Like any big city, Chengdu is chock-full of hidden gems down every side street and alley: boutique shops, ethnic restaurants, and local hangouts. Dodo's Cafe on Xiaotong Alley, a strip of low-profile backpacker favorites just north of the popular Wide and Narrow Alley, is one such find.
Unlike the polished tourist areas in other parts of the city, Dodo's and the other shops on the street seem to blend seemlessly into the surrounding working-class neighborhood, making it a popular hangout with Chengdu locals as well as Westerners.
Understated and tastefully done, Dodo's has free wifi and a comfortable cottage feel that isn't "trying too hard" to be Western, rather combining Chengdu's laid-back attitude and the independant feel of a Seattle coffee shop. Dodo's intimate atmosphere is accentuated by the number of nooks and side rooms that compose the interior, while the patio seating is great for folks who want to people watch or enjoy the weather.
Sichuan food is known for its biting spice, but the zest of Mexican peppers is almost completely non-existent in the province. That's where one of Dodo's noteworthy dishes comes in: the Papa Ronnie pizza - your standard pepperoni and cheese pizza but spiced up with authentic Mexican jalapeno peppers! The Papa Ronnie is reasonably priced and certainly worth trying, and the menu boasts a number of other great choices, as well, including possibly the best Coke float in the city (called "ice cream Coke" on the menu.)
Dodo's is a great place to decompress and grab some comfort food after seeing Chengdu's many attractions, make sure to check it out!