Drinking and nightlife in Yunnan

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Kunming

    Uncle John's Craft Beer

    The new second branch of a long-standing Kunming favourite is far more accessible, and the long wooden bar is fairly inviting as well. You'd have to try quite hard to sample the whole range of Uncle John's brews (some of which are made on-site), but luckily there's a sampler paddle to help things along.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Baisha

    Me Let

    Of the many fantastic cafes in Baisha, and there are surprisingly many, Me Let stands apart for its selection of and passion for coffee, as well as for the fantastic garden in which to sit. The cafe is locally famous for its homemade plum juice, which also comes in an alcoholic version.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Shangri-la

    Raven

    Raven is the best bar in town and one of the best in northwest Yunnan, with a huge range of beers and spirits and a small selection of pub food. There's a big bar counter to sit around, sofas to sink into, New York–style pizzas (from ¥45), a pool table and decent sounds.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Kunming

    M For Maker

    Yunnanese and Ethiopian beans are roasted on-site and served as delightfully balanced brews at this tiny, unprepossessing coffee shop beyond Brooklyn Pizzeria.

  • Nightlife in Dali

    Tang Cafe

    One sip of the flat white here and you'll swear you're in Melbourne, or at least Sydney. A rooftop terrace sweetens the deal, as does a small but tempting brunch menu.

  • Nightlife in Kunming

    O'Reilly's Beer Garden

    This Yunnan-based chain of Irish pubs actually hits pretty close to the mark with a massive beer list (though disappointingly no Chinese options) and spirits and cocktails, as well as a short but appetising selection of western and Chinese dishes. On breezy Kunming nights, the patio area is a delight, particularly if you make it over during happy hour.

  • Nightlife in Kunming

    Yun Brewing

    Sixteen homebrews, a fridge full of imports and a fun-loving vibe all recommend this as one of the better craft-beer places in Kunming.

  • Nightlife in Dali

    Craft Beer House

    In a quiet corner of the old town, this fun place carries European and American craft brews plus some locally produced 'foreign' options (¥39 to ¥69). There are no Chinese craft beers, unfortunately, but there's live music sometimes. It's the kind of bar you'd open for your friends to hang out at, which appears to be exactly the story here.

  • Nightlife in Lijiang

    Stone the Crows

    Worth checking out is this foreign-owned, endearingly ramshackle bar with a good range of foreign beers and a mixed crowd of locals (many musicians who play in the nearby bars come here) and westerners. There's a pool table and decent pub food: pizza, pies and burgers. It gets going later rather than earlier.

  • Nightlife in Dali

    Chateau Pirates

    Chinese craft beer (including one Dali offering) from a hole-in-the-wall taproom with just a few barstools and one tiny table. If you're peckish, the place next door will bring over fish 'n' chips and bacon sandwiches.

  • Nightlife in Lijiang

    Two Cats

    Coffee, cakes and a small selection of booze make up the menu at this little cafe on the eastern flank of Lion Hill, but really what keeps us coming back is the incredible views of the old town from the terrace.

  • Nightlife in Heshun

    Yúnlǐkā

    This local chain has several branches in the area, all selling cups of tasty local coffee. Turn right from the village entrance and keep walking about 350m till you see it on your left.

  • Nightlife in Shangri-la

    Shangri-La Beer Bar

    Drink Shangri-la's favourite local craft beer straight from the source – they've got all the varieties on tap, plus a handful of international wines, beers and spirits.

  • Nightlife in Shangri-la

    Yunnan Arabica Coffee

    Local beans and a handful of sweets at this local coffee chain will see you through a day of sightseeing around Shangri-la.

  • Nightlife in Shaxi

    Corvus Corax

    Perhaps the best coffee to be had in Shaxi is available at this tiny cafe and roastery just south of the old town square.

  • Nightlife in Dali

    Backyard

    Dali's most laid-back and hidden-away bar attracts locals and expats with a fine selection of wines and foreign beers from a bar set off a small garden (hence the name). It shows live European football on the weekends; there's pool, table football and darts; and it happens to serve the best wood-fired pizza in town.

  • Nightlife in Heshun

    Lanna Cafe

    Chilled-out spot for a decent coffee. It also does OK breakfasts (from ¥30), as well as pasta, pizza and sandwiches (mains from ¥38). The top floor has nice views out over the surrounding fields. Turn right from the village entrance and it's downhill on the right in about 150m.

  • Nightlife in Kunming

    Beerbug

    Visit this cavernous beer hall in a converted warehouse for home brews from Purple Cloud and a wide range of other drinks, including inexpensive cocktails and shooters. It's tucked into a neighbourhood south of the Kunming Museum.

  • Nightlife in Dali

    Bad Monkey

    Expect home-brewed beer and a party every night at this popular Brit-run spot on Renmin Lu, where you can order a flight of all four of their in-house brews for ¥88. There's music nightly at 8pm (and sometimes a cover charge to go along with it).

  • Nightlife in Kunming

    EGO

    Along with a handful of their own drinkable home brews here, there's a long list (and cooler full) of domestic and import craft offerings to complement a menu of pub grub.