Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Coffee culture has gone full blast here in China, and it's always something I've found very interesting and amusing. For starters, coffee drinking and cafe culture is a relatively new thing in China (when you think about a civilization that for centuries have only been drinking tea). But Chinese urban society today, especially the youth have embraced coffee drinking fully and whole-heartedly. I have seen this phenomenon in all the cities I've been to in China, but never more so than here in Dalian where life has elevated cafe culture to a whole new level. 

In almost every street corner, and nook and cranny in this city, you will find a cute roadside cafe for your much needed caffeine stop. But of course, not all cafes are created equal. You have the regular social hangouts like Starbucks and Costa Coffee. But I'm much more interested in the quaint, unique cafes with interesting decor and great atmosphere. Here in Dalian, there's no shortage of beautiful cafes with outdoor seating and that one-of-a-kind vibe. 

September is actually a great month to visit Dalian..the weather is still warm but with a cool pleasant breeze..perfect for having that hot cup of coffee in one of the city's many cafes. 

Here are some of my favorite picks:

3rd Floor, Warehouse 15, Renmin Road East
Zhongshan District, Dalian

Monte Carlo is a cute cafe with great outdoor seating facing the East Dalian Harbour. You can take in the fancy, colorful decor while sipping your coffee and watching seagulls by the dock.

Zhigong jie corner Lushun lu (beside Carrefour)
Zhongshan District, Dalian
(many branches around Dalian)

Paris Baguette is an awesome cafe and bakery with goodies as far as the eye can see. From bread, croissants, pastries, cakes, sandwiches and pizza, it's all here. They have great yogurt too and a good selection of coffee. 

Wanghai Street (in front of Botanical Garden)
Zhongshan District, Dalian

This is one of my favorite cafes in Dalian. It is located in an old house by the Botanical Garden. The interior reminds me of an English garden or countryside cafe. It's very rustic and bohemian and just a great relaxing place to go with friends. The French hot chocolate is authentic and amazing!

Fisherman's Wharf (dock area), Laohutan,
Zhongshan District, Dalian

Momi Cafe is a truly unique cafe filled with postcards, notepads and art paraphernalia to suit your fancy. While having a cup of coffee, you may write a friend in one of the many cute postcards and mail it right then and there (one of the cafe's perks - a one-stop mail service). Not to mention, Momi is located in one of Dalian's most beautiful areas, Laohutan, complete with a marina and breathtaking sunsets. 

JPC Cafe
Qiqi Street corner Jiefang jie,
Zhongshan District, Dalian

I recently discovered this cafe with my friend Eya. Owned by a company based in Hong Kong, the cafe is situated in its own building by a small park and is quite impressive. Breads, pastries, a complete food menu and of course, great coffee are just a few of the goodies to be found here. The Blueberry cheesecake is a must!


  1. Dom !
    I miss those places so much and having coffee with you and Vicky !
    Loved the Jia Jia Maison, the place, the coffee and the dog that i fell in love with :D ! Too bad i discovered it a tad too late.
    But what abt the last one, where is it ? Looks really nice !

    1. Hi Maria!
      I miss you and our coffee dates!
      Yup, Jia Jia la Maison is awesome and wish we got to go there together. :)
      The last one here, JPC Cafe, is really new. I think it just opened in August.
      It's about 5 minutes walk from Zhongshan Square down Jiefang Jie and in front of
      a small park. In the Nanshan residential area..very nice!!!
      - Dom :)

  2. As someone new to downtown Dalian, and a big coffee lover, I am very happy to find this post! Jia Jia La Maison is now on my list... thanks :)

    1. Hi Mel, thanks for your comment. :) Welcome to downtown Dalian! Hope you do get to try Jia Jia la's a beautiful, unique place and coffee is great! Glad to have helped.

    2. Off there today, actually! thank you, this is an excellent blog! :)