Shanghai’s Best Street Foods, Part 2



Top 10 Street Foods (Part 2 of 2)

From dawn ‘til dusk, Shanghai’s streets are fragrant with the scent of street food. Steamed, fried, baked, roasted, boiled – the city’s incredible range of fresh street food is often made right in front of your eyes. There’s a bite for everyone and one serving will never cost more than RMB 10, you just need to know where to go! We sample many of these on our guided 3-hour food tours, but here are the basics to get you started with the tasty treats. For Part 1 of the article, click here.


Cífàntuán (饭团)  (pictured above)

These glutinous rice balls come in both savory and sweet flavors and are most commonly eaten for breakfast. You can spot them from the street by the wooden or metal jug of rice being balled up with a tableful of ingredients. Just point to what you want added and take your cifantuan to go.

Estimated cost:  ~6-10rmb

Where to get them:


The most popular cifantuan spot in the city, Zifantuan makes purple rice balls and locals queue up for a try. Ask for yours with their famous soy-stewed minced pork sauce (肉酱 ròu jiàng), and don’t forget to add a deep-fried Chinese doughnut (油条 yóutiáo) and soy-braised egg (卤蛋 lǔ dàn).

100 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu. 南阳路100号近西康路. Subway: Line 2/7 – Jing’an Temple. Hours: 5:30-10am. Menu: No menu – just point.



Guōtiē (锅贴)

Though you might not know it, you’ve probably tried these treats in some incarnation before. “Guo” means “pot” and “tie” means “to stick”, so these are literally “potstickers”. Like shengjianbao, these juicy pork-stuffed dumplings are fried on the bottom in a shallow wok, before being steamed with a bit of water in the same pot.

Estimated cost: ~1-1.5rmb/piece

Where to get them:

Pengyuan Xiaochi

This French Concession stall might not look like much, but they serve some of the best and most consistent fried dumplings in the city. If you get there early enough, you can sometimes get their shengjianbao too, and they also serve fried beef buns.

102 Gao’an Lu, near Zhaojiabang Lu. 高安路102号近肇家帮路. Subway: Line 7/9 – Zhaojiabang Lu. Hours: 6am-7pm. Menu: Chinese only.



Wonton Soup (馄饨 or云吞)

Like an inside out xiaolongbao, wonton soup is floating with tiny enrobed parcels of pork and shrimp. A delicious and filling meal any time of day, their history dates back to 200 B.C. – plenty of time to perfect the tiny dumplings.

Estimated cost: ~8-10rmb/bowl

Where to get them:


These “thousand mile fragrant wontons” (千里香云吞qiānlǐ xiāng yúntūn)originate from Putian city in Fujian province, where they are often cooked with pork and shrimp. The broth is made from a secret recipe of herbs, vegetables and spices, including star anise, green onions and chicken broth.

196 Guangyuan Lu, near Tianping Lu. 广元路196号近天平路. Subway: Line 1/9/11 – Xujiahui. Tel: +86 21 6280 6433. Hours: 8am-8pm. Menu: Chinese only.



Yóutiáo & Dòujiāng (油条和豆)

A classic breakfast combination, Chinese crullers (油条, yóutiáo) and soy milk (, dòujiāng) are China’s version of cereal and milk. The deep-fried doughnuts are the perfect dipping tools, whether you choose savory or sweet soy milk, and nothing beats them when fried fresh.

Estimated cost: ~15rmb for bowl doujiang +youtiao

Where to get them:

Lao Shaoxing Doujiang

No matter where you are in the world, breakfast for dinner is a tasty treat. This street side stall doesn’t even open until around 11pm and receives visitors from every income bracket throughout the night. The sweet soy milk simply adds granulated sugar to the bottom of the opalescent soup, but the savory is more complex, incorporating green onions, preserved vegetables, chili oil and vinegar in one slurp.

309 Zhaozhou Lu, near Jianguo Xin Lu. 黄浦区 肇周路309号近建国新路. Subway: Line 8/10 – Laoximen. Hours: 11pm-6:30am. Menu: Chinese only.


 cooking chuanr

Shāokǎo (

You’ll find roving kebab vendors underneath plumes of smoke after night falls all around Shanghai. The raw ingredients are laid out for inspection in front of the bbq – all you have to do is pack them onto a silver tray and hand them to the grillmaster.

Estimated cost: ~1.5-3rmb/skewer

Where to get them:

Shouning Lu

This night market street may be famous for crawfish, but they also do a mean bbq kebab, with a secret spice mix combining cumin, chili powder, pepper and Sichuan peppercorn. Try the fatty lamb from Xinjiang (羊肉串 yángròuchuàn) or go for the delicious veggies – lotus root (藕片 ǒupiān), cauliflower (花菜 huācài) and enoki mushrooms (jīnzhēngū).

48 Shouning Lu, near Xizang Lu. 寿宁路48号近西藏路. Subway: Line 8 – Dashijie. Tel: 6355 0622. Hours: 11am-4am. Menu: Chinese only.


By Jamie Barys & Kyle Long

Co-Founders of Untour Shanghai, Shanghai’s leading culinary tour company.

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