A food tour of Shanghai is a must when you are in China’s economic capital. This city delivers a tremendous variety of flavors to explore. You will love the popular foods in Shanghai as they cater to every genre of food ranging from juicy steaks to completely sugary delights, you will get all types of custom dishes in this city but since the love for meaty dishes is a bit extra you will have to adapt the culture of adding meat in almost every dish with silence. You might feel chaotic after looking at so much variety and wonder about what food to eat in Shanghai?
List of Foods to Eat in Shanghai
1. Smoked Fish Slices
Ideal for those who like highly seasoned food. Shanghai “smoked” fish slices (fresh fish, marinated and seasoned like smoked fish) make delicious food. The fish is usually carp and is made to have a smoky and delicious taste. This is also called Shanghai Shun Yu. This popular food in Shanghai has a crispy outer shell and the meat in it is beautifully cooked and soft, thanks to all the deep-frying!
Where:1039 Yuyuan Road, Changning District
Read More: What is Shanghai Known For
Zongzi is a traditional rice dish made up of slimy rice and stuffed with various fillings. These popular foods to try in Shanghai are then wrapped in bamboo leaves and steamed. The Shanghai-style zongzi pork is made with a combination of light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Like stewed pork, the combination of sauces gives the dish a distinct Shanghai twist. For the best piano in town, travel to the Guangyuan Lu Wet Market near the Xujiahui Shopping District. In a large, clean market, there are usually several vendors selling zongzi near the main entrance. It can be found almost everywhere during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Where: Guangyuan Lu Wet Market near the Xujiahui Shopping District
3. Beggar’s Chicken
This dish has strong folklore behind its origins. The beggar chicken comes from the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) and asks for stuffed and marinated chicken that is tightly sealed with layers of lotus leaves and then wrapped in wax paper. It will then bake slowly over low heat, taking up to 6 hours. This famous dish in Shanghai is from Hangzhou. This unique cooking technique results in a tender, juicy and aromatic chicken, the original taste of the chicken is perfectly preserved and trapped. After baking for hours, the bones just fall off the chicken and the meat is full of flavor and aroma.
Where: Xindalu China Kitchen, Hongkou District, Shanghai, China
Visit: Monuments of Shanghai
While Jianbing is not from Shanghai, the city has accepted this egg-based food. Originally from Nanjing, Shanghai residents love their breakfast foods. Using jianbing, you get a “Jian” egg on top of the round fried “Bing” noodles. First, the chef throws several pieces of dough on the fryer. As soon as the dough begins to crack and bubble, the chef will crack eggs on each piece of dough before turning the dough over. The crispy side is then coated with bean pulp, green onions, and radishes. As Shanghai pushes back street vendors, you can still find some vendors serving this one of the top 10 foods of Shanghai in the morning, such as the Hele Refreshment Stand on Xiangyang Road.
Where: Hele Refreshment Stand on Xiangyang Road, Shanghai
5. Braised Pork
It is a traditional Shanghai food dish, one of the ingredients of the region. Vendors or restaurants cook and serve pork belly in a special brown sauce made from a combination of other popular sauces. The mixture contains light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing sauce, and sugar. The sugar makes the sauce a little sweeter and helps give the pork a caramelized texture. Many Shanghai restaurants serve stewed pork with one or two hard-boiled eggs. If you happen to find an English menu, you can find it as red-cooked meat or as Hong Shao Rou. For the most authentic example of food, visit Old Jesse Restaurant on Tainping Road.
Where: Old Jesse Restaurant on Tainping Road
Read About: Aqua Parks in Shanghai
6. Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)
You will find Xiao Long Bao in Shanghai. These best foods to try in Shanghai have an extra thin batter with minced pork and spices. You can also find crab, shrimp, and vegetable fillings. In addition to meat or vegetables, the dumplings contain pork. When cooked, the stock melts into a thick, salty soup. Instead of serving the dumplings with soup, the soup is inside the dumpling. They are served incredibly hot, so eat carefully. Undoubtedly, the best soup dumplings are the Nanxiang Bun Shop. The traditional Shanghai canteen is based on the store that first started serving xiaolongbao.
Where: Nanxiang Bun Shop, Shanghai
7. Steamed Crab
Steamed crab is just one of the many seafood dishes that locals enjoy. Seafood, built near the Yangtze River and the East China Sea, is an important part of Shanghai’s cuisine, especially when it contains local marine life. In Shanghai, you can often find food made with Shanghai hairy crabs. Thin strings tie the legs and claws to the body. This must-try food in Shanghai is served in a bamboo container with a couple of extra ingredients, such as shallots, before being steamed. The recommended location for steamed crab is Jia Tang Bao. This is a popular restaurant on Huanghe Road, so come early to beat the crowds.
Where: Jia Tang Bao, Huanghe Road, Shanghai
8. Sheng Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Dumplings)
These pan-fried dumplings top the list of Shanghai street food. It is rarely found in the most popular restaurants but is one of the most popular products of street food vendors. This Shanghai specialty comes with pork and gelatin, which makes up soup, just like soup dumplings. The main difference is the dough. The soup dumplings are thin layers of noodles, while Sheng Jian Bao is thick and crispy. Chefs use dough with less yeast, resulting in softer dumplings. After filling the dough, the chef wraps the dumplings on a grill and sprinkles them with oil. The chef then pours a bowl of water on the dumplings and covers the grill, steaming the delicious delicacies crispy.
Where: Yang’s Fried Dumpling, Shanghai
9. Cold Eel Noodles
Eel is a common ingredient in Shanghai cuisine and is served in a variety of dishes, including Shansi Leng Mian. It was originally a restaurant dish that eventually got into dishes in downtown Shanghai. When you order this famous food in Shanghai, you get a box of eels and pasta served in different crates. Eel with hot, sweet, salty soy sauce. The dough is cold, so you can combine the two ingredients to create your own flavor balance. To find cold eel noodles, head to Huanghe Road Food Street (one of Shanghai’s most visited places) or Wujiang Road Food Street. There are some vendors at both locations who offer this savory food.
Where: Huanghe Road Food Street, Shanghai
10. Ci Fan Tuan
Ci Fan Tuan is a type of sticky rice roll that comes from Shanghai and is available in two versions – sweet or savory. Shanghai food name rice rolls contain sticky rice, duck eggs, and youtiao. Youtiao is a kind of breadcrumb that resembles churro. With the traditional salty version, the chef packs the ingredients into balls, along with a few extra items such as chopped pickles. The sweet version adds white sugar and sesame. The food’s popularity has spread to other regions as well, including Taipei and Brooklyn, where it is often made in elongated form instead of being turned into balls.
Where: Taipei and Brooklyn, Shanghai
Hope you enjoyed these top 10 foods of Shanghai that are super juicy and delicious. You can find the above-mentioned foods anywhere in the local’s corners of the city, therefore, no need to search for expensive places to dine anymore. Besides, you can shop around with your saved money from food and thank us later! Because Shanghai is also a very great spot for buying souvenirs for your loved ones. Just enjoy the famous foods in Shanghai that can fill your tummy and save your pocket money. For more engaging blogs head on to our other travel blogs and try out our latest Adequate travel app available on the play store now for more exciting features.