Guangzhou Cafe Review: Benwo Cafe

By Ryan Gandolfo, October 31, 2019

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The Place

Benwo Cafe is the definition of a hidden spot. Tucked away behind one of the many office slash retail buildings within Phoenix Creative Park, located roughly a kilometer southwest of Haizhu’s popular Taigucang Wharf F&B area, Benwo (the philosophical phrase meaning ‘one’s self’ in English) is a private place that likely wouldn’t show up on many people’s radars. Still, despite its low-key location, the new cafe manages to welcome in plenty of light from the outside world.  

Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s

The Food 

Sporting a pizza station on the left side, baked goods in the middle and a coffee and juice bar to the right, Benwo is bound to have something you’re craving. The cafe offers pizza, pasta, brunch-esque items and a range of hot and cold beverages. We settle on an iced latte (RMB22) and a burrata, parmesan and ham pizza (9-inch for RMB78, 12-inch for RMB108). 

Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s

The latte is what we’ve come to expect at just about any decent cafe in town – your typical espresso and steamed milk beverage. But the pizza, to our surprise, has us bobbing our heads in approval. With a bulbous batch of burrata centrally located on the fresh ’za, which is also topped with prosciutto and arugula, we have to admit our expectations are more than met. The burrata, considered the ‘queen of Italian cheese’ by the foodies at Fine Dining Lovers, has a pleasant mozzarella exterior with a creamy interior. If it wasn’t for the cheese-fest atop the pizza, however, nothing about it would have stood out.

The Vibe

Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That”s

In the center of Benwo lies a large, wooden community-style table, along with metallic tables on the right side, with seat cushions placed on top of large wooden benches. Each table has a scan-to-order QR code for the techies; others can approach the coffee bar to place an order. Outside the cafe, we see a young woman posing for a photo next to the shop, giving it that wanghong status so many Guangzhou cafes are going for these days.

Price: RMB50-100
Who’s going: millennial workers, pizza pengyou
Good for: snackin’ and chattin’ 
Nearest metro: Fenghuang Xincun (Exit A), 7 minutes’ walk

Open daily, 8.30am-9pm; see listing for Benwo Cafe.

[Cover Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s] 

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