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Some of the best places to check out in Shanghai are a block over from the main tourist spots. One of the best less talked about places to see is called Wu Jiang Road, and it is a pedestrian road just south of Nanjing Road by the Shi Men Yi Lu (Shi Men Number 1 Road) subway station. If you see a long line of people waiting, they are probably waiting for Shen Jian Bao, a kind of pan fried dumpling filled with savory pork and broth and topped with scallions. They are fantastic and well worth the wait.
Go to 1933 to check out this unique piece of 1930's architecture, it used to be asia's biggest slaughterhouse in its time and is now a half empty creative center. best to go there with a nice camera during a week eday, you'll have the place t yourself. Also worth trying along this street is the famous Bubble Tea. Be For Time, a chain with locations throughout the city, is a great deal where you can sit and drink as many of the teas and beverages they offer for 18RMB. On Wu Jiang Road they have a window on the street, so you can buy a single cup of the tea with the wide straw that accomodates the large dark tapioca pearls. The tea already has milk and is sweet, so don't worry about having to add anything to it. If you decide to hop into Be For Time for a break, be sure to try out the Xi Mi Lu, a coconut milk drink with smaller light green tapioca pearls.
If you love books, you have to check out the Foreign Language Bookstore on Fuzhou Road. The top floor features imports, but more importantly for the traveler, the first floor showcases beautiful picture books of the city, great cooking guides for making your own Chinese cuisine, and Chinese language materials that are not found elsewhere. China makes a lot of the stationary and fine pen equipment used all over the world, and Fuzhou Road is stationary central. If you want to pick up fine calligraphy brushes and paper, or a nice fountain pen, this is the street to find it.
Both the People's Square and Xin Tian Di subway station areas have underground shopping plazas around the station, but the People's Square station area also has one area that is a recreation of Shanghai in the 1930s. While a challenge to find, this area also has a fantastic arcade, and a great pool hall.
Tai Kang Road grows as a center for local artists. The galleries here are housed former small factories, and may not look like much from the outside, but the pottery and paintings available here are fantastic, and often the artist lives upstairs or a few doors over.
Shanghai is filled with cafes, and it seems like Starbucks is everywhere, but at least once take a break and try out a tea shop (cha guan or cha lou). Not the laid back bottomless cup of Be For Time, but the fine art of Chinese tea is quite the experience that has to be tried at least once. You have the choice of various green teas or red teas from around the country. Sugar and cream are not added to this tea, but the fine tastes are worth trying even if you have a sweet tooth.