Chinese Cuisine (Dimsum)

The Top 7 Foodie Experiences to Have in Shanghai

From street food and traditional restaurants to fine dining and international cuisine, Shanghai is a hot spot for foodies. The food in this city is one of a kind and an entire travel experience can be made out of simply filling your belly. If you have a thing for good food and want to make your trip to Shanghai more interesting than it already is, check out these top foodie experiences.

Eat at The Top of The Pearl Tower

It’s Shanghai’s most recognized building and this futuristic piece of architecture has a restaurant at the top. Standing at 263 meters, it’s Asia’s tallest revolving restaurant. Take the luxury and high speed elevator to the restaurant and hope that you can get seated at one of the 350 available spots.

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Dinner here is served buffet style and there are literally hundreds of both Western and Chinese dishes to try. Enjoy your meal while looking out over the rest of the skyline and try to stay the full two hours it takes for the restaurant to spin around completely.

Try Dumplings From Er Guang Hundun

A foodie experience in Shanghai is nothing without gorging yourself on some dumplings and this is the place to find them. Located in Zhaozhou Lu by Hefei Lu, this family owned this stand has been serving late night food lovers for more than 16 years. You may find yourself waiting in a long line, but the pork and vegetable dumplings are certainly worth it.

Taste Your Way Around The Shouning Lu Food Street

It’s hectic, overwhelming and full of street snacks that you just have to try. This market is full of vendors and restaurants with mostly outdoor seating and a large selection of handmade food items. Typically popular for its seafood selection, visitors can find stalls touting crayfish and skewered marine animals for BBQ. You will also be able to find skewered meats, vegetable kebabs and small tea houses to help you wash it all down when you’re finished eating.

Sample Food at The Muslim Market

If you happen to be in Shanghai on a Friday, make sure to visit the Muslim market between 10 and 3. Located at 1328 Changde Lu, visitors can find a large selection of pop-up restaurants and food stalls. The Uyghur community, a minority group from Xinjiang province, gather to sell some of their traditional meals and share their culture with the city. The best things to try are the lamb skewers, noodles, stuffed buns, dumplings, bread and freshly brewed tea.

Pick Your Own Seafood at Tongchuan Lu Fish Market

This 24-hour market is known to have the freshest seafood in Shanghai and you can find nearly every sea creature here. Fish, shellfish and crabs are all available to be purchased and then cooked at a nearby restaurant of your choosing. Aside from the fresh food, you will have the chance to experience a bustling Chinese fish market in action, guts and bones flying from every direction and passionate shoppers eagerly haggling for the best prices.

Sampling Street Food at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park

Even though it’s centered around electronics, during the evening is when this district comes alive with vendors offering some pretty tasty snacks. Here you can try a variety of the dumpling flavors and stuffed and fried pork/beef buns. You can also find Hanbaobao, a fritter made from egg, beef and scallions or the standard yet still delicious Chao Mian noodles. Visitors will find fried potatoes, squid on sticks, char-grilled chicken and savory pancakes made with egg and chives. Try the Rou jia mo pork sandwiches and especially the fragrant, roasted chestnuts if you are around during the winter.

Try High End Restaurants in The French Concession

You’ll be able to tell when you stumble across the French Concession as the architecture looks distinctly European. Besides being a beauty of a neighborhood, this area is home to some of the more high end restaurants and options for international cuisine. Most establishments that you stumble on will be offering well crafted dishes, but there are some especially notable restaurants in the area. Try the European wine bar, Lark Hill or the traditionally Chinese Di Shui Dong. Other places to make an appearance at include the Spanish restaurant Las Tapas and Corner, serving up Shanghainese cuisine.

A foodie haven is waiting for you along the streets of Shanghai. Bring your appetite and a willingness to wander as there are plenty of tasty treats to be found along the streets of this great city.

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.