One of the first things foreigners realize upon arriving in Guiyang is that the city has a pretty weak sandwich scene. Bread in the city is generally sweet and not particularly good to make a sandwich with, and meat for sandwiches can also be pretty pricey at the supermarkets.
Enter Kempi Coffee, a great café below the Kempinski Hotel. The interior is non-smoking, a real rarity in Guiyang, and they have a great patio with lots of seating. They have an assortment of desserts, drinks and ice cream, but most notably it’s one of the few places in Guiyang to get a good sandwich.
The café is a nice oasis from the surrounding chaos, and if you enter the café, head into the hotel, and turn left twice, you’ll find the nicest bathrooms in Guiyang, complete with western toilets. An added benefit (for some) is that Kempi’s interior is totally smoke-free.
On this visit we grabbed the last two pastrami paninis from their cooler. On prior visits we’ve also tried the vegetable panini and salmon sandwich. All sandwiches can be put on the panini grill (ask the server to jiā rè, 加热, or add heat, to have it grilled). You can eat it in the café (zhèlǐ chī 这里吃) or take it to go (dài zǒu, 带走).
It’s all about the pastrami, in my opinion. It’s got some pretty average cheese, but the pickles definitely make it pop. The vegetable panini is also really tasty. Some guy friends say that one’s not enough, but I think it’s a great lunch or snack on the go. Regardless of whether you eat one or two, the crispy grilled pastrami panini is a nice way to fill your belly.
There’s a menu up on the wall around the corner from the coolers pictured here. You can see all of the desserts, sandwiches and ice cream available just by taking a peek at the coolers. They also have iced and hot coffees, some fresh juices and a few other drinks. I absolutely cannot recommend the milkshakes. I had one and it was super thin, as though it had a very small scoop of ice cream and a ton of milk.
Staff should speak a minimal amount of English, but most items can be ordered by pointing to what you want. If you sit on the patio, staff will bring you a menu to order from. It’s probably a good idea to pop in and point to the patio so that servers know you’ve arrived.
Kempi Coffee can be found by crossing the street from Hunter Mall and heading into the small street you can see in the first picture here. About halfway up that street, you’ll see the entrance to Kempi. The second picture here is from their door, and you can see Hunter on the right hand side.