There are plenty of coffee shops that are open until the late evening. One of our favorites is Himalayan Coffee. Himalayan Coffee is a Western-run café specializing in Italian-based espresso coffees and fine desserts, including cheesecake and tiramisu. It’s owned by Americans from Alaska and it’s reminiscent of a Western style shop with its rustic decor hinting at the blend of Tibetan and Alaskan. You can go there to have some down time with a book or meet a couple of friends. Himalayan Coffee has a variety of food and drink items on their menu.
For coffee, I highly recommend their lattes or a dirty chai. They also have a delicious mango smoothie that comes in a huge glass (SO filling), and their pizzas and waffles are delectable—probably the best in the city. They also offer light Western breakfasts Belgian waffles and homemade granola. Lunch & dinner options include sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas and thin-crust, stone-baked pizza.
They also partner with local communities in offering fair-trade, high quality Tibetan products. These items include 100% yak-wool garments, unique Tibetan handicrafts & jewelry, and yak milk soap.
There are plenty of other coffee shops in Kangding as well and you’ll be sure to run into them as you explore!
Here’s what their customers have to say:
“As far as I am concerned, this is the only real café in town. What makes it real? They don’t take money-saving shortcuts, but only bring you the real deal. Real, good, coffee, real, good cheese cakes, and real, good, service. Everyone else in town tries to imitate Himalayan Café” –Kris, Zhilam Owner
“A rustic coffee shop that I want to import to where I live. Excellent coffee. Better than Starbucks…”
“The Himalaya Coffee and trying Co is the most amazing coffee shop you could wish for. I would definitely make it my regular hanging out place if it was anywhere near where I live – so finding this gem in Kangding is just mind-blowing. What is so clear is that this place has a unique culture of customer-focused service, authentic Sino-Tibetan atmosphere, and excellent coffee! It is impressively clean, the food is great (try the pizza if you’ve had a bit of yak-overload), the staff are friendly and go out of their way to help. Fairtrade local craft ranging from slingshots to designer yak-wool clothing is sold on site. Excellent free wifi as well…”
“In terms of food and beverage, if its Western fare you are seeking after weeks of travel, Himalayan Coffee offers the best of it all. Their coffee can compete with any establishment in Seattle; their food is fantastic (esp. the desserts); and they have cold import beers to choose from as well. They even have breakfast available for those who need to start the day off right!”
“This place has a very nice location in Kangding County, right smack in the middle of town with a nice view from its smoking section (good thing, nobody was smoking when we were there). So we got to relax and see the town folks go about their business while taking a sip of one of the best coffees we tasted in West China. And they have the cleanest public squat toilet we have seen in Yunnan and Sichuan.”
“If you are willing to spend 29 RMB for a small coffee at a big American coffee chain in China you might be better off with this authentic, individual option. The coffee at Himalayan Coffee is rich in taste and after traveling the West of Sichuan with almost only instant coffee options it almost seems like a feast for any real and honest coffee lover. Of course it doesn’t come around for 10 Kuai, it’s real, good coffee and absolutely worth the price. Also tried their Chai Latte which was amazing, too. They sell little goodies as well, like Yak milk soap, Yak wool clothes and jewelry – a lot of which supports the local producers, farmers, Tibetans. Thumbs up!”
HIMALAYA COFFEE LOCATION
Look for General’s Bridge (JiangJunQiao) in downtown Kangding with statutes of Tibetans. Store signage is visible on the south side of the river. Enter into tourist shopping district called “Liu Liu Chen” behind the large yak statute. Turn left on walking street at large prayer wheels. Cafe is located up a small staircase immediately on the left.