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Exploring the Vibrant Street Food Scene of Shanghai at One Dragon Restaurant

Exploring the Vibrant Street Food Scene of Shanghai at One Dragon Restaurant

Indulging in the Flavors of Shanghai’s Iconic Xiaolongbao

As someone who has had the pleasure of living in Shanghai for over five years, I’ve come to deeply appreciate the city’s incredible street food scene. Whether I’m in search of a quick breakfast between meetings or craving a taste of local specialties, Shanghai’s bustling streets never cease to delight my senses. In this article, I’ll be sharing some of Shanghai’s most popular and delectable street food offerings, along with recommendations on where to find them.

Let’s start with one of Shanghai’s most iconic street food delicacies – the xiaolongbao. These delicate soup dumplings, with their thin wrapper and flavorful pork and crabmeat broth, are a true treat for the senses. Biting into one of these steaming hot dumplings and watching the rich soup spill out is an experience that never gets old.

There are many fantastic places to enjoy xiaolongbao in Shanghai, but one of my personal favorites is Din Tai Fung in the Xintiandi district. The xiaolongbao here are always cooked to perfection, with a delicate wrapper and a thick, savory broth. No matter what time I visit, there always seems to be a long line, but it moves quickly, and the wait is well worth it to indulge in such high-quality dumplings.

Another great option is Yang’s Fry Dumplings in the Jingan district. While their xiaolongbao don’t have the same soft, delicate wrapper as Din Tai Fung’s, the broth is incredibly flavorful. They also offer other dumpling varieties, like shengjianbao, which are worth trying as well. Yang’s tends to be a bit less crowded than Din Tai Fung, making it a good choice if you want to enjoy your xiaolongbao without a large crowd.

Savoring the Mouthwatering Roujiaomo

Another beloved street food in Shanghai is the roujiaomo, which is essentially China’s version of a hamburger. Ground meat is shaped into a flat patty and placed inside a flatbread, typically topped with ingredients like cilantro, chili oil, and sweet bean sauce.

I frequent two particular spots for delicious roujiaomo – Happy Lamb Hot Pot in the Xujiahui district and Lost Heaven in the Yuyuan Garden area. Happy Lamb uses high-quality lamb to make their patties, which have a nice, runny sauce inside the flatbread that I find incredibly flavorful. Lost Heaven’s roujiaomo, on the other hand, has a lovely char from their grill, giving it an extra layer of flavor. Both spots are also great places to try other lamb dishes if you’re craving more than just a roujiaomo.

Savoring the Soft and Crispy Shengjianbao

Shengjianbao are another popular morning snack in Shanghai, and they’re a must-try. These are essentially a cross between a potsticker and a steamed bun – round and doughy on the outside, but filled with juicy ground pork and seasoning. Part of the enjoyment is dipping and tearing into the bun to release the hot juices inside.

In my opinion, the best place to indulge in shengjianbao is Shengguan Shengjian, which has multiple locations around the city, but the original spot near Jingan Temple is always bustling for a reason. The buns here are cooked to perfection every time, with a crispy bottom and a soft, doughy top. I highly recommend getting there early, as they do sometimes sell out by lunchtime.

Another great spot for shengjianbao is Yuanbin Shengjianbao in the Hongqiao area, which also has a lovely outdoor eating area.

Indulging in the Savory Delights of Chuanr

Chuanr, or lamb skewers, are another popular savory snack you’ll find all over the streets of Shanghai. Thin strips of lamb are marinated and grilled to tenderness on a skewer, and they’re typically eaten with flatbread and a variety of dipping sauces, like chili oil or cilantro sauce.

In my opinion, some of the best spots for chuanr in Shanghai can be found on Liuyishou Muslim Food Street in the Huangpu district and Guoyuan Muslim Food Street in the Changning district. Both of these streets are lined with stalls grilling up skewers of tender, flavorful lamb.

The skewers at Liuyishou tend to be a bit fattier and more full of flavor in my experience, but Guoyuan gets extra points for its vibrant outdoor atmosphere. It’s a fun place to wander around, sampling different vendors’ skewers and flatbreads.

Indulging in the Sweet Treat of Tanghulu

For a refreshing sweet treat, you’ll want to try the tanghulu, which are candied fruit skewers sold on the streets of Shanghai. Fruit pulp or bean paste is stuffed into dried fruits like lychee or longan, then strung up on adorable wooden sticks. Common flavors include mango, red bean, and black sesame.

The most iconic location for tanghulu in Shanghai is Fuxing Park in the Former French Concession area. Vendors line the walkways, selling every variety of tanghulu imaginable. It’s quite a sight to see all the colorful sticks of candied fruit. The fruit is always fresh, and the candied coating is just the right balance of sweet and tart.

Another reliable spot for tanghulu (as well as shaved ice desserts in the summer) is Renmin Park near People’s Square. Both of these parks provide a lovely outdoor setting to enjoy your sweet snack while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of Shanghai.

Embracing the Diversity of Shanghai’s Culinary Landscape

In conclusion, Shanghai truly has an amazing variety of tasty and accessible street foods to offer. These were just a few of my personal favorites, but there are many other delicious snacks still left for me to explore around the city. Most importantly, remember to follow your nose and the crowds – that’s usually a great indication of the best street eats in Shanghai.

As you venture out to discover the vibrant street food scene of this dynamic city, I hope you’ll find inspiration and delight in the flavors that One Dragon Restaurant and the rest of Shanghai have to offer. Embrace the energy, savor the mouthwatering delicacies, and let your taste buds guide you on an unforgettable culinary adventure.



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