When you’re feeling home sick and want some food to remind you of home, there are a couple of places in the city that can help you get over your culture shock and get you back to your daily, happy life in Chengdu. One of my personal favorites is Grandma’s Kitchen. It is conveniently located by the exit of Nijiaqiao subway station stop. Grandma’s kitchen is one of my favorite places to eat, just because the atmosphere of the restaurant is so relaxing and, to top it off, they have free Wi-Fi. Their menu has a huge variety of dishes you can choose from. They range from steaks, burgers, tacos, burritos, pizza, pasta and quesadillas. They also have a large variety of cocktails you can sip on while enjoying your meal.
The next restaurant that is also extremely good is Maan Coffee. Their focus is on breakfast foods and some lunch meals, but their waffles are to die for. Before you leave Chengdu, you have to go there and try the waffles — you will be extremely satisfied. Now, to some, these places may be a little expensive, but when you actually do the calculations you are actually getting more for what you pay for than if you were back in the States. For example, at Grandma’s Kitchen you can get a huge burger and fries for 48 kuai. When you do the math, that is about nine dollars and fifty cents. Now, in America I could never get a burger that big for that low of a price. The burger is so big that sometimes I am not able to finish it.
Now if you want to get a good NY style pizza, go no further than Mike’s Pizza. They have the best pizza in Chengdu; it is simply delicious. The only bad side to Mike’s Pizza is that it might take an hour or two to get a pizza. Since his pizza is really good, a lot of people order it. So, if you want your pizza at a specific time be sure to order a couple of hours before. If you cannot wait and you are really craving something cheesy, Pizza Hut is always a great second option. Their cheese pizza here tastes exactly like the ones back home and they are not that expensive, especially if you are splitting the cost amongst friends. There are also many fast food restaurants close to the campus.
At Raffles City Mall, they have a McDonald’s and Starbucks and, outside in the same area, you can find a KFC and Pizza Hut. By the north gate of Wangjiang campus, you can find a Burger King, McDonald’s, and a KFC. Another great spot is Peter’s Tex Mex; they are located near the Poly Center. The food there is delicious and they have a huge assortment of Mexican food. You can also choose what type of meat you want, whether it is beef, chicken, pork or no meat at all. The prices at Peter’s TexMex are reasonable. You will defiantly leave there satisfied. Another spot that should be on your list is The Shamrock. It is an Irish pub and restaurant, and they have a lot of great food and good beer. One of my favorite dishes there is the Rock Burger. It gives the burger at Grandma’s Kitchen a run for its money.
There are a lot of other choices that I choose not to list, simply because I don’t want you to spend all your time eating at Western restaurants. At the start of this program, I told myself that no matter how much I miss home I would not eat out at Western restaurants every night. First, it negates the whole purpose of coming here if I don’t eat the local food. Second, it is really expensive so I would run out of money faster. Now, if you already made the decision to come here: kudos to you. I know you are a spectacular person. I already know you have the mental fortitude to stick to eating Chinese food as well as accomplishing anything you put your mind to. If you do, however, slip up, that’s okay; just don’t turn it into a process that happens every other day. One good way to control when you eat Western food instead of just going out when you’re craving some Burger King French fries is to set up a day when you go as a group with your fellow classmates. For instance, I started “Pizza Mondays” a couple of weeks after being here and that has given me more opportunities to develop stronger bonds with my friends, make more memories, and control my consumption of western food.
Below is a description of the pictures I attached:
- The first picture is from Maan Coffee where they have amazing waffles.
- The second one is a beef burrito I got at Peter’s Tex Mex. It was simply amazing.
- The third one is the Rock Burger at Shamrock. It’s so good I would gladly sell my cell phone to get a free one if that was what I had to do.