Delicious Local Eats in Lively and Sultry Shanghai

A world-class and energetic city, Shanghai also boasts one of China’s best dining scenes and some of the most distinctive cuisine. Influenced by its position just south of the Yangtze and at the mouth of the Huangpu River, it is easy for fishermen to catch a wide selection of freshwater fish and shellfish.

Shanghai really is an amazing place to visit, and it’s a city that offers so many tempting culinary options – from quick and easy roadside stalls to Michelin-starred and gourmet restaurants, you certainly won’t go hungry in Shanghai!

Treat your taste buds to some of these yummy local foods on your next visit to Shanghai:



An incredibly popular local dish, Xiaolongbao has almost reached a cult-like status! A dumpling dish, the filled delicacies hide enticingly in soup. These flavourful mouthfuls of tastiness are all about the fillings. Sink your teeth into a dumpling packed with ground pork and seasoned with ginger. Wrap your tongue around Shaoxing wine mixed with a gelatinized pork stock. Enjoy the wonderful explosions of flavour in your mouth!

Sheng Jian Bao

Rather similar to Xiaolongbao, Sheng Jian Bao dumplings are bigger, breadier, and less refined. Only a little amount of yeast is used to make the starchy dough and so the outer layer is thicker and softer. Filled with pork and set adrift in a tasty broth, you’ll quickly see why many people fall in love with this hearty and comforting dish.

Cong You Bing

Cong You Bing

A scallion oil pancake, this is one of Shanghai’s most famous and delicious street foods. Scallions grilled in pork fat are used to stuff a pancake, which is then roasted in a kiln until it becomes crispy. The finished effect is an irresistible combination of crunchiness on the outside and chewiness on the inside.


Liangpi literally translates into English as “cold skin”. Don’t let the name put you off though! It is made using thin sheets of rice starch that have been sliced to resemble noodles, and then tossed with coriander, bean sprouts, and peanuts. The result is a crunchy bite that is full of flavour.

Yangchun Noodles

Also sometimes called clear soup noodles, Yangchun Noodles are thin noodles within a clear broth. Scented scallion oil is added to the noodles to make them smooth and tasty, and a variety of meats or vegetables may also be added. Just try and resist a bowl!

Eight Delicacies in Hot Sauce

One of the most famous local foods from Shanghai, it contains, as the name suggests, no fewer than eight different ingredients. These are mixed together and fried with a delicious and fiery hot sauce, giving it both a hot and sweet taste.

Lion’s Head Meatballs

Don’t worry – this dish doesn’t contain any real lions’ heads! It takes its name from the large meatballs, with shredded greens said to look like a mane. Traditionally, this Shanghai casserole dish is cooked in a sand clay pot. The local name is Shizitou.

Make sure that you try some of these seven local foods on your visit to Shanghai!

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