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Chengdu Hot Pot & How to Eat Hot Pot in Chengdu

ShuJiuXiang Hot Pot

Like Sushi to Japanese, Burgers to Americans, Hot pot is the spirit to Sichuanese, and Chengdu is a city that generates the top standard Sichuan Hot Pot. Walking into any of the hot pot restaurants in Chengdu, your appetite will be immediately lit up smelling the fragrance of the spicy broth which is bubbling and steaming the pots of soup. The chopsticks are in a constant motion immersing and fetching food out of the broth, and even the spicy and non-spicy persons can share one pot with different broths coexisted and various dishes of their preference, including all kinds of meat, vegetables, local Chengdu food, all of which are chopped/sliced to proper shapes and well presented to make the self-cooking process fast enough to satisfy every craving heart around the table.

To experience Sichuan and Chengdu's culture, the hot pot is unmissable cuisine. The followings are the ultimate guide on how to eat Chengdu Hot Pot and where are the Best Hot Pot Restaurnats in Chengdu from a Chengdu's dweller's view.

How to Eat Chengdu Hot Pot

Traditional Spicy Broth, Hongguo

Step 1 - Choose Your Broth: Known for its spiciness, Chengdu Hot Pot is all about the flavor of its broth. Except for a whole pot of traditional oily and spicy broth with floating Sichuan Peppers, peppercorns, and red chili oil, for some who is not a spicy person, the pot offers multiple mild flavored broth options including Tomato broth and mushroom broth which are very popular among the ladies and young people. Though the three is the basis for you to choose from, according to the different restaurant you go to, there might be more options. Usually, in the traditional hot pot restaurants, you can order two kinds of broth in one pot, which is called "Yuanyangguo", or just the pot with only spicy broth "hongguo" in Chengdu. As you go to some reformed restaurants, you can order 3 or 4 kinds of broth in one pot.

Step 2 - Order Side Dishes: After the broth has been chosen, the waiter may ask you to order some side dishes to cook in the boiling broth. Every dish is fresh and raw and the ingredients are thinly sliced or chopped to small pieces, which allows you can cook them very quickly. For each person, we recommend you to order at least 3 side dishes.

Here are some popular side dishes: Lettuce Root Slices (莴笋); Lotus Root Slices (藕片); Tofu (豆腐); Broccoli (西蓝花);Potatoes (土豆); Pea Shoots (豌豆颠); Bamboo Shoots (笋片); Sweet Potatoes Noodles (红薯粉);Needle Mushrooms (金针菇) ;Meat Balls (肉丸); Sliced Fatty Beef (肥牛); Shrimp Dumplings (虾饺);Spicy Beef (麻辣牛肉);Tender Beef (嫩牛肉); Crispy Fried Pork (酥肉); Chinese Sausage (香肠);Chines Ham (火腿); Chicken Wings (鸡翅)

Also, some scary dishes are offered, if you would like to order and have a try: Pig's Brain (脑花); Beef Tripes (毛肚); Duck's Blood (鸭血); Duck's Intestines (鸭肠); Gizzards (郡肝); Sliced Kidneys (腰片)

Tender Beef

Shrimp Balls

Crispy Fried Pork

Sweet Sausage


Bamboo Shoot

Beef Tripe

Pork Rib

Duck Gizzards

Fatty Beef Slices

Dessert,Glutinous Rice Cake

Iced Jelly with Brown Sugar

Common Seasonings for Hot Pot

Step 3- DIY Your Seasonings: Your Hot pot seasoning bowl is as important as the broth. Usually, it can be DIY according to your own preference with a seasoning table where the customers come and fetch their own seasoning or provided by the waiter with the certain requirements about the seasonings of each customer and everyone will get one seasoning bowl, and seasoning options include vegetable oil, sesame sauce, mashed garlic, sesame oil, spicy red oil, coriander, soy sauce, millet pepper, spicy sauce, peppercorn, sesame, peanut, etc. Some traditional hot pot restaurants offer dry dishes “gandie” (chili powder, pepper powder, salt, ground peanut) without any oil or sauce. After the food in the hot pot is well cooked, you need to dip it in your seasoning before eating.

