Last updated by wendysong at 2015/1/16
Guilin hardly strikes people as a mecca for foodies. Surprisingly, you might encounter some unforgettable dishes behind a stained door or a shed at the narrow backstreet. For first time there, some insider scoops point you the right directions for the finer restaurants with special features.
Although the name of McFound Restaurant (麦香坊)itself sounds a bit “westerny”, the biggest taste of the restaurant is its Chinese traditional wheaten food. Hand-made noodles, pancakes, dumplings, porridge and steamed breads are among the top recommendations. There are oil paintings of landscape in Northern China; and you can also see quite a lot of decorative pieces related to farmland working.
The main spirit of the restaurant is authentic and humble, implicated by how the food is done. Staff here speak quite little English and the just-passable translation on the menu is somehow helpful. Some home-made cookies with chocolate chips or ginger can be good take-outs for travelers with kids. The restaurant has four chains in Guilin, and each of them offers different views of the streets or landscape.
Pork Fillet in Chilli Sauce (京酱肉丝), Fried Noodles with Black Pepper Fillet (黑椒牛柳炒面), Lemon Shrimp(柠檬虾), Ribs with Sticky Rice (糯米蒸排骨) and Snow-Coated Red Bean Breads (雪衣豆沙)
Featuring: Chinese Northern Flavors, Wheaten Foods
Good For: Families with kids, Friends Get-Together
Price: RMB 85-120/Person
1. 20, Fuhe Lane, Xiufeng District, Guilin / +86 0773-2885288 (Bus No.2, 203 to Fubo
Hill, Bus No.2, 9, 10, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, 203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk
2. 15, Qixing Road, Qixing District, Guilin / +86 0773-5821920 (Bus No.9, 14, 30 to
Sanlidian and walk 130m; Bus No. 28, 33, 204, 214 to Fuxing Road and walk 440m)
3. 12, Chuanshan Dong Road, Qixing District, Guilin / +86 0773-5832926 (Bus
No.23,100, 204, 211, 214 to Gym Center)
4. 7, Xinyi Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin / +86 0773-2858866 (Bus No. 9, 21, 22, 23,
25,205 to Children’s Palace)
Kali Mirch Indian Cuisine
As not too many choices for foreign cuisines in town, Kali Mirch Indian Cuisine (黑胡椒印度餐厅) kinda stands out. Hidden at the back of Sheraton Hotel and this small yet cozy diner is located inside Shangshui Food Street, which is also a new complex for food and drinks.
The Indian chefs would like to share their anecdotes with you if it’s not the rush hour. The Indian-style decorates and curries smell build up a quite exotic atmosphere, in addition to the food itself. The curry-based dishes are not so spicy compared to how they taste in India and the chicken korma gives you a resounding after-taste because of the stick aroma. Free iced water and wifi are available.
Chicken Korma (白咖喱鸡), Veggie Curry(蔬菜咖喱), Fried Fish Steak(炸鱼排), Chicken Tikka Masala(烤鸡咖喱), Naan with Fruity Dipping(果酱蘸馕饼), Banana-Flavored Charpati(香蕉印度飞饼).
Featuring: Indian Food
Good for: Families, Muslim, Friends Get-Together
Price: RMB 30-75/Person
Address: 5 Binjiang Road, Zhengyang Pedestrian Street (at the back gate of Shangshui Food Street), Xiangshan District, Guilin/+86 13737396451 (Bus No.2, 9, 10, 11,14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30,203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk 500m by the river)
Nengren Vegetarian Restaurant
Nengren Vegetarian Restaurant (能仁寺素食餐厅) is an absolute hidden gem, both for vegetarians and non-vegetarains. Located inside Nengren Temple, which is not a major tourist site, this restaurant focuses more on authentic vegetarian food than making itself known to the outside world. Handmade veggie dumplings are stuffed with Chinese cabbage, parsley, fungus, rice noodles and it is the smoked or dried tofu that gives it an interesting meaty taste. You might see some dishes looking like fish, pork, shrimps even ribs on the table, but none of them is against the rules of vegetarian. Mushrooms, fungus, trao, tofu of all kinds and other veggies are delicately and inspiringly cooked with soy oil.
Waiters, also the nuns from the temple, don’t speak much English but a pictorial menu can tell you what to expect. Come at noon, you can pay a short visit to Nengren Temple, dating back to the Liang Dynasty (503). The restaurant closes at 8pm and an after-dinner night walk by the lake is delightful.
Buddha Jumping Walls(佛跳墙, Mixed Veggie Soup), Vegetarian Fish Made of Taro (香芋素鱼), Gold and Jade (金玉满堂, Fried Corn, Pine Nuts and Carrots), Vegetarian Shrimps with Cashew (素食腰果虾仁) and Pumpkin Cakes (南瓜饼)
Featuring: Chinese Southern Flavors, Vegetarian
Good for: Vegetarians, Travelers in General
Price: RMB 50-80/Person
Address: 6, Lijun Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin / +86 0773-2868845 (Bus No.14, 21, 24 to Xinyi Market and walk 110m to Nengren Temple; Bus No. 22, 25, 89, 205, 213 to Lijun Road and walk 120m to Nengren Temple)
Left Bank Café
The modestly-named Left Bank Café (左岸); could probably dial it up a little for it is a complete collection of Western and Chinese menus in Guilin. The vast restaurant is located proudly at Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, making a nice yet not-too-noisy stop after a day of touring. Decorated in white and lively plants, the ambience is a gift as well as the Western menu, among which you can find pizzas and steaks. Chinese dishes have a more gentle taste, except for the hotpots that always seem meant to be heavy. Sitting at the window or on the balcony, street views add an extra flavor to your meals. Almost every traveler would love a drink at the famous Irish Bar not far away after a good dinner. Indian menu is now available, too.
