Carpe Diem in the middle of Beijing is like a beacon of hope, restoring your faith in mankind.

Started by 2 friends of Italian and Spanish origin, Eatalia is a small, but cosy place serving great Italian food. They have an indoor and outdoor section, and Marc Antony’s speech “Friends, Romans, countrymen .. ” painted on the wall. The menu was quite extensive, with pizza, pasta, risotto and salad options.

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We ordered a the tomato basil soup, risotto, 2 pizzas (cause the first one was so good!) and ravioli. The people were super helpful, and we were often waited on by the owners themselves. We even got some great restaurant suggestions from them. On a cold spring day, the soup was a perfect start to our meal. The cheese and hot liquid brought some welcome warmth to us. They baked us some fresh focaccia bread to go with the soup upon request. We definitely loved the soup, risotto and pizza, although the ravioli was a bit too spinach-y. We finished the meal with rich cup of Nespresso Cappuccino.

Moderately priced, and with 2 locations, Eatalia is a must vist for all the veggies in Beijing. This modern Italian eatery has successfully managed to bring a slice of Italy to China’s cultural and political capital.

No.18 Xilou Alley, Xicheng District, Beijing, China