Ask a group of local people what to eat while you're in the city and you'll get a plethora of responses that'll make you wonder what you might try first. We've narrowed down this choices for you. Here are 10 foods you must have a try when in Chengdu.
No 1. Rabbit Head
Rabbit head in Chengdu is a spicy snack known for its peppery flavor that has become popular in many other parts of China. One of the Discovery Channel's Bizarre Foods, it is for more adventurous eaters.
No 2. Hotpot
Chinese hotpot has a history of more than 1,000 years. Chengdu hotpot has its various styles ranging from mild, moderate, super hot, as well as fish head hotpot, medical herbs hotpot. Fans of Chengdu hotpot included former British Prime Minister David Cameron and former American First Lady Michelle Obama.
No 3. Mapo Tofu
Mapo Tofu (beancurd with mince and chili oil) is one of the most influential flavors of Sichuan cuisine which is served in almost every Sichuan restaurant. With some minced pork or beef added for the depth of flavor, the dish has a very distinctive mouth feel, which includes a burst of heat from chilies and a numbing sensation from the famous Sichuan peppercorns.
No 4. Huiguorou (Twice cooked pork)
The name Twice Cooked Pork comes from its cooking process which involves pork first being simmered in salted water with spices and then being sliced and stir-fried with garlic sprouts or green peppers, Doubanjiang (also known as broad bean paste) and Douchi (fermented black soy beans). This special cooking method makes it taste tender, toothsome and crisp all at once. You can find this dish on the menu of every restaurant in Chengdu.
No 5. Fish Flavored Shredded Pork
Fish-flavored dish is the unique style of Sichuan cuisine. This flavor is a trick performed by the sauce originally used for cooking fish, which is a mixture of seasonings that usually includes spring onion, ginger, garlic, sugar, vinegar, chili pepper and so on.
No 6. Kungpao Chicken
As a specialty of Sichuan cuisine, the dish is slightly spicy, slightly tart and slightly sweet. It is a spicy stir-fry dish made with diced chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. One of the most important features of Kungpao chicken is its starchy and syrupy sauce. Besides the chicken, don't forget to taste the crispy peanut kernels.
Kungpao Chicken is arguably the most favored Chinese dish in foreign lands and the most photographed one in American series, and you could hear the name mentioned in the popular dramas such as The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Ugly Betty, Everybody Loves Raymond, among others.
No 7. Long Chao Shou (Long's Wonton)
With thick and aromatic tastes and delicious soup, the savory snack is popular among locals and tourists. A time-honored brand Long Chao Shou Special Restaurant, with its chain stores scattered throughout the city, offers different varieties of wontons famed for very thin, nearly transparent wrappers and abundant rich filling.
The headquarters of Long Chao Shou Restaurant are in the famous Chunxi Road commercial zone
No 8. Zhong Shui Jiao (Zhong's Dumpling)
The Zhong's Dumpling is best known for its unique taste, slightly spicy, tangy, salty and sweet. Instead of vegetables, all the stuffing is strictly chosen pork. The wrappers are delicately handmade. Zhong Shui Jiao, like Long Chao Shou is a chain of dumpling restaurants specializing in the Zhong dumplings and other traditional snacks.
No 9. Dandan Noodles
With thin noodles, sweet-smelling sauce and slightly hot taste, the noodles are very tasty. This dish is widely known in Sichuan and often served as a snack during dinner. You can find it in many restaurants and snack street in scenic spots including Kuanzhaixiangzi Alleys and Jinli.
No 10. Chicken Feet
The food is very gelatinous due to most of the edible part on the feet consisting of skin and tendons. The chicken feet are marinated in soy sauce, black beans and several spices for a long time, which makes the skin and bones scrumptious.