Browse All Posts

Top 15 Best Shanghai Street Food: A Sampling of the Unique and Exotic

shanghai-street-food
4.5/5 - (13 votes)

Street food is a big part of the culture in Shanghai, and there are endless options when it comes to choosing something to eat. From noodles to dumplings to barbecue, there’s something for everyone. And because the food is typically inexpensive, it’s a great way to sample a variety of dishes without breaking the bank.

Street food is as much a part of Shanghai life as in any other city, but the options here tend to be more diverse and interesting than what we’ll find in most places. From traditional local snacks to international favorites, there’s something for everyone when it comes to street food in Shanghai. Prices are also generally very reasonable, making it a great option if we’re on a budget.

What is the most popular Chinese street food?

Street food is a huge part of Chinese culture, and there are countless dishes to choose from. But what is the most popular street food in China? There is no one definitive answer to this question, as different parts of China specialize in different dishes. However, some of the most popular street foods in China include dumplings, Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup dumplings), shanghai noodles, and roast pork.

Dumplings are a staple of Chinese cuisine and can be found all over the country. There are many different types of dumplings, but the most popular is the Xiao Long Bao. These steamed soup dumplings are filled with pork or beef broth and are often served with black vinegar and ginger sauce.

Shanghai noodles are another popular dish that can be found throughout China.

Shanghai street foods we’ll love:

#1 Xie Ke Huang (crab shell pie, 蟹壳黄)

It’s a savory and sweet pie made with a mix of crab meat, pork, and vegetables, all wrapped in a delicate pastry crust

 #2 Sheng Jian (fried bun, 生煎)

These fried buns are stuffed with pork and vegetables, then boiled and pan-fried

#3Chinese-style fried chicken (中式炸鸡)

One dish that is popular in Shanghai, but lesser known in the rest of the world, is fried chicken

#4 Ci fan (rice ball, 粢饭)

Rice ball, or Ci fan in Shanghai dialect, is popular breakfast food in Shanghai.

#5 Pai gu Nian Gao (pork chop with rice cakes, 排骨年糕)

This dish is made by deep-frying a pork chop and serving it with rice cakes and a sweet soy sauce

#6 Xiaolongbao (soup dumpling, 小笼包)

It is also known as a soup dumpling because it is filled with broth and meat

#7 Chai Pan wonton (柴爿馄饨)

The wrapper is then deep-fried, and the filling typically consists of shrimp, pork, and vegetables

#8 Cong You Bing (green onion pancake, 葱油饼)

These are made with dough that’s been stretched thin and filled with a mixture of chopped green onions, oil, and salt

#9 Tofu flower soup (豆腐花)

This soup is made with tofu, flower petals, and a broth that is flavored with soy sauce and ginger

#10 Mung bean pie (绿豆饼)

The pie is made from mashed mung beans, which are a popular legume in China, and is often served with a sweet and sour sauce

#11 Tang Gao (deep-fried donut, 糖糕)

One of the most popular is tang Gao or deep-fried donuts

#1 Xie Ke Huang (crab shell pie, 蟹壳黄)

Rooftop bars are all the rage these days and Shanghai is no exception

#13 Yaxue fensi tang (duck blood and glass noodle soup, 鸭血粉丝汤)

Duck blood and glass noodle soup (axle fensi tang) is a savory Shanghainese street food specialty

#14 Ci fan Gao (deep-fried rice cake, 粢饭糕)

The rice cake is made from white rice flour and water. It is then deep-fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce

#15 Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)

Street food is a big part of Shanghai life, and there’s no shortage of options when it comes to stinky tofu ( 臭豆腐 chòudòufu).

#1 Xie Ke Huang (crab shell pie, 蟹壳黄)

If we’re ever in Shanghai, one of the must-try street foods is Xie Ke Huang (crab shell pie). It’s a savory and sweet pie made with a mix of crab meat, pork, and vegetables, all wrapped in a delicate pastry crust. The pie is then deep-fried until golden brown and served hot with a sweet soy sauce glaze.

