A Tour of Delicious Food in Chengdu
Anthony Bourdain, famous American food critic, came to Chengdu in a TV program called Parts Unknown. He ate a bowl of noodles sitting on a small roadside stool and then ate snacks while leaning over a bridge. Baek Jong-won, a famous Korean host, also came to Chengdu in another program called Street Food Fighter. He walked down the street with his backpack and tasted all delicacies along the way such as guokui (crusty pancake), fried potatoes, chow mein and pork intestine rice noodles.
Going deep into a street is the way for many overseas food programs to explore Chengdu. If you are a "foodie", it is also a good way to wander about Chengdu's streets and lanes to seek delicacies of all sorts so that you may sit alongside Chengdu locals and observe their lives.
The following are some famous food streets in Chengdu and representative stores on these streets. How exactly does their food taste? You'll need to go and try.
Fashionable streets: Xikangshi Street-Dongkangshi Street
Next to Tai Koo Li, which is full of famous stores, is Kangshi Street with local restaurants one after another. In spite of their small store-fronts, the restaurants have their own distinctive features. Noodles, chuanchuan, bobo chicken are all available, not to mention the restaurants of Sichuan cuisine and Japanese cuisine. Fashionable young people like to dine here after shopping.
Lexiaohua Bobo Chicken/Natural Q: two stores specialized in Leshan snacks, the most distinctive ones are bobo chicken, minced beef pie and bean curd jelly.
Dayi You Blood Curd with Pork Intestine :a spicy dish with pork blood and intestine from Dayi County, Chengdu.
Noodle with Pig Brain/Zhangsige Handmade Sweet Water Noodle: Chengdu locals make pig brains into various dishes such as barbecue, hot pot and noodles with brains. Sweet water noodles, with sweetness and spiciness, are quite popular with foreigners.
The big meal:
Ma Wang Zi: with its elegant environment and exquisite dishes, this restaurant is recommended by online celebrities and attracts many people.
Tian Fu Zhang Gui: Sichuan snacks restaurant.
Coolest streets: Sansheng Street and Tangba Street
Sansheng Street and Tangba Street are next to Tai Koo Li and Kangshi Street. In addition to local restaurants, Japanese restaurants and cafés dot the area. Quite a few restaurants have their own design style. The Winshare House, a 24-hour bookstore, is located at Tangba Street, adding a bit of artistic temperament to it. In September 2018, Time Out listed Tangba Street 19th of the "coolest 50 city blocks in the world" .
Tan Ya Xue, Da Long Yi and Xiao Long Kan: three hot pot restaurants are all located at Sansheng Street, any of which can offer you the experience of tasting famous local hot pot restaurants.
Sansheng Noodle, Xiaofan Chuanchuan, Luocheng Leshan BoBo Chicken and Zhangsancui Spicy hot hot: noodles, chuanchuan, bobo chicken, spicy hot hot are Chengdu's favorite delicacies.
Perfection Sushi, Yichuan Xiaosenlin and Qiuye Sashimi : representative Japanese cuisine restaurants on Tangba Street, small but offering sushi and ramen.
Mondoli and Let's Grind: two vintage-style boutique cafés.
Chongde Alley-tancha: Wang Hai, a famous local designer, transformed the old Chongde Alley's while preserving its Western Sichuan style folk houses and opened this tea house.
Old community street: Xiangheli Street
Densely populated residential areas have always been a cradle for delicacies. Xiangheli Street, with its many undiscovered corners, passes through an old Chengdu residential area. There is a sense of peace in the living area during the day but a warm and lively atmosphere emerges at night.
Xiexie Food Stall/Zigong Fish Restaurant/Ziwei Kaoyu: the featured seafood and freshwater food of Xiexie Food Stall include chow mein fried with crabs, clams, and other seafood. The most popular restaurant on the street, it hangs hand-written menus and vintage-style posters. The featured dishes in Zigong Fish Restaurant are spicy fish fillets and fish fillets cooked with tender ginger. Ziwei Fish is characterized by spicy whole roasted fish.
Weng's Bobo Chicken: these famous dishes can also be found on Xiangheli Street.
Guangdong Steamed Vermicelli Roll and Xiaoxiao Curry House: compared to spicy foods, the dishes served in these restaurants are much more moderate. Steamed vermicelli rolls make up part of a traditional Guangdong breakfast, with fillings such as fried dough sticks and ground meat wrapped with translucent rice flour. Curry beef and chicken steak are served in Xiaoxiao Curry House.
Les délices and See We Café: desserts and coffee have also "invaded" this old street to coexist with its barbecues and chuanchuan.
The street that appears in "Tik Tok": Jianshe Alley-Mid Jianshe Road
Jianshe Alley, which is extremely popular in Chengdu, is a food street that appears frequently in the short video app "Tik Tok". Next to the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, the street is packed with various and affordable delicacies. In addition to students living nearby, many locals also come here for food after work, making this street as lively as a night market.
Zhouqianqian Fried Potato/Zhang's Hot Pot Noodle/Internet-famous Duck Intestine/Fu's Pork Rib: the most popular delicacy on Jianshe Road is fried potato that is made tender with crispy crusts, covered in a mix of spices. Zhang's Hot Pot Noodle sells spicy hot pot noodles. Internet-famous Duck Intestine sells duck intestines roasted on an iron plate and strung with bamboo sticks. Fu's Pork Rib specializes in fried ribs.
Grilled Cold Noodle/Wande Bingtian/Changxiangsi Stinky Tofu: in addition to local snacks, there are also various snacks from other cities on Jianshe Road, including grilled cold noodles originating from northeast China, shaved ice from Taiwan and Changsha stinky tofu.
"Creative arts" street: Kuixinglou Street
Kuixinglou Street with ginkgo trees planted on both sides of the road and graffiti painted on the street wall is next to Kuanzhai Alley. The local creative center "Min Town" is located here, and is the haunt for Chengdu's hipsters.
Maojiaohuola/Erniang Chicken Claw: this short street is densely packed with "online-celebrity" stores, featuring Maojiaohuola selling spicy hot hot and Erniang Chicken Claw selling spicy chicken claws.
Old Chengdu Chuanchuan/Chunxi Alley Chuanchuan/Xiongjie Noodle : chuanchuan, noodles and maocai are almost essential for every food street.
Nu Café and No Cat Coffee: there is a Nu Café store at each end of Kuixinglou Street, where international art activities are often held. No Cat is a store serving coffee and French desserts.
6 Chinese-style street: Wenshu Community
The architecture around Wenshu Community is of an old Chinese style. The famous Wenshu Monastery is located here, where many intangible cultural heritage handicrafts and antique shops in Chengdu are housed. Chengdu's well loved foods and snacks can also be found here.
Long's Wonton, Dongzikou Zhanglaoer Bean Jelly: Long's Wonton, Chengdu's long established brand, mainly sells wonton in clear broth or spicy soup, and also sells characteristic dishes including sweet water noodles. Dongzikou Zhanglaoer Bean Jelly is famous for its yellow bean jelly, crispy bean jelly, white bean jelly, etc. Sandapao is a kind of glutinous rice dessert.
Royal Walnut Cake: walnut cakes, crunchy rice candies and mung bean cakes in traditional pastry stores are favorites of the locals. While several stores sell walnut cakes, the store in Wenshu Community is recognized as one of the most authentic.
Let's explore the delicious food in Chengdu.
Excerpted from HELLO Chengdu January Issue in 2019
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