Shanghai Snacks and Snacks Street
City Guide - Shanghai - Dining
Refreshments and snacks from all over China and the world are available in Shanghai. Local snacks in Shanghai have their specialties and should not be missed. The following are some typical Shanghai snacks and recommended restaurants for your reference:
Small Steamed Bun (xiao long bao) 南翔小笼包 (nán xiáng xiǎo lóng bāo)
Existing over a century, Small Steamed Bun is one of the most famous and featured Shanghai snacks. The buns seem to be easy to make: wrapping pork filling (mix minced pork with pork skin jelly and other seasoning) with delicate pastry, then having it steamed in bamboo container, but only a few restaurants can create the tastiest buns. Small Steamed Buns should be eaten when they are still hot. After taking a bite at the wrapper, rich-taste soup will fill your mouth, leaving the smooth taste of the meat.
Nanxiang Mantou Restaurant:
(At the famous Shanghai Attraction – City God Temple 城隍庙 chéng huáng miào)
Add: 85 Yuyuan Laolu, Shanghai
Opening hrs: 7:30-21:00
Gu Yi Yuan Nanxiang Xiaolong
Add: 238 Guyiyuan Lu, Nanxiang Town, Jiading District, Shanghai
Tel: 021-59121335, 59126013
Opening hrs: 7:30-21:00
Tangyuan is a traditional Shanghai local food originally eaten only during China's lantern festival. Tangyuan is small balls made from glutinous rice flour. They can either be stuffed with sweet or savory fillings, or unstuffed. The flour is mixed with water until it forms dough. Then the dough is rolled into small balls and cooked and served in boiling water. The sweet fillings consist of ground black sesame seeds mixed with sugar, chopped peanuts and sugar, or red bean paste. The savory filling is usually made of pork and spices. In Shanghai, there are many old stores for Tangtuan. The Wang Jia She Confectionery Store located on West Nangjing Road of Jing'an District is one of the most famous. Another well known shop selling Tangyuan is the small restaurant located in the Town God's Temple.
Nanxiang Mantou Restaurant:
Ningbo Dumplings 宁波汤团
Address: 112 Yuyuan Rd (near the Zigzag Bridge in Yuyuan Garden), Huangpu District
Shengxing Dim Sum
Address: 528 Shunchang Lu, near Yongnian Lu
Telephone: +86 21 5306 7325
Dian Shi Zhai
Address: 320 Yongjia Lu, near Xiangyang Nan Lu
Telephone: +86 21 5465 0271
Fried Plain Bun生煎馒头 (shēng jiān mán tou)
Shenjian Mantou or Fried Stuffed Bun is a popular Shanghai snack. The bun is soft and munchy while the bottom, being pan-fried, is crispy and fragrant. The wraps are made of semi-fermented paste and filled with pork, shallot and ginger. Soy, pepper and sesame further enhances its taste. Served hot, the fried stuffed bun makes for a great scrumptious snack!
Recommended Restaurants to try the snack:
Xiaoyang Shengjian Restaurant (Yang’s Fry Dumpling):
Add: No. 54 and No. 60, Wujiang Road, Jing’an District
Fengyu Shengjian Eatery:
Add: No. 48, Guangling 2nd Road, Hongkou District
Youlian Shengjian Restaurant:
Add: No. 45, Xinzha Road, Putuo District
Feilong Shengjian Restaurant:
Add: 1F, Dongtai Plaza, No. 2002, North Sichuan Road, Hongkou District
Add: No. 4-6, Lane136, Pudong Avenue, Pudong New Area
Pork Chop with Rice Cake
Crab-Yellow Pastry蟹壳黄 (xiè ké huáng)
The Crab-Yellow Pastry is named as such by its resemblance to the shell of a cooked crab. This Shanghainese pastry can be either sweet or salty depending on its filling. The savoury ones are stuffed with shallot oil, pork, shrimp or crab. The sweet ones contains sugar, roses, sweetened bean paste or Chinese date paste.
This snack uses oil-mixed dough and after stuffing with filling, wrapped with sesame and oven baked. The Crab-Yellow Pastry’s fragrant and cripsy texture makes this another Shanghai snack you have to try!
Recommended Restaurant to try the snack:
Add: 255 Yanping Lu, Jing’an District, Shanghai
Fried Stuffed Bun
The Small Shaoxing Chicken Porridge
小绍兴鸡粥 (xiǎo shào xīng jī zhōu)
The Small Shaoxing Chicken Porridge originated from a restaurant opened in 1947 in Shanghai. The founder and its chefs of the restaurant were from Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. Serving their local chicken porridge dish and being a place the Shaoxing community would gather, it soon became known as “Xiaoshaoxing Chicken Rice Congee Restaurant”.
