Overview: The purpose of this tour is to introduce the visitor to some of the tastes of Shanghai along with some of the food sights. Probably... more »
The purpose of this tour is to introduce the visitor to some of the tastes of Shanghai along with some of the food sights. Probably... more » the two things Shanghai is best for are eating and shopping.
Whilst it is possible to get good often world class food from all corners of China and from many places around the world, the emphasis of this tour is on Shanghai style food.
Shanghai doesn’t really have its own cuisine but borrows heavily from the surrounding provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Common ingredients are soy sauce counterbalanced with sugar, vinegar, and salt. Food tends not to be spicy and is usually quite sweet.
Dishes that should be tried include xiaolongbao and shengjianbao dumplings, hongshao rou (red cooked meat) – slow braised pork, and when in season (autumn) hairy crab.
The route of this tour is quite long and it is unlikely that you would want to visit all the restaurants in one go. less «
It is not necessary to tip in any restaurant or bar in China. It is also probably best not to as it can cause confusion and... more » embarrassment. Having said that, you could always leave a few coins but don’t be surprised if they get picked up by a customer instead! Some higher end places do add on a service charge. Service standards are generally much lower than in North America and Europe but are improving rapidly.
If starting at Seagull take subway line 10 to Tiantong Lu and go out of exit 5. Alternatively you could start at the Nanjing donglu station on lines 2 and 10 and start at one of the other points. Lynn and Din Tai Fung lie between Nanjing Xilu (line 2) and Jing’an Temple (lines 2 and 7) stations but Jing’an is marginally closer. less «
The Bund area is largely host to expensive restaurants serving foreign food. This is the best option around the Bund for Chinese cuisine (note it does not have a view of Pudong). It specializes in Yunnan dishes. Yunnan situated in the south west of China is one of the country’s most varied provinces. Home to more than half of China ethnic minority... More groups and with a climate varying from tropical Southeast Asian rising to the foothills of the Himalayas it makes for an interesting meal!
The food here is unlike any you are likely to experience on the average trip to China especially if you are going nowhere south of the clouds (as Yunnan literally means). Taking full advantage of the minorities and their culinary heritage the menu mixes flavors and textures with abandon. To boot this all comes with a sophisticated environment.
Address: 17 Yan’an East Road (Yan’an donglu) 延安东路17号
Telephone: (0086) 021 6330 0967
Open Noon - 2pm and 5.30pm – 10.30pm Bar 6pm – 2am
This restaurant has a great view of the Bund and Pudong. Whilst the Chinese food won’t win any awards, it is fairly standard Shanghainese fare with a few other dishes thrown in for good measure. It is possible to skip the food and just drink here.
The view is best seen in the evening. It could make a good spot for a quiet early evening Tsingtao ... Morebeer.
Tsingtao beer was originally brewed in the German concession of Qingdao for the foreign population of that city and Shanghai.
Address: 60 Huangpu Road 黄浦路60号
Telephone: (0086) 021 6356 4280
Open: 11am – Midnight
This small market is relatively clean and tame by Shanghai standards. Whilst the Chinese name calls it a vegetable market it also sells meat, fish and dried goods. However, unlike many markets there doesn’t appear to be any live poultry.
Markets like this are the typical places most people do their shopping. Usually the produce is cheaper and... More fresher than in supermarkets and for many people they make a daily pilgrimage to buy what they need to cook their family’s meals.
The main entrance is next to the Christine bakery and up the stairs. Mind the ceiling when going up and down.
Address: 201 Ningbo Road
Open: 6am – 11am, 3pm – 6pm
This place sells all kinds of foods that Chinese people might give as gifts. There are displays of little pieces of dried meat wrapped like candy. Along with many Chinese style sweet food, there are dried mushrooms and shrimps. There are also great joints of dried meat and stalls selling fruit juice and egg tarts (see next stop).
This store was ... Morefounded in 1870 (not in this location) by immigrants from Ningbo, in Zhejiang Province, to give the large number of people in Shanghai originating from there a taste of home. Today it still sells Ningbo style snacks along with delicacies from across the country.
The No 1 Food Store at 720 Nanjing East Road is larger but is currently undergoing renovations.
Address: 630 Nanjing East Road (donglu) 南京东路630号
Open: Monday – Friday 10am – 10.30pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 11pm
This chain store is famous for egg tarts and has various outlets around town.
Egg tarts (蛋挞dan ta) originate in southern China. They are thought to be either from Macau or Hong Kong and a Chinese version of either the Portuguese pastel de nata or the British custard tart. Whatever their origins, they are big in Shanghai and can commonly be found... More on sale in subway stations. Even KFC in China does them!
