Rooftop Café is one of the Guiyang staple hangouts that you might never find if nobody tells you about it. The coffee is a bit pricy, but the ambiance is totally worth it, especially if you’ve lucky enough to have the day off on one of Guiyang’s rare sunny days.
The highlight of this two-story café on the roof of an apartment building is — without a doubt — the rooftop patio. It’s an unexpected oasis of calm in Guiyang’s busy downtown, and can be found just across the street from Hunter Mall.
In addition to coffee and tea, the café serves bottled beer and a few cocktails, making it a great place to have a quiet drink with friends.
Even on a rainy day, Rooftop is a delightful nook to hide away and read, play some board games, or just charge your phone and sip a coffee. They have a good selection of coffees, iced or hot, and a few good kinds of tea as well. I’m especially partial to the peach oolong tea if I’m going to be there for a while — the 30 RMB price tag is worth it when you can ask the server to refill the hot water again and again. They’re open from 11 AM to 11 PM, so you’ve got plenty of time.
The café is divided into several smaller rooms, so even when there are lots of people there it feels private and cozy. The main floor has the coffee station, and a larger seating area, but head upstairs for the best spots. At the top of the stairs are three small rooms, but head left at the top of the stairs and outside for the real treat.
The Rooftop Café patio is a favorite among Guiyang’s expats, and it’s no surprise. With just a few tables and a small goldfish pond ringing the garden, the patio is the perfect spot to relax in the middle of a busy day.
From the patio, there’s a nice view of Guiyang. You can even see Qianling mountain if you look to the left of the view in this photo. It’s tempting to stay all afternoon in the sun, but remember, the high altitude of the city means you can get a sunburn pretty quickly.
The menu is in English and Chinese, though it’s lacking in the munchies department. When you walk in, just head to the table you want. The owner will come with a menu and will bring your drink to you when it’s ready. When your drink arrives, be ready to pay. They take cash, Alipay, WeChat wallet, or bank card.
Standing in front of Starbucks at Hunter Mall, if you look across the street you can see the big set of stairs next to Kamii Restaurant. Cross the street to get to them, and head up. At the top of the stairs, there’s a gate. Go through it and you’ll see the beige doors to the apartment building that houses Rooftop. The doors are usually kept locked but it’s a busy building with lots of foot traffic, so there’s always somebody to let you in. If you’ve managed to arrive at a time when there’s nobody else around, there is a security guard booth inside and to the left of the doors. Knock on the door and give your most pathetic puppy-dog eyes to the guards and they’ll buzz you through.
The café is on the 30th floor. From the lobby, head to the left and find the elevator bay there. On the 30th floor, the café is to the left of the elevators, with its name prominently written in coffee beans beside the door.