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Dodo’s Café
10am-10:30(Monday-Thursday), 10am-12pm(Friday-Sunday)
12 Xiaotong Ln. (near Loft Hostel)
028 8626 2508

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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)
Tucked away on a quiet boutique street that is also home to Loft Hostel and Morning Bar, Dodo’s has provided quiet sanctuary for backpackers and hip locals alike for some time now and is, mercifully, far from the crush of the city’s busier thoroughfares.

It’s a shame that it receives such little attention, given that it offers the sort of touch and comforts Westerners often struggle to find around town: wireless surfing, a great selection of coffee and fruit beverages (10-15 RMB) for the afternoon crowd, and genuinely cold beer (8-12 RMB). It’s also one of Chengdu’s more effortlessly classy coffee shop/restaurants, with the sort of genuinely unique décor and mood that larger Chinese chains fail to simulate. Shapely old drawers, mid-20th century radios and Egon Schiele prints blend seamlessly with paper cuttings, avian kites and traditional wooden animal carvings, much like the relaxed mix of foreign and local clientele. Service is not intrusive and exceptionally friendly. The quiet “indie” music that saturated the background is (to our ears) refreshingly tasteful.

The food is fine, without being exceptional. Much like its ambience, Dodo’s bilingual menu is similarly Westerner-friendly, with vegetarian options galore and standard breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta. The veggie curry was gentle and filling, but the spicy chicken pasta? Not so much. That dish packs far more punch than most foreign palates might appreciate. Despite taking much to long to serve, the Farmer’s pizza (35-40 RMB) was hearty with a baked egg at its center. The hot coke and ginger is great for those feeling under the weather and the banana yoghurt shake had just the right consistency. As for the breakfast sets, though there were no major problems, we found Loft’s options next door to be better value.

Dodo’s main dishes run between 20-40 RMB, making Dodo’s a solid value. After your meal, peruse some of the nearby specialty stores, sip a Chongqing black beer at Morning or play a round of pool at Loft. With its unexpectedly sophisticated charms and eclectic neighborhood attractions, Dodo’s is well worth a visit for those wishing to explore Chengdu’s many hidden gems.

Dodo’s Café
Dodo’s Café