2022 Chengdu Michelin Restaurant Guide
There isn’t a doubt in our mind that Chengdu has one of the best food scenes in China, and maybe even the world. Never mind that it is a UNESCO city of gastronomy (yawn, so is Launceston, Tasmania) but almost everything served up in the city screams with tongue puckering, mouth numbing, life changing flavour.
Local Sichuan people are zealous about the food here; it’s not just something to eat, but a way to live, and it’s hard not to be converted. Long ago, with the solemn promise to pronounce every other cuisines totally tasteless, we turned our back on anything white in our wardrobe, and pledged allegiance.
It is this passion for food, sheer variety of flavors, and ways to eat in Sichuan that limit the appetite for international food options in the province – so when the Michelin Guide announced last year that Chengdu would become the fourth city in Mainland China to be featured, we tingled with trepidation… Everything about what makes the city’s food scene so special, is distinctly anti-fine-dining.
How would China’s fiercest foodies take to being told where is good, by a French food guide in their beloved city? How could you give out stars, in a place where people would fight to the death to defend their maocai joint, on their street corner?
It must be mentioned that upon entering China, Michelin have made an effort to award fly restaurants, and time honored brands alike, to avoid accusations of cultural appropriation, so we were especially fearful of them discovering our favorite chuanchuan, and cursing it with long lines of photo-takers forever.
Luckily our chuanchuan remained unscathed, although we know it to be truly worthy of a star – and after a false start back in November because of Covid-19, the list is finally in.
Quick Explainer: What is the Michelin Guide?
First published in 1900, The Michelin Guide is now regarded as the fine-dining bible. A Michelin star is the ultimate hallmark of culinary excellence. Michelin stars are awarded by inspectors to restaurants judged to be of a particularly high standard. Eateries that make the grade can be awarded one, two, or three stars, and the accolade is much coveted by chefs around the world. It is a big deal, chefs have taken their own lives, after losing their starts – and they can truly make or break restaurants. You can read more at guide.michelin.com – they haven’t updated the site to include Chengdu yet.
Chengdu was awarded 1 Two Michelin Star, 8 One Michelin Stars, 13 Michelin recommended restaurants, and 28 included restaurants (not all restaurants included in the guide, are awarded stars, but are considered still worthy of a visit).
A couple on the list were almost sure things, like Sichuan Yuzhilan 玉芝兰 – which has been heavily featured on Sichuan travel shows by Fuschia Dunlop, and Anthony Bourdain) and a few that took us by surprise (after all, you’d never take a Sichuan person to 马旺子). You can read their official announcement (CN) on the Michelin China Official Account.
2 Michelin Stars (1)
1 Michelin Star (8)
柴门荟 Chái Mén Huì
成都宴 Chéngdū Yàn
芳香景 Fāng Xiāng Jǐng
银锅 Yín Guō
松云泽 Sōng Yúnzé
许家菜 Xǔ Jiā Cài
For the full guide in Chinese, including other recommended restaurants, please click here.
Do you agree with the Michelin inspectors?
Who missed out?
Let us know in the comments.