The Small Shaoxing Chicken Porridge is cooked with chicken soup. Served with chopped chicken meat, and with condiments like shallot, ginger powder and chicken oil, this savoury and sweet dish is not only delicious, it is also highly nutritious.
Recommended restaurant to try this dish:
Xiao Shaoxing Restaurant
Add: No. 69-75, Yunnan South Road, Huangpu district, Shanghai
Tel: 21-63260845 63203562
GaoQiao Muffin / Pastry
Pork Chop with Rice Cake
排骨年糕 (pái gǔ nián gāo)
Paigu Niangao (Pork Chop with Rice Cake) is a distinct dish of Shanghai. The pork chop is first marinated and boiled with sauce, oil, sugar, ginger and wine, while rice is beaten into paste and cut into small pieces of cake. The pork chop is then wrapped with the rice cake and fried briefly.
This creates a uniquely delicious dish, where the aroma of the meat blends perfectly with the crisp texture of the rice cake.
Recommended Restaurants to try the snack:
Two restaurants in Shanghai are specifically popular for their Pork Chop Rice Cakes, since 1930s. Each have their own style of preparation and taste.
Add: at the intersection of Middle Sichuan Road and Fuzhou Road, Huangpu District
Xian De Lai:
Add: No. 69, South Yunnan Road, Huangpu District
Crawfishes usually come into season during the summer. In Shanghai, the spicy crawfish are a particular favorite among local people. A plate of crawfish and a bottle of beer are absolutely the best choice for summer night snacking. Fumao Crawfish is a famous restaurant in Shanghai. It has a number of chain stores throughout the city. The crawfish sold at their restaurants are handpicked from Taihu Lake, a big lake near Wuxi City, in the southern part of Jiangsu province. Before the crawfish are cooked, the heads are removed making them easier to eat. The crawfish are unsalted, and spicy.
Shengjian and Guotie(锅贴)Shengjian, fried steamed bread and Guotie, fried dumplings (pot stickers) are two of Shanghai's most famous exports. These foods can be found throughout China, and across the globe. These two dishes can be found at almost every breakfast table in Shanghai. Two of Shanghai's most popular Shengjian restaurants are the Fengyu Shengjian Restaurant, and the Xiaoyang Shengjian Restaurant. These restaurants are so popular that they usually have lines of people outside waiting to place an order.
Won Ton馄饨 (hún dùn)
Won Ton is a popular dumpling in China. In Shanghai, there are commonly two distinctions of Won Ton- Big Won Ton (dà hún dùn) and Small Won Ton (xiǎo hún dùn).
The Big Won Ton are stuffed with pork meat and shepherd’s purse (a herb like plant). The Small Won Ton are stuffed with meat alone. The Won Ton wrap is very thin; half a kilo of flour wrap can produce 50 Big Won Tons or 70 Small Won Tons.
Won Ton provides a very satisfying meal or snack. It is usually served in soup – thicker broth for Big Won Ton and lighter flavoured chicken soup for the Small Won Ton.
Jin Shifu Won Ton Restaurant:
Add: No. 78, Sinan Road, Luwan District
Cold Noodle With Sauce
Address: No 123 Shanyin Road, Hongkou District
Business Hour: 5am to 10pm
Vegetable Stuffed Bun素菜包子 (sù cāi bāo zi)
Vegetable Stuffed Bun, as its name suggests, has no meat in its filling. However, the taste is just as good as any meat bun, if not better and more unique. The bun is a soft white bread, while the vegetarian filling includes finely chopped green vegetables, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and marinated brean curd.
Vegetable Stuffed Bun have a history of over 70 years and can be found in many restaurants in Shanghai. It tastes fresh, light and delicious, so give it a try and you might just grow to love your greens.
Recommended restaurant to try this snack:
Chunfeng Songyue Vegetarian Restaurant:
Add: No.99, Jiu Jiaochang Road, Huangpu District (near Bailing Road)
Pear candy has been around for over 2,300 years, since the Tang Dynasty. The Prime Minister Weizhen's mother got sick, and was afraid to take medicine. Her son did not know what to do. One of the emperor's doctors decided to help. He took herbal medicine and condensed it. He then mixed it with pear juice and sugar. This mixture being sweet and delicious made it easy for the mother to take. From then on, the doctor used this technique to cure people of their chills or cough. It was used exclusively by the Imperial household for over one hundred years until the technique leaked out to the general public. This medicine is still being produced, and because it is so delicious, it is called candy. The ingredients in Pear Candy have remained relatively unchanged for over 2,000 years. The candy today is still used to relieve cough and asthma, act as expectorant and work up people's appetites. The Shanghai Pear Candy Store is the exclusive retailer for Pear Candy. It is located in the Yu Garden Shopping Center.
