The Best of Kunming’s New Pizza Scene

The Best of Kunming’s New Pizza Scene

For a city with a moderate amount of foreigners, Kunming has a robust pizza scene. Old mainstays like the Box and Sandra’s still serve most of the city’s pizza, each with a different approach. Italian-owned Box has a lot of Italian treats, and the owners take great pride in their classic Italian pizza. Sandra’s gourmet pizzas, which include freshly shaved parmesan and arugula, is well worth the trip to the north of Kunming. American-run Lazy Bones has a great pizza delivery service, and with major chains like Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Origus, there’s a fair amount of pizza variety to choose from.

So, with an already solid foundation to build on, a few new places are trying to elevate pizza in Yunnan to the next level. It’s not easy entering an already saturated industry, so new places have to choose a specialty in order to attract new customers. Zhao Gong Ci has built the first wood-fired oven in Kunming, Happy Kitchen is combing classic pizzas with new ingredients, and As You Like is offering new varieties of vegetarian pizza. Together, the diversity of these places can keep you eating pizza for weeks.

1) Zhao Gong Ci 赵公祠

 

Nestled behind a row of shops just off Green Lake, the Zhao Gong Ci guesthouse provides a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that could eat up your whole afternoon if you let it. Built during the Qing dynasty, the complex originally served as the dorm where imperial examiners were quarantined before the Confucian exams. It was a safehouse for professors fleeing the violence of World War Two before finally ending up as the studio for a local painter. After it fell in to disrepair, owners David and Yujia offered to rescue the place and rebuild it as a guesthouse and restaurant. Try your meal on the airy, wood-paneled dining room or the rooftop terrace.

The menu was designed by French chef Remi Quevilly, and features simple southern French dishes with seasonal weekly dishes. The real treat is the wood-fired oven, custom built to bake several pizzas at once. There is an extensive list of toppings, both familiar and rare, and Remi plans to hold make-your-own-pizza parties for the guesthouse starting soon.

Zhao Gong Ci 赵公祠View In Map
Add: 7 Yiqiutian Xiang, Kunming
地址:昆明市一丘田巷7号,翠湖旁边,
How to get there: The street is a little hard to find – out of the south gate of Green Lake, cross Cuihu Nan Lu. You’ll see Yi Qitian Alley一丘田巷on your left.

 

2) Happy Kitchen 辛福厨房
The recently opened Happy Kitchen is the Kunming branch of the Shangri-La based restaurant, guesthouse and mountain tour company. Buddhist owner Luotuo spent a number of years getting the Western food at his Shangri-La kitchen up to the level demanded of a tourist-heavy town. Anyone who went through Shangri-La around 2007-2008 might have spent time in his “open kitchen,” where foreign guests were invited to use the kitchen to try different western dishes. The menu was refined over the years and is now one of the best in town.

The Kunming branch of Happy Kitchen is in a spacious and quiet Mediterranean-style building on the lower end of Wenlin St. The oven is set into the wall under one of the dining room’s mosaics. Along with a few baked goods and treats, Luotuo bakes a few different pizzas with some pretty traditional toppings. Although Chinese-foreign fusion foods frequently go wrong, the real treat here is the little taste of Shangri-La. There’s yak cheese and mountain vegetables, as well as the yak meat pizza, which has thinly sliced and seasoned yak that sits surprisingly well atop mozzarella. The regular Italian fare is good too, but this is a good place to get a little adventurous. They also have delivery.

Happy Kitchen 辛福厨房 View In Map
Add: 1 Wenlin Jie, Kunming
地址:昆明市文林街1号
Tel: 0871 539 2889
 

 

3) As You Like有佳面包店
Already well-known for its great bread and vegetarian sandwiches, As You Like has recently added a new line of pizzas. The classic tomato, cream and mushroom were a nice start, but the new toppings and pizza styles have made seats in the tiny dining room harder and harder to get.

Owner Jiajia’s goal is to offer only fresh and seasonal ingredients for their salads, sandwiches, and now pizzas. This includes local mushrooms, chiles, and the Kunming favorite, red bean. The pizzas are very reasonably priced from 25- 30 RMB. This small place has only one oven, so be ready to wait a good half hour for your pizza if there are people ahead of you. It’s well worth the wait.

As You Like有佳面包店 View In Map
Add: 5 Tianjundian Xiang, Wenlin Jie, Kunming
地址:昆明市文林街天君殿巷5号
Tel: 0871 541 1715

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Keywords: pizza Kunming specialty pizza Kunming new pizzerias Kunming best pizzas in Kunming

1 Comments

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Bduff
comment|35908|66582

Sadly both The Box and Sandra's closed in 2012. Lazybones Pizzas closed and reopened as a delivery service. Slice of Heaven in Hong Shan Dong Lu seems to be the place for the expats in Kunming to get their pizza fix. An interesting range of toppings and a good imported wine selection can make Friday evenings when the big pizzas are half price a great place to end the week. It's a nice cafe any other time of the week to hang out.

Mar 01, 2013 14:41 Report Abuse