Black Pepper Pasta (黑椒意粉), Sweet and Sour Rib (酸甜排骨), Braised Duck (烧鸭), Fruit Rolls(水果卷) and fresh fruit juice
Featuring: Chinese Southern Flavors and Western Food
Good for: Families, Business
Price: RMB 100-150/Person
Address: 18, Binjiang Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin / +86 0773-2882259 (Bus No.10, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30, 203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk 100m to Zhengyang Pedestrian Street)
As one might find the name Nissi has a Bibilical ring to it, the atmosphere of the lovely café is truly delightful. Situated along the Li River, which is not far away from the beautiful Ronghu Lake, Nissi Station(尼西驿站) (formerly named Café Nissi) can be considered as nice place to kick back.
Very a few cafés or restaurants in China, you might say, can meet the standard of none-smoking but Nissi, proudly is none of them. Melodious music and warm lights all create a déjà vu of the cafés back home. Breakfast here can be very pleasant. Free wifi gives you more reason to stay and ask for more refills. Wholewheate bread is home-baked and goes great with a mango smoothie and coffee here tastes better than the 3-in-1 ones.
Mango Smoothies (芒果奶昔), Banana Pancakes (香蕉煎饼), Beef Hamburger(牛肉汉堡) and freshly-brew coffee
Featuring: Western-Style Café, Deserts
Good for: Lovers, Group of Friends, Business, Solo Travelers
Address: 18 Binjiang Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin/ +86 0773-2896161 (Bus No.2, 9, 10, 11,14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30,203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk 200m by the river)
Wheat Garden New Concept Oil Tea
Wheat Garden New Concept Oil Tea (麦园新概念油茶) is the very place you have to try if you want nothing but the local flavor. Oil Tea, or Youcha, is a soup-like local snack essential in Hunan Province and northern parts of Guangxi. Tea leaves are dried and cooked with peanut oil or bacon grease, mixed up and stirred with ginger and gives a strong flavor that keeps the farmers warm in winter days.
Local Guilin people make oil tea an official lifestyle. It will be totally boring if just for the tea, thus here comes all these delicious deserts, fried rice noodles, taro cakes, boat cakes, mugwort cakes and spicy dried fish. The chef at Wheat Garden used to run the kitchen of 4-star hotel, Ronghu Hotel, and surely knows how to create something delightful from this traditional down-to-earth snack. Try to avoid coming at noon because it’s hard to get a free table.
Taro Cakes (芋头糕), Sweet and Sour Pig Legs (酸甜猪手), Tossed Fern Noodles(凉拌蕨根粉), Rice Tofu(米豆腐) and Oil Tea(油茶)
Featuring: Guilin Local Flavor
Good for: Families, Group of Friends
Address: 36, Kongming Road, Qixing District, Guilin/ +86 13597326852 (Bus No.23,100, 204, 211, 214 to Gym Center and walk 50m)
Pizza Papa (披萨帕帕) restaurant implies the local opinion of a fine pizza, at least to the younger generation. Pizzas are freshly-baked and much cheaper compared to Pizza Hut or the nearby Rosemary. The 12’ pizza is big enough for one’s lunch, going even better with a milkshake or milk tea. Cheese is used generously on the pizzas, pastas and mashed potatoes.
Beverages are often-time much too sweet so request for low sugar or sugar-free if you are not a sweet tooth. The restaurant is located at Binjiang Road, overlooking the Li River and by-passing world. You gotta love the views while eating out on the patio. Other features include reservation, free home-delivery and wifi.
Bacon Pizza(熏肉披萨), Hawaii Pizza(夏威夷披萨), Two-in-One Pizza(二合一披萨), Meat-Loaf Pasta(肉球意粉), Mashed Potatoes with Cheese(芝士土豆泥), Roasted Chicken Wings(烤鸡翅), Rose-Flavored Milk Tea(玫瑰奶茶), Tiramisu(提拉米苏), Passion Fruit Milkshake(百香果奶昔)
Featuring: Italian, Pizzas, Pasta
Good for: Families with Kids, Friends Get-Together, Solo Traveler
Price: RMB 20-50/Person
Address: 17, Binjiang Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin/ +86 0773-2858757(Bus No.2, 9, 10, 11,14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30,203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk 200m by the river)
Seemingly the all-time favorite after Bill Clinton's visit, Rosemary Cafe(迷迭香餐厅) is claimed to serve the best Western food in downtown Guilin. The café is small and somehow dim yet the charm lies in the authentic taste and a leisure moment dining by the street.