For many people in China, local snacks are much more than just food but some living memory that connects them with their childhood. With reconstruction going on and on, the city we live in has changed so much that we can barely recognize or find the place where we grew up, but luckily enough, the taste of these snacks can always help us pick up the memory we once lost along the way.
Crab-brown flaky pastry
The flaky pastry is crispy, delicious, aromatic and as brown as the color of a cooked crab. The fillings include green onions, pork, crab meat, shrimp, sugar, mashed beans, jujube paste.
Mashed Date Flaky Pastry
It is a kind of fried food cooked with pastry cover and black mashed dates inside. It is very popular among the tourists from Hong Kong, Macao and Japan for its golden color, cute figure, crispy pastry and delicious stuffing.
Cold Noodle with Sauce开洋葱油拌面 (kāi yang cōng yóu bàn miàn)
Cold noodle is a popular dish in Shanghai, especially during hot summers. Although a simple dish, the Cold Noodles with Sauce, offers the Shanghainese simple delights of a cool and refreshing light meal.
Add: No. 200, Wujiang Road, Jing’an District
The Small Shaoxing Chicken Porridge
YangChun Noodle (Plain Noodl阳春面(yángchūnmiàn)
There is a custom for the local people that the October in lunar calendar is another spring; hence the number of ten refers to spring. In the old days, the noodle was just worth ten Wen (the money unit in ancient times), that’s why the noodle was called YangChun noodle-“Chun” means spring in Chinese.
YangChun noodle is smooth and tasty, mixed the fresh and delicious dried shrimps with scented scallion oil. It is said that in 1945, a businessman with the surname Chen stirred the noodle with special scallion oil which was made in the typical way of his hometown. It was so unique that it is popular until now.
Famous Yangchun noodle shops
Old Shanghai Yangchun Noodle Shop - No.236 in the Taiyuan Road
LeiSha Dumpling擂沙圆 (léi shā yuán)
Leisha dumplings are glutinous-rice balls which can have either meat or red bean or sesame paste as filling. The rice ball is then coated with powder to add to its flavour as well as prevent it from sticking to each other. The powder coating can be of sesame or red bean.
The riceball is chewy and finely coated with the fragrant powder. Matched with the sweet flowing filling inside, this Shanghai snack is irresistible to people of all ages and appeals especially to those with a sweet tooth.
Recommended store to try the snack:
Qiaojiashan Snack Store:
Add: No. 313, South Xiangyang Road, Xuhui District
It is a kind of sticky rice ball with fruits stuffing which is cooked by sweet fermented-rice. It is very special and delicious.
It is the glutinous-rice dumpling covering ground adzuki bean. It is said that at the end of Qing Dynasty, an old lady called Lei made a living by the glutinous-rice dumpling stall in Shanghai. In order to make the dumpling convenient to store and carry for attracting more customers, she tried so many ways. And finally she found covering ground adzuki bean is an effective way.
Sponge Cake Made by Lard and Fruits
It is steamed by the mixed powder of glutinous-rice and rice with adzuki bean and fruits. The cake is so soft and sweet, and has various tastes with different fruits. Thus it is the popular food for welcoming the New Year.
Fried Chop Rice Cake
The chop, with a piece of rice cake, is fried and cooked. There are two makings in Shanghai for this snack; the representatives are Shuguang Restaurant and Xian Laide Cake Store which have been famous for their chop rice cakes since 1930s; although the making procedures are different.
Fresh Meat Flour Dough
The typical flour dough has the ingredients of diced chicken and meat, mixing with the delicious soup. Because of the ear-like figure, it got the name "Mao'er"meaning the ears of cat. But here I'd like to recommend an unique one in Qiao Jiashan Restaurant of Shanghai. The special things are the hand-made flour piece and the meat or bean paste stuffing.
Escargots pickled with distillers' grains or in wine
The median size escargots are boiled with the distillers' grains or in wine. The escargot is fresh, the seasoning is appetizing. Once you have a taste, you will never forget it.
GaoQiao Muffin / Pastry
高桥松饼(gāo qiáo sōng bǐng)
Gaoqiao Pastry is a soft pastry with fruity fillings. The pastry’s sweet taste comes from its various fillings of different fruits and adzuki beans. It is a popular snack in Shanghai and especially so during Chinese New Year as one of the festive goodies.
