8 Jinghua Guan (east off Chunxi Lu)
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As one of few centrally located western restaurants in Chengdu, Swensen’s might come as welcome relief to any visitor eager from some respite from the fiery Sichuan fare. The Chengdu branch of this international chain which began in San Francisco, specializes in all sorts of ice cream concoctions (starting at around ¥50), but also offers a fine menu of American-style fare. Burgers are priced around ¥50, while the grilled fish is delicious and costs ¥45. Steaks are reasonably priced, starting at ¥90. Beer is around the ¥25 mark. But the best thing about Swensen’s is its location on a delightful alley off the busy and brightly lit Chunxi Lu. Grab one of the few outdoor tables and eat in the lane when the weather is good. From outside you can also watch the little elevator convey food and drinks up and down the three floors of Swensen’s interior. The service can be over-bearing and Swensen’s might be a little pricey by Chengdu standards but it’s definitely a great option if you’re craving Western food.