Photos of international travelers on the wall, light background music flowing around, rose-red striped table clothes and friendly staff, the restaurant has been offering food and pleasure for many years. The waitresses speak good enough English and serve food at a fair speed. Seats are not ample enough in the Western standard.
Their burritos, salami pasta and garlic bread are the best-recommended bites. A cup of cappuccino or mocha draws you with a smile. Make it a great day by a saunter up and down Zhengyang Pedestrian Street after a lovely meal here. Free wifi available.
Pastrami Pizza(熏肉披萨), Salami Pasta(辣味香肠意面), Chicken Salad(鸡肉沙拉), Chicken Burrito(墨西哥鸡肉卷), Chocolate Mousse Cake(巧克力慕斯蛋糕), Cream Pumpkin Soup(奶油南瓜汤) and Cappuccino(卡布奇诺)
Featuring: Western Food, Pizzas, Café
Good for: Business, Solo Travelers, Friends Get-Together, Lovers
Price: RMB 40-100/Person
Address: 1-1, Yiren Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin / +86 0773-2810063 (Bus No.2, 9, 10, 11,14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30,203, 206 to Jiefang Bridge and walk 500m to Zhengyang Pedestrian Street)
Chunji Roasted Goose Restaurant
Chunji Roasted Goose Restaurant (椿记烧鹅) where locals have lunch, wedding reception and general get-togethers. Chunji is a local brand and quite familiar among the folks for its reasonable prices, warm services and of course, great tastes.
Roast goose, not to mention, is their specialty and best served hot out of the oven. The goose skin is crisp and has a pleasant aftertaste. A small portion of their roasted goose makes a worthy meal for 2 adults. Goose liver, goose eggs and fried rice with goose pieces are something you must try. Canton-style Dim Sum menu varies from whole wheat bread to Durian cakes.
The whole dining hall is clean and staff is always smiling and helpful. You can see how your food is done through the glass of their kitchen. The lunch menu with fruit buffet is of awesome value.
Chunji Roasted Duck(椿记烧鹅), Stir-Fried Goose Livers(酱爆鹅肝), Ribs with Rice Noodles(河粉蒸排骨), Steamed Freshwater Bass(清真鲈鱼), Five-Spice Goose Paws(五香鹅掌), Durian Cakes(榴莲酥) and Hot Candied Taro Chunks(拔丝芋头)
Featuring: Guilin Local Flavor, Cantonese
Good for: Business, Families, Friends Get-Together
Price: RMB 40-70/Person
Address: 1. Zhongshan Chain: 2, Zhongshan Hotel, Zhongshan Zhong Road, Xiufeng District, Guilin / +86 0773-2806188 (Bus No.91 and 208 to Nanmenqiao Bridge and walk 100m)
2. Diecai Chain: 1, Zhongshan Bei Road, Diecai District, Guilin / +86 0773-2828898 (Bus No.1, 2, 18, 99, 100 to Fengbei Road and walk 100m)
3. Tiexi Chain: 67, Xihuan Er Road, Xiangshan District, Guilin / +86 0773-3823218 (Bus No.1, 20, 23, 205 to Dong’an Street and walk 200m)
4. Jinshuiwan Chain: F2 of Jinshuiwan International Hotel, Jinshui Road, Lingui District, Guilin / +86 0773-3821668 (Bus No.85, 88, 91 to Jinshuiwan International Hotel)
5. Qixing Chain: 32, Qixing Road, Qixing District, Guilin / +86 0773-3586150 (Bus No.14, 16, 32, 98 to Sanlidian Square North and walk 50m)
6. Jiangan Road Chain: 12, Jiangan Road, Qixing District, Guilin / +86 0773-5898668 (Bus No.10, 11, 21, 97 to Jiangan Road and walk 100m)
7. Nanxi Chain: near Nanxi Hospital, Xiangshan District, Guilin / +86 0773-3821668 (Bus No.4, 5, 11, 19, 99 to Nanxi Hospital and walk 50m )
Longze Tea House & Restaurant
The first impression of Longze Tea Restaurant (龙泽茶酒坊), if not for Hilary Clinton, is its secretly-hidden location at the back gate of the Seven Star Park.
Walking inside and sitting by the window, you will recognize its homely and artful presentation of traditional Chinese food and tea cultures. Some of the food is cooked with tea. Every dish has its own meaning and special way of display: dumplings filled with corn and green beans resemble fishermen casting net on the Li River. Vegetarian soup is supposed to be a Yin Yang explanation; fish-looking dish is not actually fish but a combo with smoked tofu and chicken.
If you are here with a tour guide or local, the dining process will probably contain some interesting facts about each dish. Local Guilin flavor is spicy and special request is to be made for none-spicy food.
Yin Yang Soup(阴阳汤), Family-Flavor Tofu(家常豆腐), Li River Fish(漓江鱼)
Featuring: Guilin Local Flavor
Good for: Traveler Groups, Families
Price: RMB 40-60/Person
Address: 2, Huaqiao Street, Qixing District, Guilin / +86 0773-5812852 (Bus No.10, 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28 to Seven Star Park and walk 200m)
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