Despite its name, there’s no crab shell in this dish – the name comes from the shape of the pastry crust, which resembles a crab shell. Xie Ke Huang is one of Shanghai’s most popular street foods and can be found at food stalls and restaurants throughout the city. If you’re looking for something different and delicious, be sure to try this unique pie!

 #2 Sheng jian (fried bun, 生煎)

Street food is a big part of the Shanghai experience and Sheng Jian Bao is one of the most popular items. These fried buns are stuffed with pork and vegetables, then boiled and pan-fried. They’re usually served with a sweet and sour sauce, making them an irresistible snack or meal. Sheng Jian can be found all over the city, but some of the best can be found at small hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

#3Chinese-style fried chicken (中式炸鸡)

When most people think of Chinese food, they think of dishes like sweet and sour pork or General Tso’s chicken. But there is so much more to explore in Chinese cuisine! One dish that is popular in Shanghai, but lesser known in the rest of the world, is fried chicken.

There are many variations of this dish, but all of them involve coating the chicken in a batter made from flour, eggs, and water, then frying it until it is crispy. The chicken can be served with a variety of sauces, such as sweet and sour sauce, garlic sauce, or chili sauce.

Fried chicken is popular street food in Shanghai, and can be found at street stalls and restaurants throughout the city. If we’re visiting Shanghai and want to try some authentic local cuisine, be sure to give this dish a try!

#4 Ci fan (rice ball, 粢饭)

Rice ball, or Ci fan in Shanghai dialect, is popular breakfast food in Shanghai. It is made of glutinous rice wrapped around various fillings, such as sweet red bean paste, osmanthus jam, peanut butter, and so on. Some people also like to add a little soy sauce and black vinegar to the rice for extra flavor.

There are all sorts of ci fan stalls on the street corners in Shanghai. They are usually small and cramped, but the food is delicious and affordable. If you’re looking for a quick and tasty breakfast, ci fan is definitely the way to go!

#5 Pai gu Nian Gao (pork chop with rice cakes, 排骨年糕)

Street food is an important part of Shanghai culture, and there are many delicious dishes to be found on the city’s streets. One of the most popular street foods is pork chop with rice cakes. This dish is made by deep-frying a pork chop and serving it with rice cakes and a sweet soy sauce. The pork chop is the star of the dish, but the rice cakes are also a key ingredient, providing a chewy texture that contrasts nicely with the crispy pork chop.

The best part of this dish is neither the deep-fried pork chop nor the sweet soy sauce. It’s actually the rice cakes. They are soft, chewy, and slightly sweet, and they provide a great contrast to the crispy pork chop. If we’re visiting Shanghai, be sure to try this delicious street food dish!

#6 Xiaolongbao (soup dumpling, 小笼包)

Xiaolongbao (小笼包) is a type of steamed bun from Shanghai. It is also known as a soup dumpling because it is filled with broth and meat. The dough is made from flour, water, and yeast. Xiaolongbao is usually served with vinegar and chili sauce.

#7 Chai Pan wonton (柴爿馄饨)

Originating from Shanghai, chai pan wonton is a type of street food that’s made with a wrapper made from flour and water. The wrapper is then deep-fried, and the filling typically consists of shrimp, pork, and vegetables. Chai pan wonton can be found throughout Shanghai, and it’s often served with a sweet and sour sauce.

When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing more delightful than a hot bowl of wonton soup. And Shanghai’s street vendors know just how to make it: with a generous helping of MSG for that extra umami flavor. Whether we’re out late clubbing or just trying to warm up on a cold winter night, chai pan wonton soup is the perfect comfort food. So why not give it a try next time we’re in Shanghai?

#8 Cong You Bing (green onion pancake, 葱油饼)

Street food is a big part of Shanghai culture, and there’s no better way to sample it than by trying out some of the city’s most popular snacks. One of the most famous is cong you bing, or green onion pancakes. These are made with dough that’s been stretched thin and filled with a mixture of chopped green onions, oil, and salt. They’re then fried until crispy and served hot.

