What are the five best Shanghai food experiences?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Although Shanghai competes among the best in the world for fine dining, some of its best food experiences are those enjoyed on a low stool in the back of a hole-in-the-wall dumpling shop — or better yet, on the side of the street. Don't leave Shanghai without tasting these:

1. Yang's Fried Dumplings. It is not unheard of for even the strictest of vegetarians to be lured by the soupy fried goodness of Yang's pork dumplings. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend taking a bite out of the corner and sucking all the juice out to avoid wasting even a drop of this delicious treat.

2. Street food. Newcomers to the city may be wary of the ubiquitous street barbecues, but we guarantee that the popularity of this super-casual dining option is well-deserved. The fried noodles and barbecued meats and vegetables will be among the best you'll ever have.

3. Hot pot. Forget what your mom told you about playing with your food. The Chinese tradition of hot pot, in which raw foods are placed on your table alongside a boiling pot of broth, makes the dining experience interactive, fun and incredibly tasty.

4. Regional cuisines. In addition to the many international dining options, Shanghai is teeming with restaurants that represent China's many ethnic minorities. From spicy Sichuan food to heat-packing Xinjiang lamb and everything in between, you can go on a culinary tour of China without ever leaving Shanghai. Some of our favorites are Lost Heaven on the Bund for Yunnan food and Xibo for Xinjiang fare.

5. 1221. No trip to Shanghai would be complete without experiencing a proper Chinese meal — eaten family-style, of course. 1221 is one of the best restaurants in the city for Shanghainese cuisine, which is all served on a lazy Susan in the center of the table so you can sample a little bit of everything the extensive menu has to offer. In true Chinese fashion, the meal is topped off with an elaborate tea-pouring ceremony.

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