Chengdu is the gateway to China's Sichuan province. A city of over 15 million people, Chengdu can trace its roots to as early as the 4th century BCE, when it served as the capital of the Shu Kingdom. Artifacts from this period are housed in the Jinsha Site Museum, but locals will tell you the true history of the city and region is found in the food.
Sichuan cuisine is known worldwide for its heat and flavor, and there's no better place to experience it than in the alleyways of Chengdu. There's no shortage of history intertwined with food in China, but Sichuan cuisine just may be the earliest stakeholder in the Chinese tradition.