20 street foods you should try in shanghai

These are just some of my favourite street eats I've been living off in the two weeks I was in Shanghai.Some are very typical street eats where you can probably find in any corner of Shanghai while some are harder to find. There are heaps of other eateries that specialise in these popular goodies and a quick Google will tell you where you can find them!

1. Soup Filled Dumplings (汤包 - tāng bāo):
This dumpling is at least the size of my fist! It is a massive dumpling filled with hot soup and a little meat. This one we tried was filled with fresh sweet crab meat and served with a miniature straw. You stick the straw into the bun and suck out all the soup before you actually eat the dumpling and filling.
Where to get it: 城隍庙 - 249号 Fangbang Middle Road 黄浦区上海市 China
2. Pan Fried Dumplings (生煎包 - shēng jiān bāo):

Inside these little crispy dumplings is a succulent pork filling. The bottom is extremely crispy and is garnished with fresh spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. This place has huge lines during lunch time.

This little snack store is located in 万达 mall. I was so surprised to climb up the escalators and find a huge crowd of people waiting for their serving of these dumplings. And after tasting them, I knew why.
Where to get it: 小杨生煎(五角场店) - 杨浦区邯郸路600号万达商业广场食品一店2楼(近淞沪路)
3. Shanghai Hairy Crabs (大闸蟹 - dàzháxiè):

Steamed palm sized crabs. The best time to eat this is during the time period between September and November when they are freshly caught. There are two types of hairy crabs. One you can eat all year around and these ones. The difference in price of these two types of hairy crabs is staggering.

The best part of the crab is the yellow roe. Crack the shell open by pulling it apart from the mouth area. You'll see a little flap - you'll need to get rid of all the gills there. You shouldn't eat those. Also, it's perfect with a small glass of Chinese yellow wine.
Where to get it: Most seafood markets have it. At Tongchuan Lu Seafood Market, you can take it home to cook like we have, or take it to a restaurant and tell them how you want it cooked.
4. Shanghainese Steamed Dumplings (小笼包 - xiǎo lóng bāo):
A signature dish of Shanghai. Don't tell me you've never heard of this one!

At 城隍庙 (City God Temple of Shanghai) we found these goodies at 20RMB for 16! That's barely 0.15AUD per dumpling. This particular one is stuffed with crab meat and pork. It's steamed right in front of your eyes since the line for this particular shop in Cheng Wong Miao always has huge lines. You won't miss it. You'll see people queuing up at a very tiny window with steam coming out of it.
Where to get it: 城隍庙 - 249号 Fangbang Middle Road 黄浦区上海市 China
5. Glutinous Rice Balls in Soup (汤圆 - tāngyuán):

These balls are made by mixing glutinous rice flour and water together. The filling is a sweet liquid black sesame paste (my favourite!). You could also get these rice balls in savoury form with a pork filling which is equally as good!
Where to get it: 城隍庙 - 249号 Fangbang Middle Road 黄浦区上海市 China
6. Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐 - chòu dòufu)

You can't go to China without trying the famous stinky tofu.Not everyone will like this as there is a huge stench. If you get past the stench, you'll find the tofu 'skin' to have a very silky crunch to it while the insides is just soft and pillowy.
Where to get it: 城隍庙 - 249号 Fangbang Middle Road 黄浦区上海市 China
7. Chinese Style Fried Chicken (中式炸鸡 - zhōngshì zhá jī):
You can get this anywhere too. A large chicken fillet is fried in a wok and seasoned with ginger and garlic. It would have been absolutely perfect if they were a little spicy.

8. portuguese egg tarts (蛋挞 - dàntà)

Everyone in Shanghai knows Lillian Cake Shop. You'll stumble across this chain bakery a few times during your trip. Expect to find them disappearing off the shelves during rush hour in the morning and late afternoon. They are not your average egg tarts. The crust is flaky and soft while the custard is so soft it practically melts in your mouth. It's less than a buck each. Get them.
Where to get it: Lillian Cake Shop (莉莲蛋挞) - 988 Nanjing Xi Lu 南京西路988号, 021-62189680
9. Chicken Steak (鸡排 - jī pái):

A large chicken fillet is deep fried and cut into bite sized slices. Almost 15 years after I was introduced to these crispy fried goodies and I still constantly crave for them. It's so crispy, moist and beautiful. There are heaps of 久久丫鸭颈王 vendors around Shanghai so you won't have trouble finding it.
Where to get it: 豪味道大大鸡排(四平路店) - 杨浦区四平路2067号(近国定路)
10. Chinese Pancake (大饼 - dà bǐng):
These little flat breads are baked in the metal cylinder in the picture above. The pastry master kneads dough until it is ready and puts either a garlic and scallion paste or a red bean paste into the middle before kneading it again. The taste of these flavours are very subtle but addictive enough for you to keep coming back for more.
Where to get it: 小上海步行街 - 浦东新区周浦镇中大街(近康沈路)
11. Chinese Savoury Crepe (包脚布 - bāo jiǎo bù):

This is a really popular breakfast and snack option in Shanghai. The crepe is as thin as paper. It's Chinese name literally mean a cloth which wraps the leg. Once the crepe has been spread on a large flat heated pan, they cook crack an egg and spread it around the crepe. The chef then adds a sweet sauce and fillings such as turnip, scallion and carrots.
Where to get it: 小上海步行街 - 浦东新区周浦镇中大街(近康沈路)
12. Potstickers (锅贴 - guōtiē):

Another snack you can get practically anywhere. My favourite filling is cabbage and pork!

