The Chinese owner lived in Spain for 20 years and learned a great deal about the cuisine. A great place for something a little more familiar.
Face to Face Café
Located at the back of the University, the cafe is run by a famous local painter, Zhang Zhongqi. Instead of being just a café, this place is also a private art gallery, a meeting place for local artists, and a setting for various cultural events and activities. The Café offers cold beers, cocktails, and a special dish called 'Modern Baba' which is a revival of a dish created by English missionaries based on an ethnic Naxi nationality snack known as Baba.
- Location: 47, Wenlin Street
- Tel: 087 1535 8985
Modern décor of steel and glass sets this multi-level restaurant apart, serves a good mix of Shanghai and Yunnan cuisine as well as western dishes. This restaurant bottles its own wine which is worth a try.
- Location: 16 Cuihu Dong Lu, Kunming
- Tel: 0871/516-6972
- Cuisine: Western
Journey to the East
Journey to the East is a 'Western exchange student-oriented' cafe and restaurant. Although not luxurious, the Cafe still attracts people by offering pizza and pasta to steaks and burgers, from noodles to fried rice. Journey to the East also has a big outdoor area you can get travel info, chat with other travellers and local experts and of course, get a cold beer! Journey to the East also has internet service, a book exchange, and various other services.
- Location: 15, Tiandian Alley, Wenlin Street
- Tel: 087 1531 7451
Qiao Xiangyuan Restaurant (The Brothers Jiang)
This is an upmarket chain that has restaurants all over Kunming. The menu features many local Yunnan dishes including steam pots and over the bridge rice noodles. Many branches feature performances of dancing and singing.
Built from wood and stone, this restaurant is an excellent example of traditional building methods that you can get a look at from the inside. Tables are in two courtyards, there are also private rooms separated by bamboo lattice screens. The traditional food served is very good. A part of Kunming's history that should be preserved for the future.
The Blue Bird Café
The Blue Bird Café is in the Green Lake area near Yunnan University. This stylish wooden building is on Cuihu Nan Lu and offers both Chinese and Western cuisine, cold beers and lots of other drinks. Popular with foreign students and tourists.
- Location: 150, Cuihu Nan Road
- Tel: 087 1531 4071
Yet another satellite business around the university, Salvador's is spanking clean with a light menu featuring western food, Mexican and the usual suspects. Another spot popular with students.
- Location: Wenhua Xiang
- Tel: 087 1536 3525
White Pagoda Dai
Traditional Dai cuisine moves north here, with a slew of fish dishes and, of course, standards such as pineapple sticky rice and spicy fish wrapped in bamboo shoots – all in a banana-themed environment of bamboo and thatch.
- Location: 127 Baita Dai Weiting
- Tel: 087 1317 2932
There are plenty of familiar names here, like McDonalds and other global chains if you just want to eat something you're used to. Expect prices to be higher than those for local food.