Chengdu’s Post-COVID Restaurant Boom
• The drought is over! After 3 years man of our favourites international eateries shut up shop, and promises of new brands from big groups head-quartered in Shanghai struggling to make it over to Sichuan’s sizzling capital during the pandemic, we’re suddenly awash with big names entering Chengdu’s famously tough food and beverage market. Forks at the ready!
• Big American players like the Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack (Number 2), and even Shanghai’s beloved Alimentari are opening stores here in the next few months.
This casual deli-style Italian eatery named after “alimentari” mom-and-pop food stores peppered throughout Italy – have over 10 branches in Shanghai, and are entering Chengdu with not one, but two stores this summer. They make casual, sexy little breakfasts, brunches, lunches, afternoon snacks, aperitif, dinners, late night snacking and drinks! You can also buy items from their deli counter – they do a mean take-away cheese and meat board. This is big news Chengdu!
Step into the home of Italy in downtown Chengdu, officially opening on July 13th. Grande embodies all the best parts of an Italian experience through its kitchen, delicatessen and purely European store. This Alimentari emporium delivers a truly Italian adventure with alfresco dining for all of your espresso mornings and aperitivo afternoons and with walls lined ceiling to floor with the finest European imported artisanal products to enjoy in store or to take with you home.
1-1, Building 1, DongShunCheng South Street No. 53, Jinjiang District
They say: Opening around August 15th, Alimentari Mulino part restaurant and part bakery, focusing on offering freshly baked Italian breads and pastries that can be enjoyed with an exceptional menu of cooked dishes. A trove of high-quality cured meats, cheeses and olives from the counter perfectly complements the baked goods, including pizza by the slice, flatbreads and loaves. The delicious Italian “Dolci” pastries baked-on-site can be enjoyed on the spot for afternoon tea or for takeout, making Alimentari Mulino the go to place for anyone with a sweet tooth.
L1-161, A Block, MIX City, 8 Shuangqing Road, Chenghua District
成华区双庆路8号 – 万象城二期A馆L1-161
Famous for portions sizes that will write off the rest of your day, Cheesecake Factory is a chain from the US that dating back to the 1940’s. They currently have 3 shops in Shanghai and 1 in Beijing, which seem to be exactly like the Cheesecake Factory in the USA. Read: the same giant portions and overwhelming menu, which is over 200 items long with food from pretty much every culinary category!
The brand prides itself on making ALL menu items from scratch every day, a range that covers some significant ground; from their trademark desserts and 22 signature cheesecakes to other dishes with a global twist (think Korean fried cauliflower, crispy Cuban rolls, avocado eggrolls) mixed with hearty fare like pizza, pasta, sandwiches, steak and ‘glamburgers’. It also seems that, unlike similar international chains, the recipes and portion sizes haven’t been altered to suit local tastes.
Of course it is the place te be for cake lovers! ‘Pricey Tasty Food’ would be a good description, as you can expect to pay between 100-300RMB for a main, 60-150RMB on a drink, and about the same on starters. Also, prepare to be stuffed.
This isn’t officially confirmed yet, though a bird told us the target opening date is end of October. Keep your eyes open, and your stretchy pants, on hand.
F2-3 behind Apple Store, Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li
No.8 Zhongshamao Road, Jinjiang District
Shake Shack miXC
We were treated to New York City’s iconic burger stand in Taikoo Li last year – and now the group are opening the second shop in miXC.
Shake Shack is known for delicious burgers, chicken, hot dogs, frozen custard, beer, and more in a fun environment. We thought their first store lacked the local flavour, they’re famous for injecting into their regional stores, so we’re eager to see what they do for round 2.