Where to Eat in Chengdu
This article is about general dinning and eating information in Chengdu. While traveling to a different city or country, eating becomes a big part of a traveler's activity. Chengdu is a good place for foodies. You don’t want to miss one of the best things in Chengdu.
Sichuan Food is by large famed for its spicy flavor. The spicy food we have include hot pot, chuanchuan, maocai, etc. However spicy food is only part of Sichuan Food. We also have the non-spicy stir-fries with different flavors: sweet and sour, spicy, plain, sweet, numbing and spicy. There are also different kinds of what we call snacks: noodles, dumplings, fried breads, etc.
Where/What to Eat
Here are the usual tourist places where most people try local food. See details. However, it is also a lot of fun to go beyond the usual places and try at places where local people eat. There are different types of restaurants we local people go to.
They often don’t sell noodles only. They also sell fried rice, steamed or cooked dumplings or even fried dumplings, rice noodles, wontons, and individual set of rice and stir-fries. These restaurants are usually small and these meals are the cheapest, price is basically at between 12 and 24 yuan per potion. This kind of food you can call them Chinese Fast Food because they are cheap and quick to make. These restaurants you can find them anywhere in the city. Please don’t forget the underground malls, in some busy/modern area of Chengdu including Tianfu Square, Chunxi Road, there are huge underground malls where you will find dozens of food stands selling all kinds of food.
Stir Fries Restaurants
Stir-Fries restaurants provide rice and stir-fried veges and meat. These restaurants are becoming less and less to come by in Chengdu but you will still find them. These restaurants are often big and featured with big round tables where people have a banquet. So if you are going to one of the restaurants on your own, it will feel a bit weird even for us. These restaurants are the places where they serve plain steamed rice. This is the most cooked food in every family who lives in Chengdu.
Sichuan hot pot is food of spicy and numbing taste. We put chili, pepper corns and spicy oil to cook rmeat, intestines and vegetable. Sichuan hot pot is popular due to its spicy and numbing flavor that loved by so many people. There are many hot pot restaurants you can find in inner Chengdu City.
So what is the Chinese breakfast like? We eat the following things every morning. And for travelers who would like to try some here is something to learn.
Baozi is sometimes called steamed bum from some people. And in English people realize it as something similar to Dim Song. Well there are different kinds of Dim Song if you would like to call them this. Sometimes we may need to invent some new English words for this kind of food.
Baozi is basically rapping with meat of vegetable fillings. They come in different sizes and with different flavors by adding different fillings or mixed fillings. There are more than 20 different kinds of Baozi the most common ones are the Pork Baozi, Beef Baozi, Cabbage Baozi, Mushroom Baozi, Celery Baozi, or Baozi with the above mixed fillings. And for Pork Baozi there are mainly three type, one is the small ones that steamed in the bamboo baskets and is the closest to what people call Dim Song, the other two are bigger, one is what we call Xianrou Baozi and the other one Jiangrou Baozi. Xianrou Baozi is regular pork with no seasoning, Jiangrou Baozi is with seasoning of different ingredients, highly recommended.
Mantou is steamed flowered paste. They come in different sizes too but often the big size. Mantou is steamed bums without fillings. They often taste quite plain but can come with different flavor including sweet, corn, red beans, etc. Huajuan is similar to Mantou but Huajuan is usually with pepper and salt.
Jiaozi is dumplings. Steamed dumplings are very common as breakfast. Fillings vary from corns, pork, to mushrooms, carrots. The other one kind of Jiaozi is Shuijiao that is usually served when you sit down to eat. Shuijiao can be either served in a bowl with soup or in a plate and with a spicy sauce.
Miantiao is often soup noodle. It is one of the most common breakfasts in Chengdu. If other food are plain then Miantiao can be very strong for breakfast. Some of us eat the noodle in spicy soup in the morning. Although often you can have them made non-spicy. In Sichuan we often add on green onion, garlic and chili sauce to the noodles we eat.
You tiao 油条
Youtiao is translated as Oil Stick. It is deep fried fluffed bread. They often come as long like a stick after frying so we call them oil sticks. This is very oily but tasty breakfast. They look big but usually you need at least 2 of them to make a breakfast.
Doujiang and Xifan豆浆和稀饭
Doujiang is soybean juice. It is very common drink for breakfast. People often have it in the morning and drink while eating Youtian. Usually Doujiang is very light that you don’t taste a strong soybean taste but rather sugary juice. Xifan is Rice Congi, which is also very common breakfast.
Please note all above food are not specified as breakfast. Sometimes we for lunch or dinner too where they are still available because they are quick and easy. And there may be other many varieties of similar thigns.
The most common Chinese beers include Snow Beer, Harbin Beer and Tsingtao Beer. Harbin and Snow Beers are very light. Tsingtao tastes better. But for Harbin and Snow Beer you basically find them anywhere but for Tsingtao Beer it is usually hard to find in a restaurant. Chengdu also has some local beers.
Strong Rice Wine
This is sometimes translated as White Wine or Rice Wine. It is called Baijiu in Chinese. It is a strong liquor that you find anywhere in restaurants, at the big and small shops. In some restaurants people sometimes make other things from Baijiu, for example, they put roots and herbs, or other things in a big jar of Baijiu and call that medicine wine. This is very strong stuff.
Chengdu is one of the places in China that have great green tea. The mountains west to the city are perfect places to grow tea trees. The good and famous tea we have here include Mengding Green Tea, Emei Green Tea and the Buckwheat Tea from the highland southwest of Sichuan Province.