Top 10 Best Chengdu Hot Pot Restaurants

1. ShuJiuXiang Hot Pot (BaiHua) 蜀九香火锅酒楼(百花店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 110/pp
Location: No. 160-12, Section 1, 1st Ring Road West, Qingyang District, Chengdu 成都市青羊区一环路西一段160号附12号
• Opening Time: 11:00-23:30 (Monday to Sunday)

Located by the riverside with beautiful scenery, Shujiuxiang Hot Pot offers traditional beef fat-based hot pot broth, and the side dishes are very fresh and various and the recommended are Jiuxiang Beef, Fresh Meat Balls. If you have not get your table reserved at the peak dining time, you may need to line up with drinks, snacks served for free during your waiting.

2. XiaoLongKan Hot Pot (Chunxi) 小龙坎老火锅(春熙店)

• Value: ★★★★★ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 91/pp
Location: 2F Yujinxiang Plaza, No.36 Xiadong Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu (Taikoo Li) 成都市锦江区下东大街36号郁金香广场2F(太古里)
• Opening Time: 11:00-3:00 (Monday to Sunday)

XiaoLongkan Hot Pot might be the most popular hot pot restaurant among all the locals in Chengdu. It originated in Chongqing and has nine branches in Chengdu and the restaurant in Chunxi Road is the most popular one with fancy traditional Chinese decoration and fresh ingredients. For its convenient location, there will be a long line during lunch and dinner time. If you want to eat, you must go early.

3. HaiDiLao Hot Pot (Longhu) 海底捞火锅(龙湖店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★ • Service: ★★★★★
• Average Cost: CNY 106/pp
Location: Floor 3, Longhu 3000, No. 2, section 3, Jianshe North Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu成都市成华区建设北路三段2号龙湖三千集3层)
• Opening Time: 11:00-3:00 (Monday to Sunday)

Founded in 1994, Haidilao is mainly engaged in hot pot business, It is famous for its considerate service. Originated in Sichuan with over 10 branches in Chengdu city, Haidilao is a large-scale catering hotpot brand with branches all over the country in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Wuhan, Shijiazhuang, Xi'an, Chongqing, etc, as well as restaurants overseas in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the United States and other countries.

4. BaShu DaZhaiMen (QingJiang East Road) 巴蜀大宅门火锅(清江东路店)

• Value: ★★★★★ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 80/pp
Location: No. 36 Qingjiang East Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu成都市青羊区清江东路36号
• Opening Time: 9:00-3:00 (Monday to Sunday)

The authentic and spicy hot pot of Bashu Dazhaimen is affordable, cost-effective, and also very popular and it usually takes an hour to line up. It's suggested to stagger the peak time of the meal. The popular dishes are crispy fried pork, spicy beef, and a must-try snack, Hongtang Bingfen (traditional iced jelly with brown sugar).

5. LaoMaTou Hot Pot (Yulin) 老码头火锅(玉林店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 106/pp
Location: No. 29 middle Yulin Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu成都市武侯区玉林中路29号
• Opening Time: 10:00-4:00 (Monday to Sunday)

The old brand Lao MaTou Hot Pot restaurants open all night beside the daytime and No matter how late you come, you can have a satisfying hot pot dishes and it ranks top 10 estimated by the locals. The dishes include tender beef, meatball, tripe are very popular.

6. JinCheng YinXiang Hot Pot (Rainbow) 锦城印象火锅酒楼(彩虹店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★ • Service: ★★★★★
• Average Cost: CNY 105/pp
Location: No.19, Wuhouci street, juadu, Wuhou District, Chengdu 成都市武侯区耍都武侯祠大街19号
• Opening Time: 11:00-2:00 (Monday to Sunday)

Serving both beef fat and vegetable oil-based broth, Jincheng Yinxiang is located around the Wuhou Memorial Temple area. The noodle performance is also very interesting. And the service was friendly and they considerately provide a hairband, glasses cloth and transparent plastic bag for mobile phone.

