One of my favorite moments in Beijing was sitting around the cozy circular bar at Noodle Bar for front-row action of the chef pulling our noodles by hand. The menu is simple and straightforward: all noodle soup with your choice of brisket, tendon or tripe beef (or the vegetarian version), which you check off from a paper menu attached to a clipboard.
Laughably inexpensive, the meal was just the hearty fix we needed to once again brave the biting Beijing cold.
Noodle Bar is a bit difficult to locate and taxis won't be much help. The 1949 Hidden City complex in which it is located sits directly behind the Pacific Century Place Mall. Once you've crossed the mall, you'll see an entrance to 1949. Once there, you must walk through an art gallery space to reach the courtyard and past Duck de Chine (also a must-try restaurant) to get to the bar. Well worth the trek!