For the ultimate foodie experience in China, I highly recommend a trip to Chengdu. This unique destination in the Sichuan Province is one of the top destinations for food lovers around the world.
As the locals will tell you, walk out the front door and you will find good food in Chengdu. In fact, the city is so well known for its culinary offerings, it was named UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
Joe and I spent some time sampling the amazing food in Chengdu after our journey to Everest Base Camp in Tibet. In our Chengdu food guide, you’ll find some of the must try foods in China’s City of Gastronomy.
Chengdu Food Guide – 16 Must Try Foods in Chengdu
This food guide has four section
- Chengdu Food Tour Video
- Chengdu Street Food
- Sichuan Dishes in Chengdu
- Tips for Eating in Chengdu
Chengdu Food Tour Video
In this video you will get an idea of all the delicious food Chengdu has to offer.
Chengdu Street Food 成都小吃 (Chéngdū xiǎochī)
Don’t miss these popular street foods when you’re in Chengdu.
Suān là fěn 酸辣粉
Liáng fěn 凉粉 Jelly Noodle (Yellow and/or White)
Tián shuǐ miàn (甜水面) Sweet Water Noodles
Chuàn chuàn xiāng 串串香 Skewers
Hóng yóu chāo shǒu 红油抄手 Wontons in Red Oil
Dān dān miàn 担担面 Dan Dan Noodles
Guō kuī 锅盔 Meat Pie
Chòudòufu 臭豆腐 Stinky Tofu
Sān Dàpào 三大炮 3 big cannons
Gěn zhēng ròu 粉蒸肉 Flour Steamed Meat
We ate some of the best Chengdu street food by walking around the city and sampling from a variety of vendors. There are also plenty of vendors selling specialities that aren’t specific to Sichuan, so be adventures and don’t limit yourself. Some other street foods to look for when in season: táng chǎo lì zi 糖炒栗子 sugar roasted chestnuts, gānzhè zhī 甘蔗汁 sugar cane drink.
Sichuan Food in Chengdu 四川菜 (Sìchuān cài)
There’s more than street food in Chengdu. Sichuan has an incredible array of dishes that will tantalize your tastebuds. These are some of our favorite Sichuan dishes found in Chengdu.
Huǒ guō 火锅 Hot Pot
Kǎo yú 烤鱼 Grilled Fish
Huí guō ròu 回鍋肉 Twice Cooked Pork
Má pó dòu fǔ 麻婆豆腐 “Pockmark” Tofu
Shuǐ zhǔ yú 水煮鱼 Water Boiled Fish
Tips for Eating in Chengdu
Order dishes without MSG, sugar, chili, meat, etc… Dishes such as dan dan mian are made to order where each ingredient is spooned into a bowl. Joe and I often ordered our dishes without MSG and sugar which each restaurant was able to accommodate.
Ask for vegetarian options Let the wait staff know you want to eat vegetarian by telling them 1) 我吃素 wǒ chī sù which translates to “I eat vegetarian” or 2) 我不吃肉 wǒ bù chī ròu which translates to “I don’t eat meat.” I was able to find many vegetarian options in Chengdu using those two phrases.
Local street food areas Jianshe Alley, Chenghua Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng.
Try dishes that aren’t Chengdu specialties You can find other types of cruise from all over China in Chengdu. One of our favorite restaurants was a hand pulled noodle shop lán zhōu lā miàn 兰州拉面 down the street from our apartment through AirBNB.
Bonus Tip: Use the subway to get around Chengdu. It’s easy to use and rail stations are conveniently located throughout the city.
For more tasty bites, check out Food Ranger’s Chengdu Food Guide.