Sichuan food is one of the Four Famous Chinese Cuisines and is composed of local food and noted dishes of Chongqing, Chengdu, Northern Suchuan and Southern Sichuan. Chongqing Cuisine is a sub branch of Sichuan Cuisine which is one of eight traditional Chinese cuisines including Chuan, Hui, Lu, Min, Su, Yue, Xiang, Zhe cuisines. The restaurants and food stalls scatter across the city center of Chongqing.
What to Eat in Chongqing
Chongqing Hot Pot
When speaking of Chongqing, the first thing appearing in the mind is its delicacies. Chili peppers, sesame seeds, fermented black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, soy sauce and an array of similarly pungent flavorings are used in conjunction with 40 different cooking methods, the most prominent of which is drying, salting, spicing, pickling, frying and smoking. Color, smell, flavor, cut, and nutritional value are taken into careful consideration while preparing Chongqing dishes - no wonder people say that Chongqing food is not only appealing but also nutritious.
These days, everywhere you go, you can see throngs of diners munching tidbits of meat and vegetables from boiling bronze pots; but some people may not realize that hotpot was born and cultivated in Chongqing. Once upon a time, it was a seasonal food designed to protect against the low temperatures and frigid winds of winter. Now, in the height of its popularity, hotpot is eaten year-round. If you haven't yet indulged in hot pot, Chongqing is the perfect place to taste the hotpot.
Although hotpot is probably the most well known delicacy in Chonqing, many savory treats may appeal to you. Some treats like Maoxuewang, Qianzhang, spiced salted peanuts and Youting Braised carp will give you the true flavor of Chongqing food. These local culinary delights are favorites of many locals, expats and travelers that come to visit Chongqing. So are the city snacks that the city is famous for.
As you might imagine, hotpot restaurants grace almost every street in the city. Xiao Tian E (Cygnet Hot-Pot Palace) and E Zhang Men are two of Chongqing's most popular. The hotpot restaurants in the Chongqing 5-star Harbour Plaza also serve decent food in a cozy environment.
The authentic Dandan noodles can also be eaten in Chongqing. The dish is made up of preserved vegetables, chili oil, minced pork and chopped scallions. In the past, the noodles were sold by walking street vendors who carried a shoulder pole (dan dan) with two baskets containing noodles and sauces at the either end. So the noodle got its name, Dandan Noodles.
Pork Leg Cooked with Rock Candy
Pork leg cooked with rock candy is a common household dish of the Chongqing people. The finished dish, red in color and tender to taste, has a strong and sweet after-taste.
Located along Jialing River, Chongqing abounds in varieties of aquatic product. Among them, Jiangtuan Fish is a must-try for tourists. The fish is usually served steamed or baked.
Food Streets in Chongqing
Nanbin Road Food Street
Located along Yangtze River, it is a very popular food street in Chongqing. Besides the local cuisines and snacks such as hot pot in Chongqing, other cuisines throughout China gather here. There are many teahouses and bars here. The view here is very unmatched.
Add: Nanbin Road, Nanan District, Chongqing
How to get to: Take bus No. 872, 873, 347 to Haitang Xiaoyue Stop.
Three Gorge Square
Comparing with other food street in Chongqing, Three Gorge Square takes larger area and the restaurants are high-grade. The well-known restaurants here include Tao Ran Ju, Qinma, Su Da Jie and De Zhuang, etc. Address: Three Gorge Square, Sha Ping Ba How to get to: Take Bus No.210, 503, 502 to Chengjiawan Stop.
Ciqikou Ancient Town
The reason that the town attracts tourist not only lies in the long history and its quaint houses but also the authentic local snacks and cuisine. The restaurants with different size and about 60 teahouse scatter across the town. The most famous dish in the town is Maoxuewang which is a dish of boiled blood curd, spices and others with spicy sauce. It is said that the journey to Ciqikou is incomplete without tasting Maoxuewang.
How to get there: Take bus No. 202, 220, 237, 261, 467, 503, 802, 808