Western-style bar open late into the night
Special: May 7-28 15% off coffee, tea, and juice, 2-5pm (free cookie with purchase); 15% off all Western food 5:30-9pm
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Still, after so many years, one of the best bars in town. Drinks are extremely reasonably prices compared to similar bars in Kunming, the place is spacious and well laid out and easily one of the best stages for live performances in Kunming.
Had dinner there a few days ago and as always very impressed with the Chinese food.
If the mix drinks would be a bit stronger and ventilation better the venue would easily get 5 stars.
A legend indeed.
not quite sure why beer here is the most expensive in town.. 18 RMB for a Tsingtao...? really? a beer that costs about 2RMB to buy?
aside from the WAY overpriced menu, the entertainment and decor is top notch. They do a lot of work to keep events happening every weekend. It just needs to stop trying to be a high class lounge one might find around green lake and realize it's just a bar. the only western place in town that has entrance fees and then charges beer at what seems to be about a 900% markup.
Service at this place definitely leaves something to be desired, especially when you have a big group (6+) of people.
I had burgers with a bunch of friends here and every single one came out cold and soggy, this was post a 30min wait. There were several different waiters taking our orders and serving us with the unfortunate end result of messing up a bunch of orders, forgetting to bring utensils and condiments, overcharging the bill, and taking another 15min to correct the bill. I think they're trying, they just need a little bit more co-ordination and organization.
I've also learned to mostly order liquor straight up here because a lot of the cocktails taste just like juice. Maybe the local customers prefer it that way.
Despite the said shortcomings, I do like this place - cozy atmosphere, big open space, nice pool table, enough locals to give it an authentic feel.
Been there twice, second time hoping it would be better.
It was !!
The music was so loud I couldn't hear anything anyone said, it was so smokey I could barely breath, it took even longer than first time to get a drink,so I left sober.
and the best.... even more fights to watch.
Just like being back in UK
The staff here are friendly enough, and the food is OK, but I just don't like the venue. I find most of the crowd less than friendly. It just doesn't overwhelm the senses, yet it is also not a simple place of comfort. Most locals who's opinion I respect say it used to be better. My advice would be that if you don't like it on the first try, you probably won't like on the second.
Ordered English chips and got French fries. The guy was trying to argue by saying this was the chips they serve with burgers but we were told their burger didn't come with chips before placing the order. Finally got what we ordered after an exhausting discussion.
Glad that the mistake was fixed but we were there to enjoy not to prove our point.
The apple pie came 20 minutes after the order and was served icy cold. It was also made without cinnamon.
The food was very so so.
They really need to work hard for that title as Kunming legend.
In light of my recent visits to Camel I need to update my review.
I still don't like it as a weekend venue, the ventilation is non existent so if it's busy the place is horribly smoky and the bar is poorly designed and staffed, but during the week or on quieter nights it's well worth a visit.
Try the Chinese food if you're feeling peckish late at night; you won't be disappointed.
A Kunming legend - this fourth incarnation is probably the best yet, although the Baita Lu location was pretty special.
I always end up staying later than I should, and never regret it.
Haven't tried the Western food, but have had my last two dinners there and enjoyed both of them thoroughly. Was pretty impressed with the lemon pie afterward as well.
Big thanks to Deng Ling and company for helping nurture the local music (and drinking) scene for the last 15 years. Kunming wouldn't be the same without the Camel.
The decor and vibe is great, and there is plenty of seating throughout he place. The drinks are well priced, but i don't care how many tables and pretty lights you have - if it takes 20 minutes to buy a drink, it means i won't be having a good time. Why can't they just put a couple of extra bar staff on at the main bar? It's the management's fault, not the staff, because every time I go there I never see anyone slacking off. The food is decent, and the fact that they have the kitchen open late is a big plus. If they can sort out the staffing issues and coordinate their service better, it would certainly be one of the best bars in Kunming.
Impressive! The 3rd coming of the Camel bar is definitely the nicest western style bar and environment in Kunming by far. (The 1st Camel has a pretty cool 24 hour hang-out before it was torn down, the 2nd was mediocre at best, but the 3rd...)
Spacious, comfortable seating, large bar in the middle with lots of stools, pool table, stage for bands and comfortable seating areas away from the main bar to hang-in groups. Good music & very nice atmosphere. They really have raised the bar in terms of environment/services provided. An nice and comfortable spot to pop by during day, night or late, late night!
Late one night a couple of weeks ago, burnt out on the Wenlin Jie area food, I set out to grab a bite. After festering around too long trying to decide whether or not to eat Chinese BBQ or Western fast food it was fast approaching midnight. Instead of caving into McD's or wherever headed to Camel for a beer before heading home for something to eat. I forgot Camel had food beyond basic finger food / peanuts etc. I was very happy that you could order meals after mid-night. (not sure when they shut-off food ordering...)
Bingo! What a surprise. Ordered a couple or Chinese dishes (one goat cheese) that were unexpectedly good! The food was way better than what you would expect from a bar and on par with many local Chinese eateries.
