Article By XIANEASE
Whe first ever Diamond Pagoda Awards are over! We started last month by asking a diverse group of Xianease contributors to help us brainstorm the categories, as well as the nominees. We ended up with seventeen categories, fi ve nominees for each category, for a total of 85 different bars, restaurants, activities, and more that we thought were deserving of the expat community’s attention. To keep things varied, we decided that each nominee would only be eligible for one category. Votes were tallied by adding responses from our website’s poll to the results of our daily WeChat polls. These kinds of things, by design, can’t include everything, so we’re sorry if we missed your favorite. If we didn’t include a place that you love and you want our readers to know about it, leave us a comment on our website, our WeChat account, or send us an email at email@example.com.
We hope you enjoyed voting as much as we enjoyed putting this poll together for you. Congratulations to all the winners!
Best Dive Bar
Address: 12#, Defu Xiang 德福巷12号
This riot of pink and black and butterfl ies survived its move to Bar Street and continues to fl ourish. Whether it’s the 10RMB Harbin beers or the sassy, one-of-a-kind owner/barkeep Samantha, something keeps the expat townies coming back to 3as4.
Best Live Music Venue
Location: Yinma chi, Ju Hua Yuan, Dongda Jie.
An underground oasis tucked into an alley in Chrysanthemum Gardens ( 菊花园 ), Aperture started as a club for photographers and is now the prominent indie venue in town. Metal, new wave, punk, folk, hip hop, and more grace its stage every month, and if you haven’t been you’re missing out on almost daily opportunities to rock out.
Best Hangover Breakfast
Gaoxin Location: 4#, Tangyan Nan Lu.
Tel: 029-6861 1082
Down Town Location: 2F, B Block Wang Fu Jing Shopping Mall, 88# Nanguan Zheng Jie.
南关正街88号王府井百货广场B block 2楼
Tel: 029-8765 1617
Bacon, eggs, French toast, wraps, and a damn strong cup of coffee make LeBan one of Xi’an’s best places to get a good western breakfast.
Best Place for Day Drinking
Any sidewalk in Xi’an
While there are plenty of places to get your drink on while the sun is out, it seems our readers agree that you shouldn’t worry about where you are—you can get drunk there. Stay classy, Xi’an.
Isola del Nord
Bell Tower Location: 11F,
Block B, K.I. Tower, 1 Xi Hua Men
Tel: 029 – 8720 1501(1502)
Gaoxin Location: Room 401,4F, Jie Zuo Plaza, Southwest Corner of Ke Ji Road and Feng Hui South Road Intersection, Gaoxin.
Tel: 029-8819 3600 029-8819 3522
One of the fi rst great pizzas in Xi’an remains one of its best, with its thin, Italian-style crust and fresh ingredients.
Near Wall Bar
Location: 200 meters west of South Gate (Nan Men)
Tel: 029-8721 9663
Having the best beer wasn’t enough for Near Wall, so 2015 saw the addition of a chef and a snack menu at this venerable brew house. Their menu is great comfort food, all lead by this juicy, meaty, cheese-and-bacon-topped burger.
Best Place to Find Imported Products
Changan Location: 86# Changan Nan Lu.
Tel: 029-8525 8888
North Location : 958# Beichen Lu.
Tel: 029-6569 8888
Want some Chilean wine, a giant block of cheese, and some car wax? Get your membership card (or steal a friend’s) and get lost in Metro’s warehouse of a store near the TV tower, where a trip for odds and ends becomes a bank-account-clearing exercise in homesickness.
Best Foreign Restaurant
Location: West of Zuan shi ban dao, Yannan sanlu.
Always striving for the perfect dining experience, Caprice keeps its menu changing.Ribs, seafood, pizza, steaks and much more have graced its menu with equally tasty results.
Best Hot Pot
Ma La Shangxi
Location: West of Datang Furong Garden, 99# Furong Xi Lu
Tel: 029-6888 7277
Ma La Shangxi stands out amongst the multitude of hot pot restaurants for being a direct import from Sichuan Province (or as our staff has been referring to it, “the kingdom of hot pot”). Spicy food afi cionados will defi nitely get their fi ll here.
Location: 7F Parkson Shopping Mall, 107# Xida Jie
Tel: 029-8728 6666
You haven’t lived in Xi’an until you’ve had that moment at 2:30am where you decide that the party isn’t over, so you fi nd a taxi and start yelling “SHA SHA” at the driver until he brings you. Then it’s just up the elevator and time to get your dance on.
Best Rooftop to Party On
Traveling With Hostel
Location: Opposite of Zhuque Gate
Tel: 029-8726 2670
Just inside Zhuque Gate, Traveling With is a fabulous place to grab a drink and simultaneously drink in the splendor of our great city walls and burgeoning city skyline.
Location: Song Yuan, Close City wall, East of Nanmen Gate.
Home Coffee, situated by South Gate, has not only the best coffee in town, but also a fancy interior, nice atmosphere and delicious treats to go with it.
Best Place to Find Clothes for Laowai Bodies
Every Where in the City If you want to clothe your laowai body, why not go to a laowai store? H&M may not be unique to Xi’an, but it’s more unique in context because it’s one of the few places that caters more to our fashion sense. You’ll stand a good chance of fi nding a decent ensemble here, whether you need jeans, hoodies, or sweaters (or sweatpants for anyone who’s stopped giving a damn).
Best People Watching Spot
Find a place on the sidewalk or pay a little bit to take a vantage point on the Drum Tower, but of all the places you can watch people be people, the unique combination of tourists and the minority population will provide you with plenty of opportunities to watch the locals in their element, whether they’re making one of Muslim Street’s delicious snacks or getting into a fi ght over who gets to take the selfie in front of a roujiamo stand.
Best Place for Visitors to Stay
Location: 66 Ci En Road,Qu Jiang New District.
Let it never be said that the people of Xi’an aren’t classy as hell. Of all the fine hostels and hotels, our readers will only accept the best—and that, according to them, is the 5-star Westin Hotel in Qujiang.
Best Place for a Family Outing
Qujiang Lake Park
You don’t need any fancy rides or machines to have a nice day out with the family—the sun, the lake, some sports fields, and a decent PM2.5 level will do just fine.
Best Cheap Activity for Your Day Off
Bird and Flower Market Hidden in the labyrinth of the Muslim District is a place that, upon first hearing of it, most people think can’t possibly be real. We’re not sure why birds AND fl owers, but if you’re strapped for cash, a walk through this bizarre market will certainly hold your interest and make for a good trip on your day off.
Question or comments about activities around Xi’an contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org