Redeye Cafe

Article By Eugene Lombard

No.16, Tian Shui Jing.

Average Price per Person /人均消费: 35RMB

It’s the season of heavy coats and boots. We’ve reached that time of year where the indoors are preferred over the outdoors. Which brings me to the following point. It’s good to know which places to visit once the cold, winter blanket settles over the city. I’ve spent some time during autumn building up a list of places I’d like to frequent during the winter months. Fortunately, I was able to add one more place to my list.

I ventured out on a cool Saturday night, took a taxi and walked a stretch until I found myself in front of a big, red, round-framed window. Almost hidden, until the smell of coffee lured me in.

Welcome to RedEye. Another exciting spot to add to the list of ever growing creative establishments popping up all over the city.

You’ll find Redeye café inside the south western section of the city wall, located in Tianshuijing Street about 200 meters from Hanguang Gate. This part of town is quite popular among the creatives. A small cluster of eclectic bars, restaurants and other hidden gems can be found in these parts. It was not surprising to see the sidewalk abuzz with young and vibrant people on their way to somewhere.

Redeye is not a bar, yet not entirely a café. Something in between. Coffee bar perhaps? Once you’re inside you sense a relaxed atmosphere. It’s upmarket yet very homey. Seating is limited, which is great, there’s no chance of it getting overcrowded. The layout of the cafe is such that you feel part of the process. Like sitting inside a friend’s kitchen while they’re busy making you a cup of coffee.

Also, their taste in music is great.

They have an innovative menu, divided in to four categories: Traditional coffees, Creative coffees, Craft Coffees, and alcoholic beverages.

They use coffee beans from all over the world; Panama, Ethiopia, Columbia and Indonesia, as well as locally-grown Yunnan beans.

You can order your traditional coffees such as an Americano and Cappuccino, or you can cross over to the creative side for something more delectable. These coffees are usually infused with a not so usual ingredient or alcohol. They also do craft coffees for the purist coffee drinkers among us of which I was most impressed with the Ice Drip Coffee. A very time consuming process but the cup is worth the wait.

I settled for a Picollo or baby Latte as I’ve never tried one before and a Fei Americano or Fat Americano. Fei translates to fat, and comes from the colloquial nick name for Coca Cola, “Fei Zhai Kuai Le Shui” – happy water for couch potatoes. It is an Americano mixed with Coca-Cola and it’s absolutely delicious.

If you’re coffee’d out, grab one of their imported or locally-produced beers. They have a great selection, available on tap – they have a delicious stout – or from the fridge. And the beer is served in fancy glasses. And if you’re hungry, they’re in walking distance of Baoensi Street, where an abundance of restaurants awaits you.

Another element I quite enjoyed was the sidewalk tables. It gives off a Parisian Café vibe and is the perfect spot for an after-cycle coffee, or a late afternoon beer.

A lot of thought has been put in to their products and attention to detail is clearly visible throughout the café. The style is unique and the owners try to create a memorable experience for anyone that walks through the red framed window in the wall. It’s definitely focused on people who appreciate quality.

Redeye is the perfect place to wind down, do some work, meet up with a friend, read a book or just get lost in the daily musings of the street life outside. It’s a place where you can savor what’s in your cup.

Next time you find yourself in that part of town, take an after dinner walk to Redeye and enjoy an Americano. With the sweet melodies playing in the background, you’d be forgiven if you swop your coffee for a beer.

Eugene is an avid city cyclist living in Xi’an. If not cycling he’s drinking coffee or beer.

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