Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant

This is the oldest and best known vegetarian restaurant in Chengdu.


The menu is very unique; each dish has both name and description translated into English. The description gives more detail on the ingredients and focuses on the meat substitutes. It's a pretty interesting document for those who are interested in Chinese vegetarian cooking. Most tables are occupied over lunch and the servers work hard to run orders and clear tables. At times diners need to be pretty assertive to get their attention.

We asked for the Sichuan Monkey Head mushrooms, which were very good. The large, round, fuzzy mushrooms had a great texture and the cilantro and garlic were a familiar complement to the numbing and spicy red oil. (I am too much of a laowai to understand why you would cook mushrooms in spice that overwhelms their flavour though.) This generous bowl turned the heads of other customers as it approached our table.

Shumai dumplings. Dumpling dough stuffed with sticky rice can be bland, but these were surprisingly good:

Cool bowl of tapioca to finish:

The interior is airy and light, and there is some outdoor seating as well. However, the dining room has a used tableware station where they have bus pans for dumping leftovers. It's a little off-putting if you happen to be sitting at one of the tables nearby.

Location: inside Wenshu Temple courtyard (need to pay the Y5 to get in).


  1. BTW I really enjoy your blog. I have visited Chengdu a few times, and the food is so stellar.
    On one trip to the Wenshu temple my friend insisted on trying the spicy fake intestines. I was initially afraid, but it was basically a spicy fried dough item. I liked the food at the temple restaurant. As I don't eat meat, it was a respite for me from surprise pork decoration.
    I like the tea garden as well.
    Thanks for your evocative posts.
    Lisa in Toronto

  2. Thanks Lisa. supposedly if you go early in the morning for tea there you can drink tea while the monks are reciting scripture, but I've never done this. It definitely is the most historic place for vegetarian food and has the most Sichuan-characteristic menu, although I prefer the food at other places. More vegetarian posts coming, stay tuned.

  3. hai there, thanks for the information from your blog.
    I'm from Indonesia and decided want to come to Chengdu next June, my dad is vegetarian, is that only in wenshu temple we can found vegetarian restaurant, or there's another place we can find it? thank you.. :)

  4. Hi, there are many vegetarian restaurants in Chengdu, see the archives.


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