Recommended place to try this snack:
Gao Qiao Shi Pin Chang (Gao Qiao Food Company)
Add: No. 25 Rui Jin Road (Junction of Huai Hai Zhong Road)
Solidified Pear Syrup of Town God's Temple
The history of solidified pear syrup can date back to 1300 years ago. There were stores sailing solidified pear syrup in Shanghai’s Town God’s temple more than 100 years ago. And the fame of it was spread all over the world from then on.
The solidified pear syrup can be divided into one for healing effect and one for taste. The first one can relieve cough and asthma, as well as stimulate the appetite by so many medicinal herbs, such as almond, the root of balloon flower, Tuckahoe, tuber Pinellas etc. While the one for taste is boiled with sugar plus herbs, for example Amomum villosum, hawthorn, clove and so on.
Tips: Now it is the monopoly of Shanghai Solidified Pear Syrup shop in Yuyuan Garden Commerce City.
Cream Spiced Beans(五香豆)
Wu Xiang Dou is a speciality of Shanghai Cream spiced beans are made by the local green broad beans with the ingredients such as fennel, cinnamon bark, salt, sugar, cream etc. It tastes slight sweet and delicate flavor, which is good for stimulating the appetite.
Famous Wujiangdou shops
Cheng Huang Miao Wu Xiang Dou - in the Yuyuan Market
Shanghai is thronged with delicious food and snacks from all over China. Various kinds of local snacks have distinctive flavor. Food and dishes from other regions of the country are also authentic and popular. Do you have a good appetite? We will lead you to a number of snack streets clustered with restaurants and eateries. They will be sure to satisfy your one-stop tasting.
Wujiang Road 吴江路 (wú jiāng lù)
Wujiang Road is the most popular snack street in the city. Located in the southeast of Jing'an District and near the People's Square, it is a good dining place for you to rest and relax after your tired shopping in Nanjing Road. A lot of Chinese and foreign restaurants are clustered here, providing you with various choices.
Many old restaurants along this road are famous for authentic and delicious Shanghai snacks. They are usually inexpensive so as to gain popularity among the locals and the visitors. During recent years, many western-style restaurants and cafes opened here. You can try various kinds of western food in Wujiang Road and feel home in the city.
Yang's Fry Dumpling 小杨生煎馆 (xiǎo yáng shēng jiān guǎn)
Location: No. 54 and No. 60, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Specialties: It boasts the most delicious Fried Stuffed Buns (Shengjian) in the city.
Oriental Express Eatery 东方快车小食 (dōng fāng kuài chē xiǎo shí)
Location: No. 42, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Specialties: Meat Ball.
Sweeties 甜蜜蜜 (tián mì mì)
Location: No. 73 and No. 82, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Specialties: Sweeties of Hong Kong style.
Wuyue Renjia 吴越人家 (wú yuè rén jiā)
Location: No. 200, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Specialties: noodles; dishes of southern China.
Jin Shifu Won Ton 金师傅馄饨 (jīn shī fu hún dùn)
Location: No. 102, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Mr. Coffee: 2F, No. 200, Wujiang Road, Jing'an District
Old Town God Temple Snack Street 老城隍庙小吃街 (lǎo chéng huáng miào xiǎo chī jiē)
Located in Huangpu District, it is about ten minutes' walk away from the South Bund Area. It is an ideal dining place during your compact sightseeing schedule.
The Old Town God Temple area deserves the name of 'Shanghai Snack Kingdom'. It is a time-honored and the largest snack street featuring the most famous restaurants and eateries in Shanghai. In accordance with the architectural style of the nearby ancient Yuyuan Garden, restaurants here are all constructed following a style of Ming and Qing Dynasties.
In addition, a snack plaza of thousands of square meters is included. You can almost find all the local snacks here, including Nanxiang Steamed Stuffed Buns, Crab-Yellow Pastries, Fried Stuffed Buns, Chop Rice Cakes, Vegetable Stuffed Buns, and Cream Spiced Beans. Various snacks of other areas in China are also available.
Shanghai Classical Hotel 上海老饭店 (shàng hǎi lǎo fàn diàn)
Location: No.242, Fuyou Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Authentic Benbang cuisines.
Lu Bo Lang绿波廊 (lǜ bō láng)
Location: No. 131, Yuyuan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Haipai cuisines and snacks.
