The Best Street Food Spots in Shanghai
Shanghai offers an abundance of delicious street food | © Yaacov Dagan / Alamy Stock Photo
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 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.
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 intersection of Xiangyang and Changle Roads in the former French Concession. These tiny stalls serve up delicious morsels such as potstickers, jianbing (Chinese savoury pancakes) and steamed buns. This area is especially busy in the early mornings as Shanghai workers stop by for a quick on-the-go breakfast.
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 nearby People’s Square
Wujiang Road food street
Food Stall, Food Stand, Chinese
Wujiang Road is a more modern, purpose-built take on street food, located just off West Nanjing Road and easily accessible from the metro station of the same name. Most visitors come here to sample different snacks while shopping in the area. Everything here is a bit more regimented and defined, removing the characteristic chaos you’ll find on other food streets. Try the shengjianbao, a pan-fried bun filled with meat and juices that is a Shanghai speciality.
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.
Market, Chinese, Halal
For something a little different, head to the Muslim Market
on a Friday. This collection of stalls is casually set up around Changde 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. Gorge yourself on yoghurt drinks, skewered lamb and delicious Uyghur samsa, otherwise known as crunchy lamb pastries.