We can find cong we bring all over Shanghai, but one of the best places to try them is at Jia Jia Tang Bao in the old town area. There’s usually a long line of people waiting to get their hands on these delicious pancakes, but they’re well worth the wait.

#9 Tofu flower soup (豆腐花)

Shanghai is a city that is known for its delicious street food. One of the most popular items on the street food scene is tofu flower soup. This soup is made with tofu, flower petals, and a broth that is flavored with soy sauce and ginger. The soup can be found at food stalls all over the city, and it is usually served with a side of steamed buns.

10. Mung bean pie (绿豆饼)

Mung bean pie is a Shanghai street food that can be found throughout the city. The pie is made from mashed mung beans, which are a popular legume in China, and is often served with a sweet and sour sauce. The texture of the mung bean pie is somewhat dense and chewy, but the flavor is surprisingly delicate and nuanced. The dish can be eaten as either a main course or a dessert, and it’s considered to be one of Shanghai’s most iconic street foods.

11. Tang Gao (deep-fried donut, 糖糕)

Street food is a big part of Shanghai culture, and there are all sorts of snacks to be found on the city’s sidewalks. One of the most popular is tang Gao, or deep-fried donuts. These doughnuts are made from flour, sugar, milk, and eggs, and are then deep-fried in hot oil until they’re golden brown. They’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and they make a delicious snack or dessert.

Tang Gao can be found at any street vendors throughout Shanghai, but there are a few places that are particularly famous for them. One of these is Hengshan Road in the Xujiahui district. There’s always a long line of people waiting to buy tang Goa here, and it’s well worth the wait.

#12 Hong shan yu (baked sweet potato, 烘山芋)

Hong shan yu is popular street food in Shanghai. The dish is made of sweet potatoes that are baked in an oven or over a fire. The potatoes are usually dipped in sugar before they are cooked. Hong shan yu can be eaten as a snack or as a dessert.

Street food in Shanghai is a great way to get a cheap, hearty meal. While there are many options, one of the best is the baked sweet potato. These potatoes are usually sold out of a pushcart, and they are on. The potatoes are sweet, fluffy, and fibrous, and they make a nice contrast to most of the cheap eats in Shanghai. They are usually priced at around 5 yuan each, making them a great value for the money.

#13 Yaxue fensi tang (duck blood and glass noodle soup, 鸭血粉丝汤)

Duck blood and glass noodle soup (axle fensi tang) is a savory Shanghainese street food specialty. The soup is made with duck blood, pork bone broth, glass noodles, and various seasonings. It is typically served with a dash of black vinegar and ground chili pepper on the side for individual customization. Duck blood and glass noodle soup are hearty, filling, and flavorful—perfect comfort food for a cold winter day.

#14 Ci fan Gao (deep-fried rice cake, 粢饭糕)

Rice cake is a popular food in Shanghai. There are many different types of rice cake, but the most popular is the deep-fried rice cake (ci fan Gao). The rice cake is made from white rice flour and water. It is then deep-fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce.

Ci fan Gao (deep-fried rice cake,) is a simple, yet delicious street food from Shanghai. This salted glutinous rice cake is not fancy, but it is definitely tasty. The rice cake is deep-fried and topped with a sprinkle of salt, making it the perfect savory snack.

#15 Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)

Street food is a big part of Shanghai life, and there’s no shortage of options when it comes to stinky tofu ( 臭豆腐 chòudòufu). This dish, which is made from fermented tofu, has a strong smell and an even stronger flavor. It’s usually eaten as a snack or side dish and can be found at street stalls and restaurants throughout the city. While some people love it, others find the stench intolerable – but there’s no escaping it if you want to try Shanghai’s famous street food!

Conclusions

In conclusion, Shanghai street food is definitely worth a try for anyone visiting or living in the city. The variety of foods available is impressive, and the prices are very reasonable. Just be sure to use caution when selecting food from a street vendor, and always go with your gut instinct if something doesn’t seem right.