Xiang Ye Feng Wei Tu Guo Ji: Good Chinese food in Lijiang
(Note Chinese name is 乡野风味土锅鸡.)
Good food, good service.
After a few days in Yunnan we were starting to miss mainstream Chinese food, since a lot of the local dishes didn't really appeal to us. Then we found this place a block off the main restaurant district. It was getting late, and the place was a little remote, so there was only one other group eating there. The owner was a friendly, straightforward guy who talked us through the menu and made some recommendations. He took a long time with us and made us feel at home. The menu has most of the traditional staples of Chinese cooking. We had hot pot, yu xiang rou si (a pork-and-vegetable dish) and some other things I don't remember. It was all well-prepared, traditional Chinese food, with lots of stuff for a less adventurous palate. It was less than 100 RMB ($15) for three people, quite a good deal for a tourist city. (Just be warned, there's no English on the menu and I don't know if the guy speaks at all.)
The owner had just moved to Lijiang from a nearby town where he also had a restaurant. His Lijiang restaurant was only two weeks old (in July 2011). My friends and I were really happy with the food, so... I made this account on Virtual Tourist to recommend his place to the next visitor!
- Budget Travel
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- School Holidays
Nordic Delight Cafe: Best Coffee in LiJiang
Nordic Delight Cafe was a little off the beaten path but a great find! Mamuana and Bill went to great lengths to make sure we had everything we needed and felt welcomed. Their Americano was delicious! I love finding a good cup of Yunnan-grown coffee. They are serving Hani Coffee which is a newer company that works with directly with local Chinese. It was the best cup of coffee I had in LiJiang (check out their website hanicoffee.com). Nordic has amazing desserts, and I only wish I had more time to try their Oreo Cheesecake in addition to the Apple Crisp I tried. Thanks guys for such a wonderful time!
To find this place head away from the large water wheel in the center of old town walking with the river on your left side (toward Black Dragon Pool). You will pass under a bridge and will see it just up ahead on the right. It is worth the extra walk...trust me!
Favorite Dish: Cafe Americano with Apple Crisp
This drink is a Naxi/Lijiang specialty. It is made from yak butter. It was worth trying, but for your sake, buy one and share it among everyone. It is fairly thick and buttery. No one in my group liked it much, we are glad we tried it, but wish we had only bought one glass.
A Naxi specialty is Baba cake. It is a dense and flaky bread. It comes in a sweet version that seems flavored with honey. It also comes in a salty version with ham in it. I only tried the sweet version, but really liked it.
Blue Papaya: Watch out for the "musicians"
This restaurant (on the left of the pic) is located near the watermill in the old town. The food here is very good. I had a chicken breast stuffed with ham and something else plus French fries and a beer for Y70. Watch out (or should that be listen out) for the numerous singers that come by around the restaurants. Some guy turned up with a guitar and was awful at both singing and playing (he only played one chord!). I took his guitar and played a few chords that I can still remember after about 25 years since I last played and started to sing Love Me Tender into his microphone, to the great amusement of some westerners at a nearby table, but I was still miles better than he was even with my cough!
Lamu's House of Tibet: Good food
I came here a couple of times as it had a nice atmosphere and some good food. The second night I had a sweet & sour chicken and veg with egg fried rice and a large beer for Y62. As the name suggests, the restaurant serves a lot of Tibetan dishes as well as Chinese and western favourites.
The Well Bistro: Great deal in the old town!
Best deal in the old town that we found. We had the british breakfast (including fruit yogurt muesli) and switched the tea to Yun'nan coffee for free for a total of 35kuai (the Yun'nan coffee by itself is 18kuai already!) The cafe is opened by two Naxi sisters and is opened for 10+ years. We also tried their warm chocolate cake (OK) and the mango banana smoothie (16kuai, super yum).
The chinese review site said their Garlic sphaghetti is very good too. They also have home-made icecream (6 flavors) and local Naxi Chinese food but we didn't try those.
Favorite Dish: All day breakfast set (the scrambled egg is not fluffy but for the sake of the price, no complaint). I really enjoyed the fruit muesli that came with the breakfast set, all the fruit was really fresh. The yunan coffee is a bit more bitter but tasty, and if you are a high-roller you can switch to Illy coffee beans for an extra 5 kuai I think.
Sakura: A reasonable restaurant
The Sakura restaurant was quite a nice restaurant in terms of atmosphere and the food was reasonable but the service was not as good as it could be. For example our rice was served a long time after the other dishes and we had to ask for it specifically.
The best thing I guess was that it is right in the middle of the action and it was reasonably priced.
- Budget Travel
Le Petit Paris: Lijiang French
I didn't go in, but it seems like the probably serve some Hanified version of French food. It'd probably be good here, with as many foreign tourists as they have. Anyway, if you want to get away from the Chinese and Naxi, it may be a place to go.
So, on the second visit, we had breakfast here... pretty good, though nothing really special. I wonder how this place is doing, considering.
Still Don't know: Coffee Shop/Pizza
Well-made, though sparse on toppings, this place has some good pizzas, served hot and not really greasy. If you are looking for Lavazza coffee, they also serve that. There are, of course, Chinese dishes, but why bother here? The pizzas are worth the trip, as far as Chinese pizzas are concerned.
Favorite Dish: Hawaiian and Spicy Meatball (that's not the name, but it's what's on it) are good!
Well Cafe: Western Food
Run by the sister -who speaks some English- of the owner, this cafe is quite pleasant. They make quite a good espresso and in July of 2008, the few times we went there, there was no one else but us. Their loss.
Favorite Dish: Espresso and the cream caramel (creme caramel). The other food is good, but those stood out. The mango lassi is good as well.
Rendezvous Bar: Didn't go in
I don't know anything about it, but they call it a bar, so it may be designed for more alcohol than food. Who knows? You can be pretty certain that any western alcohol is going to be quite expensive here.
The Blue Papaya: Hot Pot
Great atmosphere right along the banks of the main creek in town, the seating can be a bit tight outside, but it's well worth it, especially for people-watching and for being seen by... everyone.
Favorite Dish: I recommend getting some variety of hot pot- you choose what goes in and they'll bring you all the water you need- just make sure to let the water come to a boil, which shouldn't take long. They serve, as does most any place in town, local Lancang (lawnstawng) and Dali (Dahlee) beer, which I recommend over the other stuff- not that it's great beer, but you can get Tsing Dao anywhere...
- Food and Dining
Baozi: Lijiang Morning!
This place is off the main drag a bit and takes a bit of work to find, but if you're one of the few that's out early in the morning in Lijiang, you can stop by for steamed buns... 2 yuan per bun. Get a few!
There are two other places, one just a few meters away and one across the road.
The one across the road serves Naxi omlettes, a nice, greasy way to start your day.
They seem to close before most tourists are out, so go early!
Don't know the Name: Tea House
They serve tea, I believe from Pu'Er, in Yunnan. What you see in the photos is made of pressed tea leaves. It didn't seem like it cost anything to taste the tea- you probably taste-tested it then bought some.
I don't recall exactly where it is, but it might be worth looking around for this place if you're into tea.
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