Best restaurants in Yunnan

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Shuhe Old Town

    1 Restaurant

    Built into a historic courtyard house once owned by a trader of the Tea Horse Road era, the restaurant's very modern menu features Yunnanese and Naxi specialties and even a few truffle dishes. Ask if a table is available out on the patio overlooking the old town.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nuodeng

    Yánquán Nóngjiā

    The one genuine restaurant in the village is also one of the most famous in Yunnan, after being featured on the hit Chinese TV show A Bite of China. People come from far and wide to sample shúhuǒtuǐ (熟火腿; ¥40), a slightly salty cured ham that's the local speciality. It tastes fantastic, as do the all-natural veggies and tofu.

  • Restaurants in Shaxi

    Hungry Buddha

    The most sophisticated eatery in town and one of the most notable in all Yunnan, with a mouth-watering all-vegetarian Italian menu utilising locally produced ingredients across the authentic menu. The range of options is limited but delicious, and there's a proper wine list, too.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Kunming

    Tǔ Shēngshí Guǎn

    On the ground floor of a converted warehouse a couple of kilometres northwest of the city centre, this family-run place strictly uses locally sourced organic ingredients for its selection of flavourful Yunnan dishes and Chinese favourites. The veggies and homemade tofu are outstanding and the atmosphere relaxed; there's a small outside area. No English spoken, but there's an English menu.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Shangri-la

    Flying Tigers Cafe

    French-run bistro in a hundred-year-old courtyard house, with the finest wine list in town (from ¥30 a glass) and a diverse local and international menu that utilises local ingredients. Try the house-made mushroom ravioli or the yak burger. There's also an extensive bar menu of cocktails and, of course, Shangri-La Beer. You may even find yourself coming back.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Kunming

    Shípíng Huìguǎn

    Try authentic Yunnan cuisine in a beautifully restored heritage courtyard building with outdoor seating – this is one of our favourite restaurants in the city. No English menus (or spoken), but digital tablet menus do have photos. There are a handful of inexpensive dishes, including well-executed stinky tofu, but overall expect this to be a splurge.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lijiang

    Les Petites Écuries

    High-end Yunnanese cuisine fills most of the menu at this Yunnanese–French collaboration, in an upmarket setting on the south side of the old town. Bring a group of three or four and try the Yunnan Nations Platter, a selection of 10 to 15 small dishes representative of the region's breadth of flavours.

  • Restaurants in Lugu Lake

    Zhāxī Cāntīng

    Lively restaurant and barbecue joint that's great for the local speciality, Mosuo pork (from ¥50), which you cook yourself on tabletop wood-fired grills. It's popular anytime, but the atmosphere becomes particularly festive in the evenings when cold beer washes down the superb barbecue.

  • Restaurants in Dali

    Méizi Jǐng

    This charmingly authentic Bai restaurant is composed of three grey-brick courtyards each containing small seating nooks where you can feast on traditional local cuisine. The English menu features some erratic translations (‘garlic loofah tip’, anyone?), but the ‘braised chicken’ or ‘wild mushroom’ dishes are both fine starting points, as are the small bottles of aged house-made plum liquor.

  • Restaurants in Ruili

    Bo Bo’s Cold Drinks Shop

    This Ruili institution is busy from early to late, with Burmese waiters clad in their native, sarong-like longyi hustling as they serve up fantastic fruit juices, Burmese-style milky tea, ice cream and cakes. They also do simple but tasty rice and noodle dishes. Look for the English sign on Xin'An Lu and go upstairs to the large, 2nd-floor covered terrace.

  • Restaurants in Shaxi

    Pear Blossom Vegetarian Restaurant

    Operating in the forecourt of the restored Pear Orchard Temple (慈荫庵, Cíyīnān) the delightfully clever menu here presents Shaxi dishes made primarily with ingredients locally sourced from farms in the surrounding Diantou Village.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    As You Like

    This all-vegetarian cubbyhole cafe/restaurant is pleasant, though upstairs seating gets absolutely sweltering in the summer. Staff make excellent pizza, salads and sandwiches, all from local organic produce, as well as fine smoothies, and there's a good range of Chinese teas.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    Hóng Dòu Yuán

    This old-school Chinese eatery, with a duck-your-head stairway, is a real locals hang-out on cosmopolitan Wenlin Jie. The food is excellent and will draw you back, despite the long dinnertime lines. Try regional specialities such as the táozá rǔbǐng (fried goat’s cheese and Yunnan ham) and liáng bái ròu (peppery, tangy beef). There's a picture menu.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    Cantina

    This large, light-filled Italian-run venue is set around an attractive central bar. There's a wide selection of pizza, pasta and panini (from ¥28), steaks and more. Good wine list, aperitifs, and cocktails, plus there are daily lunch specials (from ¥49).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Jinghong

    Meimei Cafe

    This is the first of all the western-style cafes in town and still the best. Choose from Dai and Chinese, burgers and breakfast, Belgian beer and espresso drinks; the menu has it all and everything we've tried has been good. The website is also a great source of local info (if a bit dated) and much of the same info can be found on-site in a binder kept behind the bar.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    Brooklyn Pizzeria

    Pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches: the list continues. If you're looking for western comfort food, this is the place to find it. It's unsurprisingly popular with the expat crowd. Find it northwest of the centre of town, in a busy pocket of restaurants and bars.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    Yíng Jiāng Dǎi Wèi Yuán

    Popular with the locals, this bustling restaurant offers an authentic taste of the delicious, sour and spicy cuisine of the Dai minority from Xishuangbanna in the deep south of Yunnan, including such delicacies as bamboo worms (they taste better than they sound). Hefty portions and a pleasant location by Green Lake, too. No English, but there's a picture menu.

  • Restaurants in Shangri-la

    Compass

    Bustling spot for a fine breakfast, and a popular hang-out for international travellers. Salads, steaks, pasta and pizzas are all available, as well as a few generic Asian dishes. Great cakes and coffee; it's nonsmoking, too. It's an ideal place to take a break from sightseeing, plus there's a small selection of handicrafts if you need to pick up souvenirs.

  • Restaurants in Lijiang

    Tiāntiān Xiān

    Locals flock here for the superb grilled fish and chicken and soy-bean-paste dishes (get here before 7pm or they will have run out). But all the Naxi specialities on offer are fantastic and great value. No English spoken, but there is an English menu. To find it, look for the three characters with 'Daily Fresh' written in English underneath them.

  • Restaurants in Kunming

    Salvador’s

    Always busy with travellers and students, Salvador’s is now a Kunming staple. With a Mexican/Mediterranean food theme, as well as solid breakfasts, good coffee and a decent range of teas, it caters for all hours of the day. In the evening, you can hang around the bar and watch as Kunming's hipsters and youth parade along Wenhua Xiang.