Sichuan cuisine has become one of the most popular types of food in China thanks to its bold and fiery flavors, and the best place to sample authentic Sichuan dishes is at the heart of the province in Chengdu. Here are a few foods and activities you won't want to miss.
Jinli Ancient Street
Jinli Ancient Street is a great place to sample local snacks and delicacies, and to pick up souvenirs, especially locally made handicrafts. In addition to the numerous shopping and dining options, you’ll find a number of performances along the street, ranging from classic Sichuan opera and folk plays to shadow puppets, folk drama, and even traditional weddings.
With so many options available, you may find it helpful to go on a guided tour to help navigate the shops and recommend local delicacies to try, as well as to learn about the street’s long history. Day tours tend to include other top attractions such as Wuhou Temple and Qingyang Palace, and can even include a visit to see Chengdu’s famous giant pandas.
Things to Know Before You Go
Jinli Ancient Street is a must-visit for foodies, shoppers, and history buffs.
Sichuan opera performances are also held in some restaurants and teahouses on the street. These performances are free with the purchase of food or tea.
Bring cash, as few vendors accept credit cards here.
How to Get There
Jinli Ancient Street is located just east of Wuhou Temple. Take bus number 1, 57, 82, 334, or 335 and get off at the Wuhou Ci (Wuhou Temple) stop.
When to Get There
Jinli Ancient Street’s shops and snack vendors tend to close around 10pm, while bars generally stay open later. At night the street is illuminated by traditional Chinese lanterns, which lend it a romantic atmosphere. Weekends are very busy, and the street is packed with locals and visitors alike.
Popular Gifts and Snacks
Among the many products sold on Jinli Street, popular items include lacquerware, old porcelain, Shu embroidery, clay figurines, paper cutouts, calligraphies, paintings, and folk handicrafts. Must-try street snacks and local specialties include dumplings, wontons, ma po tofu, fried sugar balls, and buckwheat noodle dishes.
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- Wuhou Memorial Temple (Temple of Marquis Wu)
- Renmin Park (People's Park)
- Shufen Yayun Teahouse (Shufeng Yayun)
- Chengdu Culture Park (Wenhua Gongyuan)
- Qingyang Palace
- Kuan Zhai Alley (Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi)
- Museum of Sichuan Cuisine (Chuancai Bowuguan)
- Du Fu Cottage
- Song Xian Qiao Antique Market
- Chengdu Sichuan Opera Art Center
- Wangjianglou Park (Wangjiang Tower Park)
- Jinsha Site Museum
- Happy Valley Chengdu
- Zhaojue Temple
- Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding