Regional Cuisine Overview: Chengdu is known for its spicy and flavorful Sichuan cuisine. The region is famous for dishes such as Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, and Hot Pot. Sichuan peppercorns are a key ingredient in many dishes, giving them a unique numbing and spicy flavor. Baijiu, a strong distilled liquor, is a popular drink in Chengdu.
1. Fuqi Feipian (💰): This restaurant specializes in Fuqi Feipian, a traditional Sichuan dish made with thinly sliced beef or offal in a spicy sauce. The flavors are bold and the portions are generous.
2. Da Miao Hotpot (💰💰): Known for its authentic Sichuan Hot Pot, Da Miao offers a wide selection of meats, vegetables, and dipping sauces. The spicy broth is a must-try.
3. Yu’s Family Kitchen (💰💰💰): This upscale restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Sichuan cuisine. The dishes are beautifully presented and the flavors are well-balanced.
4. Chen Mapo Tofu (💰): As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in Mapo Tofu. The dish is prepared with silky tofu, minced meat, and a spicy sauce. It’s a true Sichuan classic.
5. Grandma’s Kitchen (💰💰): This restaurant serves homestyle Sichuan dishes that will remind you of your grandmother’s cooking. The atmosphere is cozy and the prices are reasonable.
6. Peter’s Tex-Mex Grill (💰💰): For those craving a break from Chinese cuisine, Peter’s Tex-Mex Grill offers a taste of Texas in Chengdu. The menu features delicious Tex-Mex favorites like fajitas and tacos.
7. Dongzikou Yulin Roast Duck (💰💰💰): This restaurant specializes in Peking Duck, a famous dish from Beijing. The duck is roasted to perfection, with crispy skin and tender meat.
8. Guo Kui King (💰): Guo Kui is a popular street food in Chengdu. This restaurant serves a variety of Guo Kui filled with different meats and vegetables. It’s a great option for a quick and tasty meal.
9. Shu Nine Incense Pot (💰💰): This restaurant offers a unique dining experience with their signature Incense Pot. It’s a hot pot style dish with a variety of ingredients cooked in a fragrant broth.
10. Lao Ma Tou Hotpot (💰💰): Lao Ma Tou is a popular hot pot chain in Chengdu. The restaurant offers a wide range of fresh ingredients and flavorful broths to choose from.
1. Xiaolongbao Snack Bar (💰): This snack bar serves delicious Xiaolongbao, a type of steamed dumpling filled with meat or vegetables. It’s a great option for a quick and cheap meal.
2. Lao Huang Liang Pi (💰): This small eatery serves Liang Pi, a cold noodle dish made from wheat or rice flour. It’s refreshing and perfect for hot summer days.
3. Chengdu Tea House (💰): This tea house not only offers a wide selection of teas but also serves affordable snacks like dumplings, spring rolls, and tea eggs.
Vegetarian and Vegan Establishments:
1. Veggie House (💰💰): This vegetarian restaurant offers a variety of dishes made with plant-based ingredients. The flavors are delicious and the portions are generous.
2. Vegetarian Lifestyle (💰💰): This vegan restaurant focuses on healthy and nutritious plant-based cuisine. They offer a range of dishes from salads to stir-fries.
3. Green Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (💰💰): This vegetarian restaurant serves a mix of Chinese and Western dishes. The menu includes mock meats and creative vegetable dishes.
Cafes with National Desserts:
1. Chuan Chuan Xiang (💰): This popular dessert cafe offers a variety of traditional Chengdu sweets and desserts. Try the Sweet Sticky Rice Balls or the Osmanthus Jelly for a taste of local flavors.
2. Xibei Youmian Cun (💰): This cafe specializes in Northwestern Chinese desserts. Their signature dish is Youmian, a sweet and crispy pastry filled with various fillings.
Bars and Pubs:
1. Jellyfish Bar (💰💰💰): Located in the city center, this bar offers a wide selection of craft beers and creative cocktails. The atmosphere is trendy and the live music adds to the vibe.
2. The Beer Nest (💰💰): This popular bar is known for its extensive selection of craft beers from around the world. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to relax and socialize.
Live Music Venues:
1. Morning House (💰💰): This cafe hosts live music performances on a regular basis. Enjoy a cup of coffee while listening to local musicians and bands.
2. Little Bar (💰💰💰): Little Bar is a legendary live music venue in Chengdu. It has been a platform for local and international bands for over 20 years. The atmosphere is electric and the music is top-notch.
1. Lan Kwai Fong (💰💰💰): This restaurant recreates the vibrant atmosphere of Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong district. The decor is funky and the menu offers a mix of Cantonese and Western dishes.
2. The Bookworm (💰💰): This bookstore and cafe is a haven for book lovers. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while browsing through their extensive collection of books.
1. Jinli Street (💰): This bustling street is a popular tourist destination in Chengdu. It offers a variety of local snacks, street food, and handicrafts.
2. Wuhou Temple Market (💰): Located near Wuhou Temple, this market is known for its wide range of street food stalls. Try the famous Shuangliu Tofu Pudding or the Chuan Chuan Skewers.
1. Sichuan Cuisine Museum (💰💰): This museum offers cooking classes where tourists can learn to cook traditional Sichuan dishes. The classes are led by experienced chefs and include hands-on preparation.
Seasonal Food Festivals:
1. Chengdu Food and Culture Festival (💰): Held annually, this festival showcases the diversity of Chengdu’s culinary scene. Visitors can sample a wide range of dishes and participate in cooking competitions.
Ethical and Eco-friendly Establishments:
1. Fangsuo Commune (💰💰): This bookstore and cafe promotes sustainable agriculture and offers organic food options. The interior is designed with recycled materials, creating a unique and eco-friendly atmosphere.
Cafes with a View:
1. The Temple House (💰💰💰): This luxury hotel has a rooftop cafe with stunning views of the city skyline. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a cocktail while taking in the panoramic views.
2. Moka Bros (💰💰): This trendy cafe has a terrace overlooking the bustling streets of Chengdu. It’s a great spot to relax and people-watch.
1. Grandma’s Kitchen (💰💰): As mentioned earlier, Grandma’s Kitchen offers homestyle Sichuan dishes that are suitable for the whole family. The restaurant has a kids’ menu and a welcoming atmosphere.
– Chengdu is known for its spicy cuisine, so be prepared for some heat in your dishes.
– It’s advisable to make a reservation at popular restaurants, especially during peak hours.
– Many local establishments only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to carry some with you.
– If you’re planning to visit the local markets, try to go early in the day to avoid crowds.
– Don’t forget to try the famous Sichuan hot pot, but be aware that it can be extremely spicy.