China’s most laid back city is Dali, we liked it and that’s probably why we’ve spent two weeks in Dali working. And with work comes coffee. One of us is an avid coffee drinker and the other is crazy about tea, we’re always happy to find a good cup of either in the cities we work. China is famous for its tea and you can get it everywhere, finding a good cup of tea is easier than finding a decent cup of coffee. We have spent many hours finding good coffee in Dali and this are the three places we loved most.
Ok, I realize it’s a bummer I can’t remember the name of the place in Dali where I liked the coffee best. I’ve tried finding it online, to no avail. Luckily for you however, I still know what street it’s on and the general location on said street. Angela made a map to show you where it is.
From the outside it looks like a regular European café, big window, with a door to the left. The window frame is painted a light shade of blue and you can see a lot of plants behind the window. It looks kind of hippie-esque, but so does every bar in Dali. You should see the bar behind the door. It looks pretty dark from the street.
The coffee and espresso served here is made with a classic, the percolator. Because of this it can take up to 10 minutes before your coffee is served, but it is great coffee, the strongest I’ve had in Dali. The tea served is made from dried tea leaves, no pre-packaged tea here. It’s tea from the region and bought on the market. Fresh, organic produce can come with some unwanted friends. Angie found a tiny caterpillar on her mint leaves. She refused to drink any more tea the following week.
Like all the places on this list, they offer free WiFi.
2. Bakery 88
The coffee here is pretty good but what makes this place truly great are its sandwiches. After a couple of weeks in China you’ll find yourself with a craving for decent bread, cheese and meats. I sure did. Bakery 88 is the place to go if you want a taste of home while in Dali. They have different kinds of bread here, all home-baked. The whole-wheat nut bread goes great with old cheese, and I loved my BLT. They also sell home-made jams and imported olive oil.
You can pick whatever kind of bread you want for your sandwich. The pastry, pies and cookies are also very tasty. The cheeses and meats are mostly imported from Europe. The cheese is really good!
We couldn’t find a website for Bakery 88, so here’s the TripAdvisor review page: Bakery 88
3. Black Dragon Cafe
Another lunchroom-style café we loved was the Black Dragon Cafe. We both get a literary hard-on when we see books and this place is full of it. They’ve got plenty of new books for sale, and shelves full of second-hand books you can either read there or buy.
They’ve got a decent coffee, and the tea here is amazing. They’ve got a tea called ‘Black Dragon Eight Treasures Tea’, with marigold, globe amaranth, jasmine, peppermint, orange zest, Chinese date, goji berry and rose leaves. It looks cool, the taste is special. The rest of the menu looks good. We had some home-made pie and cookies when we were there and they were delicious.