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A Complete Guide to the Best Hotpot in Chengdu, Sichuan

Article by Lost Plate Food Tours

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The Best Hotpot Restaurants in Chengdu

Everyone knows that they need to try hotpot when visiting Chengdu, but few people know about the different types of hotpot the city has to offer. Take a look at our list of the best hotpot in Chengdu and the different ways locals enjoy this insanely spicy soup and the best places to find it!

Variety 1: Traditional Hotpot (Huǒ-guō, 火锅)

You haven’t been to Chengdu if you haven’t had a traditional Sichuan hot pot. The experience of sitting around a boiling pot of chili-filled soup, while cooking your meat and vegetables, is just as fulfilling as the taste. The pot of soup will fit nicely inside the table and will have its own burner to keep it boiling hot. You’ll then select from a variety of raw meats and vegetables to boil yourself until ready to eat. Locals believe that sweating while enjoying a good spicy hotpot is important to release the toxins in your body, so don’t be ashamed when sweat forms on your brow.

Traditional Hot Pot Tips

1. A good hot pot always has a wait, so pick a place that has a healthy queue and a good place to sit it out, or go during off-peak times. Many places will offer free tea and snacks while you wait.

2. There are usually multiple types of soup to order which range in spiciness. In fact, some are broth-based and not spicy at all! We recommend getting a pot that is split in half so you can try two different soups and give your mouth a break from the chili once in a while.

3. Be prepared for raw food. Everything comes raw during a hot pot meal, and you’ll need to cook it in the soup. Locals use the same chopsticks for everything, but don’t be afraid to ask for multiple sets of chopsticks if you prefer to keep raw meat separate.

4. The dipping sauce is just as important as the soup. This is typically made by yourself either at the table or at a sauce bar, so you can choose the amount of chili and seasonings that you like. Don’t go too crazy, remember that the soup is going to be spicy already.

5. Always have a cold drink at hand. Trust us, you’ll need it. There is always a selection of local favorites offered including a sweet peanut-flavored drink, coconut water, juices, and cold beer.

Where to get Traditional Hot Pot

Sichuan Dazhaimen Hot Pot (巴蜀大宅门火锅)

This place serves all-around great traditional Sichuan hotpot. Everything is good and the soup is spicy.

Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 11 PM

What To Order:

  • Freshly Fried Pork- A classic Sichuan fried pork dish prepared with special seasonings and a great dish to boil in the hotpot.  Xiàn-zhà-sū-ròu (现炸酥肉)
  • Tender Beef – Very nice raw beef to boil in the hotpot. Nèn-niú-ròu (嫩牛肉)
  • Thousand-layered Beef Tripe- One of the most popular dishes to boil in hotpot. Qiān-céng-dù (千层肚)
  • King of the Bamboo- Very tasty bamboo. Zhú-sǔn-wáng (竹笋王)
  • Special Duck Intestine- Jīng-pǐn-yā-cháng (精品鸭肠)
  • Fragrant Bean Curd Incredible tofu to boil in the hotpot. Xiāng-dòu-fu (香豆腐)
  • Brown Sugar Cake- Cooked glutinous rice pounded with brown sugar, a lightly sweet dessert. Hóng-táng-cí-bā (红糖糍粑)

Address: 91 North Street (Near The Sichuan Bookstore), 1km from Wenshuyuan Subway Station on line 1, exit K.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去巴蜀大宅门火锅(北门大桥店),青羊区北大街91号, 东珠市街西口(近四川书市)
Google Map; Baidu Map

Jincheng Impression Hot Pot Restaurant (锦城印象火锅酒楼)

Along with the classic spicy Sichuan hotpot soup, they also make a very special mushroom soup. Both soups can come in one split pot so you can try both.

Opening Hours: Daily 10 AM to 2 AM

What To Order:

  • Special Beef Tripe- Jí-pǐn-máo-dù (极品毛肚)
  • Goose Intestine- É-cháng (鹅肠)
  • Tender Beef- Nèn-niú-ròu (嫩牛肉)
  • Pork Ribs- Pái-gǔ (排骨)
  • Beef Belly- Féi-niú (肥牛)
  • Duck Blood- For those looking to try something very traditional and a bit different. Yā-xuè (鸭血)
  • Fragrant Bean Curd- Great tofu to boil in the hotpot. Xiāng-dòu-fu (香豆腐)

Address: 19 Wuhou Temple Street (Near Rainbow Bridge), 1.5 km from Jinjiang Hotel Subway Station on line 1, exit B.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去锦城印象火锅酒楼(彩虹店),武侯区耍都武侯祠大街19号(近彩虹桥头)
Google Map; Baidu Map

Four Season Hot Pot 四季锅(桐梓林店)

Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 10 PM

What To Order:

  • Spicy Preserved Beef- Má-là-niú-ròu  (麻辣牛肉)
  • Thousand-layered Beef Tripe- Qiān-céng-dù (千层肚)
  • Goose Intestine- É-cháng (鹅肠)
  • Chengdu Pancakes- A classic Chengdu street food with your choice of fillings. Dàn-hōng-gāo (蛋烘糕)

Address: No. 9-02 Tongzilin East Road, 0.7 km from Tongzilin Subway Station on line 1, exit B.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去四季锅(桐梓林店),桐梓林东路9号附2号
Google Map; Baidu Map

Xiang Xiang Hot Pot 巷巷火锅

Easily overlooked while passing by, this small, simple hotpot restaurant hidden in an alley has been attracting frequent local customers for many years through words of mouth. Come here to get your spicy palate satisfied among the locals! We recommend you to try their “red pot 红锅” soup, infused with chili oil, this soup base is super fragrant and not overly spicy.

Opening Hours: Daily 11 AM to 11 PM

What To Order:

  • Spicy Preserved Beef- Má-là-niú-ròu (麻辣牛肉)
  • Thousand-layered Beef Tripe- Qiān-céng-dù (千层肚)
  • Duck Blood (鸭血)
  • Black Sugar Sticky Rice Cake – Awesome dessert! Hóngtáng cíbā (红糖糍粑)

Address: 50 meters to the south from the intersection of Beishuyuan Street and Yinghuasi Street. 0.5 km from Hongxing Bridge subway station, exit D.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去巷巷火锅,北书院街与蓥华寺街交叉口南50米
Google Map; Baidu Map

Variety 2: Mini Hot Pot (Maocai, 冒菜)

Maocai ingredients start the way that all hotpot ingredients do: Raw. The difference is that you can see and select them yourself instead of ordering off a menu. You’ll start with a large bowl to fill with your meats and vegetables and then they’ll take it behind the counter where it will be fried and cooked in a bit of super spicy (or not so spicy if you prefer) soup. Once cooked, the bowl is filled with the soup (and your ingredients) and brought to your table. This is basically hotpot for those that don’t have the patience to sit around a boiling pot for a couple of hours, and it’s mighty good.

Where to get Maocai

Fake Maocai (帽牌货冒菜(肖家河店))

Opening Hours: Daily 10 AM to 10 PM

What To Order:

  • Beef- niú-ròu (牛肉)
  • Beef Tripe- A true locals favorite in any Maocai. Qiān-céng-dù (千层肚)
  • Pig Brain- Nǎo-huā (脑花)
  • Lotus Root- Ǒu-piàn (藕片)
  • Black Ear Mushroom- Hēi-mù’ěr (黑木耳)
  • Cold Rice Cakes- Liáng-gāo (凉糕)

Address: #24 Xiaojiahe Middle Street. 1.4 km from Yiguanmiao Subway Station on line 3, exit A.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去帽牌货冒菜(肖家河店),肖家河中街24号(近永乐饭店).
Google Map; Baidu Map

Little Begger Maocai (小叫花冒菜(人民公园店))

Open Hour: Daily 10 AM to 2 PM and 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM

What To Order:
Beef- Niú-ròu (牛肉)
Tofu Skin- Dòu-fu-pí (豆腐皮)
Bamboo- Sǔn (笋)
Lotus Slices- Ǒu piàn (藕片)
Black Ear Mushroom- Hēi-mù’ěr (黑木耳)

Address: # 89 Junping Street. 0.8 km from People’s Park Subway Station on line 2, exit B.
Show Your Taxi Driver: 你好,请带我去小叫花冒菜(人民公园店),君平街89号(人民公园后门,宽窄巷子旁) 。
Google Map; Baidu Map

Variety 3: Hot Pot with Skewers (Chuanchuan, 串串)

Flavors of China Restaurant Tour Chuan Chuan

Think traditional hotpot, but all of the raw meat and vegetables come on skewers that you select directly from the fridge. After you hand them to the cook, the sticks will be boiled in a large communal hotpot. The food is then removed from sticks and brought to your table ready to eat. The main difference is that the ingredients are cooked in the soup but served without soup. Depending on the place, they may even add additional spice and chili.

While there are tons of places all over Chengdu serving traditional Chuanchuan, we also enjoy it in Beijing on our Flavors of China Beijing Restaurant Tour.

Get Hotpot Where the Locals Go

Our Hotpot Food Tour is hands down the best way to experience hotpot in Chengdu. Don’t worry about where to go, what to order, or how to prepare your sauce and ingredients – our local foodie guide will take care of everything for you! Plus you’ll get to try a lot more food than you would if you were on your own. Cold beer included, of course.

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