7. WuMing Hot Pot (Wuhou) 吴铭火锅(武侯祠店)

• Value: ★★★★★ • Food: ★★★★☆ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 96/pp
Location: No. 242, Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu 成都市武侯区武侯祠大街242号
• Opening Time: 10:00-23:00 (Monday to Sunday)

WuMing hot pot is next to Wuhou Temple scenic area, and its style is mainly composed of Three Kingdoms cultural elements as the Wuhou Temple reveals. The dishes are fresh, the price is reasonable, and all kinds of soup bases are very delicious. Every night at seven o'clock, there is a Sichuan Opera face-changing performance, which is wonderful.

8. DaMiao Hot Pot (Jinli) 大妙火锅(锦里店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★★
• Average Cost: CNY 156/pp
Location: No. 13, Wuyi lane, Jinli phase II, No. 231, Wuhouci street, Chengdu成都市武侯祠大街231号锦里二期乌衣巷13号
• Opening Time: 10:30-22:30 (Monday to Sunday)

Damiao is a relatively high-end hot pot restaurant in Jinli Street, with a great reputation. Besides the delicious and fresh dishes, the decoration of the restaurant is antique, with a strong national style, which gives people a wonderful feeling. Even The menu of the restaurant is made of bamboo slips, exquisitely and uniquely following the traditional way of Shu people in the ancient time. In the evening, the restaurant also has Sichuan opera performance.

9. YueManDaJiang Hot Pot (Kehua) 月满大江火锅(科华店)

• Value: ★★★★★ • Food: ★★★★★ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 70/pp
Location: No.3 Xinxin, Kehua Middle Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu 成都市武侯区科华中路新3号
• Opening Time: 10:30-23:30 (Monday to Sunday)

Near Sichuan University, Yueman Dajiang is a famous hot pot shop in Chengdu, which is very authentic. The broth of the hot pot is cooked with than 30 kinds of Chinese fragrant herbs. The recommended dishes are fresh duck intestines, lotus root, red wine beef.

10. DaLongYi Hot Pot (Yulin) 大龙燚火锅(玉林店)

• Value: ★★★★☆ • Food: ★★★★☆ • Service: ★★★★☆
• Average Cost: CNY 88/pp
Location: No. 9-3, section 3, south 2nd Ring Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu (near Yulin life square, Yulin South Road) 成都市武侯区二环路南三段9号附3号(近玉林南路玉林生活广场)
• Opening Time: 11:00-5:00 (Monday to Sunday)

Dalongyi, with its authentic Sichuan old hot pot taste, quickly captured countless foodie’s hearts and became the industry leader. In 2017, there are over 220 restaurants in the world. In addition to the hot pot restaurants, Dalongyi also sells instant hot pot, which is convenient to bring as instant noodles.

Chinese Food Culture

Nourished by the five thousand years’ history and multiple nations and regions in the vast land, China’s food culture is more than what words can describe. Rooted in traditional Chinese philosophy, like Yin-Yang and Five Element and Confucianism, Chinese cuisine is beyond the food itself but an artwork of the creative minds. Under the guidance of Traditional Chinese Medicine, most of the Chinese cuisines are healthy and nutritious, pursuing to maintain people’s health, and even help the patients get healed.

Are you wondering about Chinese cooking process? Is that hard? around 100 cooking techniques have been formed over the development of Chinese food culture. The diverse cooking techniques show the wisdom of Chinese people and also help a lot on the sustainable development and reformation of the Chinese cuisines.

To enjoy the authentic Chinese flavour in a right way, Chinese dining etiquette plays a rather important role in Chinese food culture. Getting to know the Chinese etiquette will not only show one’s good self-cultivation and manners, but also help your understand the culture deeply and avoid making taboos accidentally to behave offensively to your Chinese host.

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