Address: B1/F, New World Mall, 2-68 Nanjing Xi Lu , 南京西路2-68号新世界城B1楼
Telephone: (0086) 021 6359 5262
Note: Picture is egg tarts not made by Lillian.Less
A small section of this street has a reputation as a food street thanks to a large number of restaurants. Most serve either Shanghai cuisine or seafood. They are very much aimed at locals and so the emphasis is on taste and price, rather than fancy presentation, interior decoration or service.
At No 97 is another small branch of Yang’s Fried... More Dumplings – see the next stop for more details.
This was once a delightful collection of small restaurants serving cheap, delicious Chinese food. The new ‘improved’ version is a sanitized street replete with mainly international chain food stores and coffee shops. There are, though, still a few places worth seeking out.
Two worth looking for - they are hidden upstairs in a shopping centre -... More serve two different takes on dumplings. In the one corner (quite literally) you have xiaolongbao小笼包and in the other (all right actually along the floor) you have shengjianbao.
Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant南翔馒头店, the hallowed shop in Yuyuan, has another branch here selling their xiaolongbao which are sometimes known in the West as soup dumplings. Arguably there are many much better places for xiaolongbao (Din Tai Fung for one) but if you want to eat the famous ones this location is much easier to get a table in than the Yuyuan branch. Note there are some vegetarian alternatives to the usual meat filled ones.
Xiaolongbao are a small delicate steamed dumpling containing a meat based filling and soup inside a thin wrapper. In China they are considered a bun rather than a dumpling. Shanghai style xiaolongbao originate from Nanxiang a small town in suburban Jiading district, where this restaurant was originally established.
Shengjianbao 生煎包 are similar albeit lacking the finesse of xiaolongbao. They are though far more of an every day food item. It is more of a bun than a dumpling and has a much thicker wrapper containing soup and pork inside. They are cooked in large heavy metal skillets giving the thick base a lovely crunchy texture and are sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions.
They are widely available, particularly at breakfast time. However, Yang’s Fried Dumplings has become a city institution and has many branches along with a fearsome reputation. The Wujiang Lu one is perhaps the most convenient for travelers.
You need to be careful when eating xiaolongbao and shengjiangbao or scalding hot liquid will shoot out in all directions. The correct way to eat them is bite a small hole in the side and then suck the soup from them before devouring the rest. It is common to dip them in vinegar. True xiaolongbao places should provide vinegar with small slithers of ginger.
Yang’s Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎
Address: Unit 203, 2/F, Huang Pu Hui, 269 Wujiang Lu, 吴江路269号湟普汇2楼 It is in the shopping center next to exit 4 of Nanjing West Road subway station.
Telephone: (0086) 021 6136 1391
Open: 10am – 10 pm
Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant南翔馒头店
Address: 2/F, Huang Pu Hui, 269 Wujiang Lu, 吴江路269号湟普汇2楼 It is in the shopping center next to exit 4 of Nanjing West Road subway station. Once you reach the second floor by the escalator it is directly in front of you.
Open: 10am – 10pm
Shanghainese food often gets a bad rap for being oily, too sweet and salty. This restaurant will change any preconceived ideas with its modern take on traditional classics and it all comes packaged with good service, well thought out presentation, and a stylishly decorated dining area.
One highly recommendable dish is the Shanghai style crispy... More duck. It might not be as famous as its Beijing cousin but it certainly gives it a run for its money in the taste department. Accompanied by shell shaped mantou (steamed bread) pockets make sure to eat it quickly as it quickly looses its crispness.
On Sundays there is an all you can eat dim sum lunch for Y88/person. They also during the week do lunch sets for a minimum of 2 people. Warning this restaurant can get very busy and a reservation is likely a good idea.
Address: 99-1 Xikang Lu 西康路99-1号 near Nanjing West Road (Nanjing xilu)
Telephone: (0086) 021 6247 0101
Open: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Although actually a Taiwanese chain this place is well known for its xiaolongbao (see Wujiang Road stop). The New York Times in 1993 voted it one of the best ten restaurants in the world and some of the Hong Kong branches have received Michelin stars.
This branch has more atmosphere than some of the other Shanghai locations thanks to being in... More the Shanghai Center part of the Portman Ritz-Carlton complex.
Address: Unit A104, 1376 Nanjing West Road 南京西路 1376号, Shanghai Center, ground floor Portman building. When entering the complex it is at the back of the group of shops on the left.
Telephone: (0086) 021 6289 9182
Open: 10am – 11pm