Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Mar 5, 2010 04:10 AM

First Timer in Shanghai- Where not to miss?

Leaving on Wednesday for first trip to Shanghai- Which restaurants are not to be missed. Don't need the most expensive, just the best. THANKS

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I thoroughly enjoyed:

    Ji Shi, 41 Tianping Lu (not the other location) for Shanghainese. Make sure you order the wild herbs wrapped in tofu.

    Hengshan Cafe, Cantonese, also in the French Connection. Turbot with chili peppers, roast goose, morning glory with garlic, shallot roots.

    And the two famous dumpling places, right across the street from each other (how convenient): Yang's Fry Dumplings and Jia Jia for steamed xiao long bao. I much prefer the crab (or pork and crab combo) xlb.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Xiao Yang Shen Jian and Xiao Long Bao from Jia Jia Tang Bao. Cheap and tasty local snacks.. Don't bother queuing for the XLBs at Cheng Huang Miao coz they are seriously overrated.

      For bars go to the French Concession or Hengshan Rd. XTD will be a good destination as well.

      I personally like to visit Tianzifang once in a while to chill out. If you artsy person, you should like it too. ;)

      1. re: ChowLover132

        Thank you Chow....we're looking for best local food, non touristy types....hate the places where the tourists are....Being from NY, JG doesn't do it for me. Any other ideas? Thanks for the reply. S

        1. re: sockster

          Well in that case don't go to Xintiandi because that's where all the tourists are. The same with Taikang Lu, where shops cater to tourists almost exclusively. Also the same goes for the Bund, full of tourists and expats. Even hole in the wall like Jia Jia Tong Bao attracts lots of tourists due to internet sites like Chowhound.

          1. re: ChowLover132

            Spicy Joint or Xin Xiang Hui is very popular with Shanghai locals, especially for the cheap price. The food is properly spicy. I particularly like the mapo dofu (spicy tofu) and the bullfrog. The yuxiang qiezi (fish-fragrant eggplant) was also nice. We ordered the roasted fish, but it was not as impressive as it looks. Anyway, they don't take reservations, so expect to queue at least 1 hour and even more on weekends, unless you go really early or really late.

            Yu Xin is another popular Sichuanese chain, but there seems to be a migration to Spicy Joint lately.

        2. re: kristinel

          I personally think Xiao Yang Shen Jian (Yang's fried dumplings) is overrated but it is indeed very popular with tourists AND locals alike.

          1. re: sugarednspiced

            No need to be so coy, just tell us where you prefer to get your sheng jian bao....

            1. re: sugarednspiced

              When one says a certain restaurant is over-rated, it is customary to follow up with one's own favorite restaurant, and not leave everyone guessing.

          2. re: Steve

            Steve, went to both yesterday. Jia Jia and Yangs were both fantastic. Got a seat in both places as it was raining here and held the queues away,.,,,one of the best breakfast's in a long time!

            1. re: sockster

              Glad you liked it. I can hardly take credit for the recs as everyone one this board seems to agree.

              That's the great thing about rain, a kind of Darwinian control agent.

            2. re: Steve

              the wild herbs in tofu is called malantou . . . pure deliciousness

            3. If you can handle spicy food (and its incredibly hard to find decent spicy food in Shanghai), I would definitely hit up one of the many branches of Fomo for crawfish, their rice cakes are also pretty good and the crabs when in season. It's far from high end dining, but is incredibly popular.