Went back again late last night with some local Chinese friends for drinks and a bite. They were skeptical at first but liked the food - that is a good thing. Some dishes can be ordered spicy be careful ordering based on your tastes.
Good variety of drinks, beers and wines at a reasonable price given the very nice environment. Slightly more expensive than the local dive bars, however, significantly cheaper than higher quality establishments found in larger Chinese cities.
Service was good and prompt on both evenings.
In fairness, they have a pretty extensive food menu and I have only ordered Chinese cuisine instead of Western food. Someone else will need to review the Western food. Both times I went the place was full but not jammed - How is the service and/or smokiness on a Saturday night with an event on?
Bathrooms - Very clean, spacious and unlike almost everywhere include both Western and Chinese style toilets!
No hassle, free wireless internet without hassle/excuses.
Overall, excellent. Got to call a spade a spade - Well done! The quality of the food for really late at night as well as the environment is a step above. If this style of bar was overseas and they maintained a good entertainment schedule/service it would consistently draw a good crowd.
Food: ***** (Best of Kunming for a bar)
Atmosphere: ***** (Best of Kunming for a western style bar)
Bathroom: ***** (Best of Kunming for a bar)
Great location and stuff.
I have been there 3 times, every time I had to wait 20 minutes for a beer. You can't own a big bar like that with only 5 bartenders. It just made me annoyed and don't want to come back any more. and the cocktails have no alcohol taste.
Order any drink and you get it in some kind of small martini glass, and it is not very cheap as it should be when it is a small and weak drink, highball glass and stronger drinks please.
Bigger speakers needed, the DJ played some great tunes but I could not feel the bass kick, i want to feel it in my chest, like BA BAM!
Otherwise a great place, cheers.
I wholeheartedly agree with the last few reviews of the new place. If the owners get some ventilation/smoke eaters going, figure out how to make a decent cocktail, and train their bartenders to work a little more quickly, this could be hands down the best place in Kunming. Please make it happen, Camel Bar!!! We're all counting on you!
This place has so much potential, very big, good sized stage which hopefully will attract more live music to Kunming and a good beer selection. However it is all totally unbalanced by the absolutely unbearable ventilation, it's almost as if they shot tear gas into the place it is soooo bad. The mixed drinks are atrocious, feels like there is no alcohol whatsoever in them (why shoot yourself in the foot? make a good strong drink and you'll sell thousands of them every week!) the service can be ridiculously slow (waiting 20 minutes at the bar to get a beer) and the sound needs sorting out, as others have said it only sounds good directly in front of the stage. And why do they have a DJ play then put tables right in the middle of the dance-floor? Lame. I hope they get their act together because if they do it right this could be the best bar in town! They're just getting started though so maybe they can turn it around. Fingers crossed.
As a fan of the old Camel Bar I am not so much impressed of the "new" one. Though sometimes still nice to hangout if there wouldnt be so many fights. Not sure if its a coincidence for the few times I have been there but everytime some fights between some chinese customers....
I went here about 3 months ago and the atmosphere is pretty nice.
We sat at the bar so the service was good as well.
Once thing I noticed though, were the uneasy stares that we got as we were the only laowais in the place.
I have heard there have been some "interaction" between locals and laowai before.
In any event, I would check it out again.
I swung by the new (well, newish) location for the first time a couple of days back. The beer i got was nice and cold, and service was friendly and polite. The pizza wasn't so great though, and i swear the ketchup that came with my fries would glow in the dark!
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Friday, May 24
DJ Kasper's birthday party with African drums, 9:30pm, free entry
Tuesday, May 28
Live Music: with Beijing band Icing Dolls (糖衣娃娃), 9pm, 40-50 yuan
Saturday, June 1
Live music: with Kunming band Yellow Barcode (黄色条码), 9: 30pm, free entry
Burger Night! From 5-9pm buy 2 get 1 free on all Camel Bar burgers
Steak Night: One bottle of French red wine with the purchase of four steaks, 5-9pm
Friday, May 24
Fire & Ice: Fire cocktails and specials on Ice shots and live music from the Nevada & Ian Blues Duo. 10:00pm, free entry
DJ Kasper's birthday party with African drums, 9:30pm, free entry
Live Blues: with The Gate followed by a jam session, 10pm, free entry
Drama: Hitler's Belly, 8pm, 100-580 yuan
Live Music: old man rock'n'roll with Ralf and Joost, 10pm, free entry
Live Music: with the South Cats and Ba Si Yingxiang (八四映像), 9pm, 20 yuan
Live Pub music and beer specials all night, 9pm, free entry
MC Joker Dog (电音暴徒, Beijing) playing electronic Hip-hop and cranberry cocktails 15 yuan, 10pm, 69 yuan (ladies free)
92#同学: Graduation Exhibition by the students of Yunnan Art Institute, 8pm, free entry
DJ Weili plays techno, house, and nu-disco, 11pm, free entry
Future Funk: Turntablist DJ DSK (UK) cutting up nu-funk, hip-hop, rare groove, breaks & beats in what might be his final Kunming show, 10pm, free entry
Day 1 of the Kunming Nandu Music Festival II with many local bands, 6-10pm, free entry
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