Drinking and nightlife in Sichuan

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Chengdu

    Kǎi Lú Lǎo Zhái Cháyuán

    For 200 years, one of the city's most venerable teahouses has been tucked away in a peaceful courtyard behind a stone archway off frenetic Kuan Alley, the distant hum of which is more than countered by the sound of zither music that plays in the background. These days there's wi-fi, but that seems to be about all that has changed. Tea from ¥48; snacks ¥12.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Let's Grind

    In-the-know locals call this some of the best coffee in Chengdu, and we're inclined to agree. It certainly has the best selection of brews we've seen in town, and the beans are roasted locally and ground fresh for each cup.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Chengdu

    He Ming Teahouse

    Always lively, this century-old spot is the most famous teahouse in Chengdu and the ideal place to fritter away an afternoon with a bottomless cup of tea (¥13 to ¥30) and a view over the endlessly absorbing park life. Neat tea-pouring performances can be organised for ¥280. Ear cleanings (¥20) available daily.

  • Top ChoiceNightlife in Zigong

    Wangye Temple

    Housed within the ochre walls of a 100-year-old guild hall of boatmen and merchants, this lively teahouse (officially known as 临江茶楼, Línjiāng Chálóu) is one of the most atmospheric in Sichuan. Tea costs ¥12 to ¥20.

  • Nightlife in Kangding

    Himalayan Coffee & Trading Co.

    The best coffee in town is served at this bright, cool and busy place near the big yak sculpture. Wraps, pizzas, house-baked pastries, waffles and wi-fi satisfy other common traveller cravings – though at homeland prices. Even for nonsmokers the 'VIP' balcony out back makes for great people-watching over the street below.

  • Nightlife in Zigong

    Jade Garden Mansion

    Perched atop the Longfeng mountain park, this teahouse in a historical-style pagoda is a fantastic place to drink tea (from ¥8) and admire the view over Zigong down below. Walk about 15 minutes up the staircase across from Wangye Temple – it's the first building you pass on the right.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Foam Ranger Taproom

    Stop in for a decent selection of US, European and Chinese craft brews, including from Chengdu's Wild West Taproom, and a top-floor terrace removed from the crowds of Tai Koo Li. The generous day-long happy hour (10.30am to 8pm) is 'Buy One, Get One' on all beers marked with a star on the menu.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Funky Town

    Tiny, hole-in-the-wall bar where three people constitute a full house. There's a single sofa inside and a table and couple of chairs on the pavement outside, and the whole thing is held together by skateboard and street art stickers and attitude. The best part of it is that people can bring along any vinyl they like and they'll play it.

  • Nightlife in Zigong

    Huanhou Palace

    This teahouse (tea ¥5 to ¥8) is located inside an 1868 butchers guild hall. Its dramatic stone facade opens up onto a tree-shaded courtyard with an old stone stage framed on all sides by beautiful wooden carvings. The antique dealers who share the space generally don't cut into the tranquility – unless you make eye contact.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Nanmen Craft Brewery

    Craft beer, a convivial atmosphere and an eye-catching bar built around the brewing vats and equipment combine for a great thirst-quenching stop in Tongzilin. Sidle up to the bar and ask a bartender to help you find your personal preference of the numerous house brews, or choose from the wide menu of Chinese speciality beers.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Honey & Malt

    A wide selection of craft beers will have hop heads coming back night after night. Stock runs low at times, but pull up to the bar and check out the high-tech LCD menu to see what's available at the friendliest beer bar in Chengdu. It feels a little out of place on a street of high-end chi-chi clothing boutiques.

  • Nightlife in Songpan

    Yùyuàn Nóngjiālè

    Set in an open-air garden with an eclectic array of furnishing, this family-run teahouse (tea from ¥3, dishes from ¥8) has a number of shady nooks that make for a great place to unwind after a long day hiking or horse riding. It's on the old-town side of the covered bridge.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Lao Nanmen Teahouse

    This pocket-sized riverside tea garden stays open late for the summer crowds. Just under the bridge beside a rushing weir, it's a pleasant local favourite that serves all the usual teas (¥12 to ¥38 per cup) and snacks. No English menu.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Winshare

    Gorgeous little bookshop and cafe that stocks a few classic and modern classic English language novels. After paying for your literary treasure settle down into one of the comfy seats, order a coffee and tasty slice of cake and enjoy.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Wild West Taproom

    Sample some (or perhaps all) of this Chengdu-based brewer's eleven different ales at its taproom off Jinli Gujie. The four- to 10-glass samplers are particularly good value and the potato wedges go with it all very nicely.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Origins Coffee Company

    A range of internationally sourced beans, ground to order for each cup, and a tempting selection of baked goods. This is your favourite coffee shop from home, dropped into the centre of the busy Tongzilin neighborhood.

  • Nightlife in Songpan

    Zuwu Heritage House

    Centred on a large tree-shaded courtyard, this combination teahouse/cafe/guesthouse is a chilled-out place to relax by day or a classy spot for a drink by night, with drinks for all hours starting from around ¥20.

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    Yuelai Teahouse

    This local favourite adjoining the Jinjiang Theatre holds wonderfully informal performances on its small stage on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm (tickets ¥20 to ¥40; tea from ¥12).

  • Nightlife in Chengdu

    The Abbaye

    Attracting more bankers than backpackers, this swish bar surrounded by fashion labes, banks and offices has street-side tables and a pretty tree-filled courtyard. Happy Hour runs from a civilised 5pm to 8pm Monday to Friday. If you're feeling peckish, try the Sichuan burger for a local take on international fare.

  • Nightlife in Tagong

    Khampa Cafe

    By far the most popular place in town with travellers is the top-floor patio of the Khampa Cafe. They serve a tasty selection of Tibetan staples as well as steaks, burgers and pasta. A selection of local and international beers plus a healthy dose of travel camaraderie make this nightlife central.