The Best Breakfast Food and Brunch Spots in Guilin

You Tiao | ©Brian Jeffery Beggerly/Flickr
You Tiao | ©Brian Jeffery Beggerly/Flickr
The first meal of the day in China is done without a lot of fanfare; breakfast is usually quick, easy, and taken on the go here. While Guilin doesn’t have the breakfast and brunch culture that other larger western cities might have, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a tasty first meal of the day. Here are a few of our best breakfasts in Guilin.

Breakfast Street Food

Early morning purveyors of grab-and-go breakfast foods wheel their carts out daily to sling quick eats to commuting locals. Walk around for a little bit, and you’re sure to find some. Otherwise the people at your lodging will surely be happy to give you their take on the best place to start your day.


Easily the most popular local dish, mifen is simply rice noodles served in a hot, savory broth. It can be topped with any combination of marinated eggs, shaved meat, bamboo shoots, green onions, pickled beans, radishes, chili sauce, peanuts, and more. Mifen is the way most of the Guilin population breaks its fast, and the meal is filling and cheap. A big portion will set you back less than a U.S. dollar or British pound.

Mifen ©Micah Sittig/Flickr

Soybean milk and deep-fried dough sticks

These two breakfast items usually appear together on street market stalls and are normally both served hot. Quick, easy, and tasty, they make for great to-go items. Try dipping the fried bread into the soybean milk, it’s divine.

You Tiao ©Brian Jeffery Beggerly/Flickr


These steamed buns can be stuffed with any number of fillings. The more savory versions may have eggplant, eggs, pickled vegetables, mushrooms, and ground meat. The sweet ones are stuffed with custard, sesame seeds, or bean paste. You’ll know it’s a baozi stand because of the giant, round, bamboo trays the breakfast items are served on.

Baozi ©Drew Bates/Flickr

Egg “Pancake”

Your local friends will call these “pancakes,” but really they’re more akin to crepes. Jianbing chefs will craft a flat crepe with dough and eggs then wrap the concoction around scallions, spicy sauces, and a slice of crispy, deep-fried dough.

Egg pancake ©Tom Mascardo/Flickr


Your options for breakfast, particularly Western breakfast, are fairly limited in Guilin. But, here are two spots that’ll work in a pinch.

Li Cafe

Situated in the Shangri-La Hotel is the most egalitarian breakfast spot you’re going to find in Guilin. Their huge breakfast buffet includes traditional Chinese foods, a huge noodle bar, dim sum, cereal, omelets, and pancakes.


Yeah, yeah, we know, Starbucks is a far cry from authentic Chinese food, but sometimes you just need a real muffin or scone (ovens aren’t common in this part of China, so it’s difficult getting baked goods) and the omnipresent coffee chain is one of the few places in town that serves them.

Starbucks © C W/Flickr