13. Lamb Skewers (羊肉串 - yángròuchuàn):
Almost all lamb skewers are seasoned similarly with cumin and paprika. They are easy to eat, cheap and perfect for a late night snack. I like to eat these when I come back home from a long day of shopping.

14. Pork Chop with Rice Cake (排骨年糕 - páigǔ niángāo):

A large pork chop is deep fried till crispy and smothered in a thick and sweet soy sauce served with rice cakes. These rice cakes taste similar to Korean rice cakes but instead of a cylindrical tube shape, it's flat, long and oval. The only downside to this is that the skin of the pork chops become soggy fat too quickly.
Where to get it: 大富贵酒楼(西营店) - 浦东新区西营路140号(近德州路), 021-58802758
15. Mini Wonton Soup (小馄饨 - xiǎo húntún):

This could possibly be the most popular lunch time dish I've ever seen. Nearly all cafeterias serve these small hot bowls of tiny wontons garnished with strips of egg and some spring onions. This bowl may look small but is super filling. I couldn't finish a whole bowl at all. The soup from this eatery is my absolute favourite.
Where to get it: 老盛昌汤包馆四平店 - 杨浦区国定路428号同舟大厦内(近政通路), 021 - 55062493
16. Deep Fried Sesame Balls (麻球 - má qiú):
While walking around on the streets of 人民广场, I found a man selling deep fried goodies! Being a fan of both sesame and red bean, this was the perfect dessert to end my meal

17. Turnip block (油墩子 - yóu dūnzi):
I'm not a big fan of turnip but these deep fried turnip blocks were so good! Freshly made and still steaming hot when we arrived. These snacks are not as common as dumplings but tastes just as good - if not better. The exterior is crispy while the inside is fluffy and soft.

18. Duck Innards with Glass Noodle Soup (老鸦粉丝汤 - lǎoyā fěnsī tāng):

There is a place called 妯娌老鸭粉丝 near the main area of a shopping haven called QiPuLu (七浦路). On the street where this is located, the lines are huge. People wait hours just for a bowl of this stuff. The soup is made out of duck bones. The glass noodles are served a whole range of duck blood, entrails and garnished with spring onions and parsley. Forget about shopping. I couldn't get enough of this so I travelled all the way here again just to get another bowl with my dad. 
Where to get it: 妯娌老鸭粉丝(武昌路店) - 虹口区武昌路579号(近江西北路), 021-63562237
19. Chicken and Duck's Blood Soup (鸡鸭血汤 - jī yā xiě tāng):

This does not sound nor look appetising at all but is extremely common in Shanghai. The soup has a very clean and fresh flavour and the cubes of blood jelly are just delectable.
Where to get it: 大富贵酒楼(西营店) - 浦东新区西营路140号(近德州路), 021-58802758
20. Chinese Tea Eggs (茶叶蛋 - cháyè dàn):
Hard boiled eggs in tea and soy sauce. Other alternative include soy sauce egg (滷蛋 - lǔ dàn) or century egg (皮蛋 - pídàn) which I usually put in congee. You can find these nearly anywhere and even in convenience stores. But sometimes, they haven't been soaked in the broth soy sauce and tea mixture for long enough and lack the flavour.

Other things you have to try out are Sixi bran, Hongshao rou, Drunken chicken, white dried tofu strips, raw drunken chilli prawns, cong you bin, tang gao, savoury soy milk, qing chao cao tou (fried grass), duck neck, milk tea,  Japanese All You Can Eat restaurants, hand pulled noodles and raw crab. Have I missed out anything?

Have fun! Don't leave Shanghai without trying at least 5 of these things!


Post a Comment


Instagram Photostream

Twitter Updates

Meet The Author

 photo lel_zpscf55f250.jpg

Hi there! My name is Anna. I'm nineteen, in my second year of uni (UNSW) and born in Sydney. This blog is about my gastronomic adventures in Australia and abroad. It all started when I got new camera (Samsung Ex1) and since then, I've been mainly taking photos of food. So, I decided to document everything on this blog.

I'm still learning to take nice pictures - my camera isn't exactly the greatest but it works.

Oh, and I think we should get this out of the way (just in case you decide to unfriend me) I'm not a fan of chocolate or coffee. (Yes you saw right).

Anyway, enough about me - thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!