Those of you who have been whining about the dearth of coffee shops in Chengdu (well, "except for Starbucks") since you got here can pick your crying selves up off the floor and head over to Xiaotong Xiang, where a virtual fortress of cafés has suddenly appeared.
While true coffee fanatics know that the best cup of coffee in town is probably to be made in one's own kitchen, the coffeehouse aficionados are looking for something different—ambiance in the way of lots of wood furniture, boutique light fixtures, free wireless, and a power source for their netbooks.
Well, there's plenty here: Catering to Chengdu's 1980s- and 1990s-born hipsters, the cafés are decorated in true hipster/vintage/thrifty/DIY style, with a smidge of Ikea thrown in for good measure.
Independent cafés? Check. Lounge bars? Check. Donuts? Check. McDonalds? Check. Chengdu is becoming so much "like home" it's starting to feel like we never left.
Xiaotong Xiang (小通巷) and Zhazi Jie (栅子街) are in the northwest of Chengdu, within the First Ring Road and several blocks north of Kuan/Zhai Xiangzi. See map grid D3.