The main central streets of Jiefang Road and Zhengyang Pedestrian Street, and along the river, are the main eating areas. Many outlets are quite touristy and overpriced, however, but take your cues from the locals and head for the side streets to discover a veritable hive of non-pretentious places.
One must-try local specialty is Guilin rice noodles (
Guilin mi fen
), which is served just about everywhere, while horse hoof cake (
ma ti gao
) is ideal for a mid-morning snack.
Zhengyang Pedestrian Street
Although somewhat touristy and therefore overpriced, Zhengyang Pedestrian Street is the main thoroughfare to dine at. It is a traffic-free street and has bags of atmosphere, making it popular with locals for its shopping and local fare. Guilinese Good luck Restaurant is one of the best known restaurants here and there is also a large dining hall that has traditional Chinese music being played.
Yiren Lu Street is just off of the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street and is a good alternative for those who don't like crowds as it is less touristy. Here, you will find a good selection of local eateries, along with familiar fast food joints like McDonald's and KFC.
Mong Kok Food Street
Mong Kok is also super-touristy and a great place to wander day or night, with its bustling, pedestrianised alleys and bright signs. It is located near Central Square and the Bell Tower and comes with all types of familiar Chinese eateries.
Nanhuan Lu is also in the center of town, although its eating options tend to put a lot of Westerners off, where caged animals are put on display outside ready for your order. If you don't fancy those, there are also plenty of standard noodle and rice outlets.
For assured high quality dining, consider heading to one of Guilin's top hotels, such as the Hilton or the Sheraton. The Sheraton's Studio Café is particularly popular, and, although pricey, has a diverse menu. Guilin Bravo's Patio Café is another popular spot with Westerners.
Nanhuan Lu 106
Phone: +86 773 282 0470
Yiyuan Fandian is one of the top Chinese restaurants in Guilin, known for its spicy Sichuan cuisine. It is popular with visitors and locals and comes with a huge menu with goodies like spicy, diced chicken, sweet-and-sour fish dishes, and a decent range of sweet desserts.
Zaowangye Xiangwei Ju
Nanhuan Lu 96
Phone: +86 773 282 7769
Zaowangye Xiangwei Ju, or Vesta Restaurant in English, is based on Yao and Zhuang cuisines with an emphasis on Guilin spices and ingredients. The free-range chicken soup (
) and the bamboo cooked rice (
zaliang zhutong fan
) are specialties.
Yiren Lu 1-1
Phone: +86 773 281 0063
Rosemary Café has consistently been voted the top Western restaurant in town on account of its fantastic menu, and, in particular, the tasty breakfasts. It is located near the Sheraton Hotel and Zhengyang Pedestrian Street although tends to be packed out for most of the day.
Find more information about Guilin and hotels in the area: