Though it’s mere minutes from the chaotic pedestrian street Nanluoguxiang, Dali Courtyard, in a charming brick courtyard house, is as tranquil as the nearby streets are buzzing. Dinner is a set menu here (from ¥150 per person), a small parade of dishes from southern Yunnan Province. Star dishes, like rubing (fried goat cheese), guoqiao mixian (“crossing-the-bridge noodles”), and anything with mushrooms, a food for which Yunnan is known, always make appearances. Other dishes include things like grilled fish colored in chilies, stir-fried wild vegetables, and tofu and mint salad. The food here is on the spicy side, so be sure to ask for it mild. If you’re a vegetarian or have dietary restrictions, have the information written down in Chinese and give it to your server before you order.
By Sophie Friedman, AFAR Local Expert
Laid-back Hutong Yunnanese
A stone's throw away from the masses at Nanluoguxiang, Dali Courtyard serves up authentic Yunnanese fare in a stunning hutong courtyard perfect for a chilled-out meal under the stars. They offer a set menu from ¥150 per person based on seasonal ingredients, but do accommodate special requests. Mainstays include fried cheese, mint salads with tofu skins, and fried shrimp with lemongrass.
By Lisa Gay