Jinli Street Snacks in Chengdu

By Chris Parker
Print E-mail July 1, 2014
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Jinli Street is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Chengdu, and not without reason. As an ancient street that became renowned as early as the Qin and Han dynasties, Jinli Street still preserves much of its ancient charm. Today, the street is lined with shops selling everything from tea and souvenirs to traditional handicrafts and snacks. There are numerous cafes, tea houses and bars, which become even livelier at night, with hanging lanterns and live music filling the air. It is also not unusual to see traditional theater and folk arts performances taking place in the street.

Many people come to Jinli for the many snacks that the street offers. Everywhere you look, there are stalls selling a variety of treats. Here are some that you won't want to miss:

Sweet fried balls (糖油果子) – Known as "tang you guozi" in Chinese, these are fried balls on a stick. They are made from glutinous rice, fried in dark sugar and coated with sesame seeds.

Dandan Noodles (担担面) –Dandan noodles are wheat flour noodles cooked in sauce with small pieces of pork. They have a sour and spicy taste, which you can even feel through your nostrils! For those who can stand spicy food, they are highly delicious!

San Da Pao (三大炮) – San Da Pao are sticky rice balls smothered in soy bean powder and dipped in a dark, sugary sauce. The name in Chinese means something along the lines of "three big shots," and comes from the cannon fire-like sound the rice balls make when they are thrown against a board to get covered in powder. The unmistakable sound of the "three shots" can be heard throughout the old streets of Chengdu.

Steamed rice cakes (蒸米糕) – These rice cakes made from steamed white and yellow rice, so they come in two colors. Sweet and delicious!

Fried Beef Cakes (牛肉焦饼) – These golden beef cakes are too alluring to escape the eye! With a crispy outside and juicy meat within, they don't disappoint!

Sweet Sauce Noodles (甜水面) – This is one of my favourite Chengdu snacks. Thick noodles in a sauce that is a mixture of sweet and spicy – a truly mouth-watering combination!

Zhong Shui Jiao (钟水饺) – This is one of Chengdu's most famous snacks. This type of dumpling is served in a watery, slightly sweet sauce that has a pleasant smell and will get you hooked right away!

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