In a delightful setting just 10 minutes walk from the Lama Temple, Café de la Poste's casual, intimate atmosphere and attentive staff attract the local French community. Their specialty is steak, with the chef buying and cutting all the meat himself according to Western norms. Small but excellent list of French wine. Cash only.
Good multinational crowd, including Chinese :) friendly staff, decent French food, good wines. Eat first, then party with everyone when the kitchen closes and the restaurant becomes a bar until 5 am or even later. Easy to mix with people and make new friends.
Easily the best place for expats to hang out. You get the whole range here: Europeans, Americans (South and North), Australians, etc. Also a great laid-back vibe if you want to hang out and chill with friends, but easily can be a great place to meet people. It does get rather rambunctious later on in the wee hours, and of course during many western holidays. This is not only a nice break from the culture shock going on outside, but also provides expats the opportunity to interact with people with different perspectives on their China experience, something I greatly value about Beijing.
Also, food is delicious. The steak is on point, and their desserts (the Chocolate cake in particular) are to die for. Their drinks are delicious and great quality as well--a guarantee that you may not get at other establishments! This is the place I miss the most when I think about Beijing!