dumplings in Shanghai


The best places to stuff your face in Shanghai

Published September 11th, 2013

For a tiger city with an appetite to match, Shanghai delivers both in terms of population (over 23 million) and food (exceptionally delicious). What sets Shanghai apart from its other Asian counterparts is its large expat community, meaning you can enjoy a French breakfast, frog for lunch (yes they eat frog here) and an authentic slice of New York style pizza for dinner all in one day. Pretty much whatever you want to eat, whenever you want to eat it, Shanghai can make it happen (pending that they haven’t sold out - you will have over 23 million other people to compete with to get that last pork bun). Here are some other must-eat meals at some must-visit places.



Din Tai Fung for soup dumplings

If you have just one meal in Shanghai, make it a soup dumpling. And if you have just one soup dumpling, make it from Din Tai Fung. While you may be sceptical of ordering ‘the best’ soup dumplings in Shanghai from a Taiwanese chain, all doubts will all but vanish in a flash of steam why their classic dumplings, known locally as Xiaolongbao, are unveiled under the lid of a bamboo basket. For a taste of the traditional, go with the minced pork soup dumpling and you won’t be disappointed. For something a little left of field, try the shrimp and pork shao mai,


Lost Heaven for the real deal

If you think fried rice with peas and chicken deep friend and soaked in honey is authentic Chinese food, you’re bound for a flavour awakening. As an expat city, Shanghai may be home to a great amount of international cuisines, but it’s not hard to find local dishes as well. For all the street stalls and hole-in-the-wall venues, most locals consider Lost Heaven as the best modern Chinese food restaurant in the city. Enjoying a standout location on The Bund, the restaurant's most popular dishes are derived from various Yunnan provinces as well as Tibetan, Thai and Burmese.


La Rou Si Mian Guan for noodles

As a previous winner of CNNGo’s best cheap eats in Shanghai, La Rou Si Mian Guan is a great place for a cheap yet delicious bowl of noodles. Cheap in price and in looks, La Rou Si Mian is a teeny tiny no-frills establishment. You won’t find fancy wines and crispy table cloths here. What you will get though is the best hand-pulled noodles in town, the most popular of which is the spicy pork shredded noodles.


Lillian Cake Shop for a custard tart

Portuguese they may be, but custard tarts are serious business in Shanghai. Many locals will tell you the best place to get them is at the chain of Lillian Cake Shops which shyly claim ‘quite possibly the best egg tarts in Shanghai.’ Considering they regularly sell out of tarts, we think that they’re quite possibly being a bit modest.


Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.