Once I contacted a local food writer asking about good places to take visitors and the first place she mentioned was Jinli Street, near Wuhou temple. "But the food there is not fresh, and so expensive", I countered. (It's one or two yuan more than the same products sold outside the area.) She replied that Jinli is for visitors to see the local food, not necessarily taste it. Her answer made a lot of sense to me. There is a huge variety of common and uncommon snacks served up here. For visitors who will only be in Chengdu for a short period of time, want to taste a wide variety of snacks, and are Chinese challenged, Jinli Snack Street is a great place to come.
All food workers here wear hats and masks. All products have (sometimes confusing) English labels. Buckwheat noodle press:
These are tofu puffs with seasoning - sweet and spicy on the left and mala (numbing and spicy) on the right. Fresh ones are amazing, but as you can see they make big stacks of everything ahead of time and let them sit far too long. This booth had fried ice cream too, which I almost ordered. The lamb skewers here are deep fried instead of grilled though, and are tough.
You could tell the fellow being handed this pile of grilled squid was really looking forward to it:
There are also lots of options for those who don't want to eat spicy food, such as these 'lu' ribs:
Cold spring rolls with different types of skins doused with hot oil, plus the rarely seen fried kind:
Tofu with various toppings:
The Saturday crowd:
There is a Dairy Queen on one of the newly built sections of Jinli Street, in case you overdo it on spicy stuff, and a Starbucks in the old section.