• Pinnacle Plaza - Almost Like Home
  • Feb 20, 2014
  • One of the blessings of living in Beijing is that we don’t have to feel so far away from home, even if home is on the opposite side of the globe. There are places in the city where we can escape to that are so much like home we almost forget we are overseas. Pinnacle Plaza in Beijing’s northern Shunyi district is one of those places.


    Pinnacle Plaza isn’t a thrill park with rides and swimming pools. It is not known as a hotspot for nightclubs, like Sanlitun.  In fact it isn’t even listed as a popular destination in tourist guidebooks. But Pinnacle plaza is like home.

    One of the ways it resembles my home town in Midwestern America is its layout. Instead being squeezed into skyscrapers with underground parking like the rest of Beijing, the shops in Pinnacle plaza are lined up in single-story strip mall layout with parking in the front. The plaza’s eating venues and shops are more than adequate to remind you of home. Of course there’s a Starbucks, but that’s pretty commonplace in Beijing. Pinnacle has much more to remind you of home.


    When it comes to buying western groceries, most expats in Beijing are familiar with Jenny’s supermarkets. The Jenny Wang’s at Pinnacle Plaza is larger than her other stores and inside feels like Spartan Supermarkets back home. Whether you are hunting for cheese, chips, meat, cereal, coffee or anything else you can’t find elsewhere in the city, Jenny’s has it.

    Even though Domino’s Pizza can be found all over Beijing, there’s just something about the one in Pinnacle Plaza (pictured left) that looks like home.  Burger King and Baskin Robbins are not unique to the plaza either, but the outside seating and porch pillars in front of the buildings give them a pleasant small-town feel. Mrs. Fields Cookie Café serves some of the tastiest cakes and cookies in the area. Hungry Horse, which has a full menu of delicious American and Mexican food, is just around the corner from the cookie shop. And for dinner, don’t forget Eatalicious Italian Experience.


    Pinnacle Plaza isn’t only about restaurants. It has other services as well. If you need medical help, there’s a United Family Clinic in the plaza. Schlinder’s Meat Shop, Win’s arts and Framing and a real estate office are there as well. In the back – this is just like home – you’ll even find a Michelin Tire shop!

    Finding your way to Pinnacle Plaza is a cinch. You can always take a taxi, but even if you go by subway you’ll only have to walk about ten minutes. Get off from Line 15 at the International Exhibition Center station, go out the back door and cut across the exhibition center parking lot walking south-west. When you exit the parking lot you can’t miss Euro Plaza Shopping Mall. That’s another western-like place you may want to explore. Take the street that comes to a T beside the mall and walk south about three minutes and you’ll see Pinnacle Plaza. Bring a book or your computer and plan on spending a day "back home".