The Best Street Food Spots in Shanghai

Shanghai offers an abundance of delicious street food
Shanghai offers an abundance of delicious street food | © Yaacov Dagan / Alamy Stock Photo
Tess Humphrys

Shanghai offers an abundance of delicious street food options, but the stalls can be a little tricky to find, so follow Culture Trip’s guide and find your way to the best street food spots in the city.

Shanghai is a great destination for fans of street food, with tiny stalls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants with sizzling woks and serving delicious plates dotted around every neighbourhood. These friendly, family-run joints dish up simple, cheap eats from all corners of China and are a great way to fuel your exploration of this amazing city.

1. Xiangyang Road Food Stalls

Food Stall, Hole in the Wall, Chinese, Street Food

For a classic Shanghai street food experience, head to these hole-in-the-wall joints at the on Xiangyang Road in the former French Concession. These tiny stalls serve up delicious morsels such as potstickers, jianbing (Chinese savoury pancakes) and steamed buns. The area is especially busy in the early mornings as Shanghai workers stop by for a quick on-the-go breakfast.

2. South Yunnan Road Food Street

Food Stall, Food Stand, Hole in the Wall, Chinese, Street Food

The area around South Yunnan Road is a feast for the senses, with smoke and chatter rising from its many stalls. It’s been renowned as a food street since the 19th century, and some establishments here claim to be more than 100 years old. Look out for Shaanxi-style dumplings and noodles, as well as classic Cantonese dim sum, Mongolian hotpot and steamed dumplings. It’s a great place to refuel after museum hopping around the nearby People’s Square.

4. Old Town God Temple Snack Street

Restaurant, Food Stall, Food Stand, Chinese

Some of Shanghai’s most well-known eateries line this busy snack street, hidden along Fuyou Road in Huangpu District. The restaurants and stalls are housed in recreated Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, aesthetically in keeping with nearby Yuyuan Garden. You will find most Shanghai favourites here, including fried or steamed stuffed buns, fried rice cakes and decadent crab-shell cake, as well as an eatery that specialises in tofu dishes.

5. The Friday Muslim Market

Market, Chinese

For something a little different, head to the Muslim Market on a Friday (open from 11am to 3pm). This collection of stalls is casually set up around Changde Road (near Aomen Road), where you can wander from vendor to vendor sampling the delicacies of China’s Muslim ethnic groups. You know you’re heading in the right direction when you see smoke rising from the countless kebab grills, which attract the longest queues. Gorge yourself on skewered lamb, , delicious Uyghur samsa, polo (spiced lamb rice pilaf with onions, carrots and apricots), freshly baked nang bread sprinkled with caramelised onion and sesame seeds, as well as thick yoghurt served with honey and raisins.

6. East Yuhang Road Breakfast Market

Market, Chinese

While the historic fabric of the Hongkou district is being demolished fast, the breakfast scene remains one of the final frontiers resisting the hasty strokes of modernisation. Walk ten minutes north from the Jewish Refugee Museum, and you can sample everything from oven-baked Hui-Muslim flatbread, to fermented rice pancakes hailing from the central Hubei province. The neighbourhood has preserved a communal lifestyle which dates back to the late 1930s, and exudes a synergy between migrant merchants and residents that is rarely found in a rapidly globalising city.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article