Shanghai De Xing Guan 上海德兴馆 (shàng hǎi dé xīng guǎn)
Location: No.18, Bailing Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Shanghai Benbang cuisines; various kinds of nutritious and restorative soup.
Chunfeng Songyue Vegetarian Restaurant 春风松月楼 (chūn fēng sōng yuè lóu)
Location: No.23, Bailing Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Vegetable Stuffed Bun and various vegetarian dishes.
Nanxiang Mantou 南翔馒头店 (nán xiáng mán tou diàn)
Location: No. 85, Yuyuan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Nanxiang Steamed Stuffed Bun.
South Yunnan Road 云南南路 (yún nán nán lù)
South Yunnan Road is an old food street located at the intersection of Yan'an Road and Xizang Road in Huangpu District. It is about ten minutes' walk from the People's Square and adjacent to Dashijie Amusement Park, so it is also called Dashijie Food Street.
Restaurants here are mainly Chinese ones, focusing on Shanghai cuisines and Sichuan cuisines. Some have Shandong or Jiangsu cuisines. Western restaurants and food can hardly be seen here, so South Yunnan Road is a good place for Chinese food lovers.
Xiao Shaoxing 小绍兴 (xiǎo shào xīng)
Location: No.118, South Yunnan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Boiled Chicken; other local dishes.
Xiao Jinling Duck Restaurant 小金陵盐水鸭店 (xiǎo jīn líng yán shuǐ yā diàn)
Location: No.28, South Yunnan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Boiled Salted Duck; Jiangsu cuisines and snacks.
Xian De Lai 鲜得来 (xiān dé lái)
Location: No. 69, South Yunnan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Chop Rice Cake.
Flavor Lounge 香满楼 (xiāng mǎn lóu)
Location: No. 1, South Yunnan Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Traditional Ningbo cuisines; local snacks.
Xianxia Road 仙霞路 (xiān xiá lù)
Xianxia Road food street is in Changning District, the west periphery area of the city zone. It extends to Zunyi Road to the east and boasts plenty of restaurants of different styles from hot pot restaurants to western cafes. You can easily find dishes of Shanghai, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia in this road.
Delicately furnished teahouses, cafes, and bars are another feature of Xianxia Road. The pleasant environment of these dining places attracts many youths and the prices are acceptable.
Yonghe King 永和大王 (yǒng hé dà wáng)
Location: No. 619, Xianxia Road, Changning District
Specialties: Soybean milk; Taiwan cuisines and snacks.
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore Italian Restaurant
Location: Hongqiao Shanghai City Food Street, No. 100, Zunyi Road, Changning District
Specialties: Italian chef and authentic Italian dishes.
Lisboa Restaurant 上海葡京茶餐厅 (shàng hǎi pú jīng chá cān tīng)
Location: 1F1-1 and 2F2-1, Tower B, Hongqiao Shanghai City, No. 100, Zunyi Road, Changning District
Specialties: Macao and Portuguese dishes.
Location: Unit 138, Hongqiao Shanghai City Food Street, No. 100, Zunyi Road, Changning District
Specialties: Cream Puff, Red Bean Pudding, and other sweeties.
Huanghe Road 黄河路 (huáng hé lù)
Huanghe Road Food Street is located near the People's Square in Huangpu District. It is packed with a large number of restaurants with distinctive dishes and reasonable prices. Local dishes and seafood are leading delicacies here.
Tai Sheng Yuan 苔圣园酒家 (tái shèng yuán jiǔ jiā)
Location: No.50, Huanghe Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Delicate fittings; Shanghai, Sichuan and Guangdong cuisines.
Lai Tian Hua 来天华 (lái tiān huá)
Location: No.159, Huanghe Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Traditional Benbang cuisines; Guangdong cuisines.
Gong De Lin (Godly) Vegetable Diet Food Shop 功德林 (gōng dé lín)
Location: No.21, Huanghe Road, Huangpu District
Specialties: Vegetarian dishes and snacks.
Zhupu Road 乍浦路 (zhà pǔ lù)
It is located in Hongkou District, to the north of the Suzhou River and near the bustling North Sichuan Road Commercial Street. There are a number of restaurants along the 1000-meter Zhapu road, mainly featuring local dishes and cuisines of southern provinces in China such as Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong.
Dingxiang 丁香饭店 (dīng xiāng fàn diàn)
Location: No.78, Zhapu Road, Hongkou District
Specialties: Benbang cuisine.
In addition, Huqingping Road in Minhang District is a good place to have seafood. Xin Tian Di in Huangpu District, Heshan Road and Grand Gateway in Xuhui District are also popular among gourmands.