35 Shanghai street foods we can't resist

35 Shanghai street foods we can't resist

Buns, dumplings, pancakes, soups -- here's a Shanghainese boulevardier's buffet

Living in metropolitan Shanghai, you can choose to dine in a Michelin-star restaurant on the Bund, or opt for a scavenger hunt down dark alleyways.

We love both.

But in the spirit of the real local lifestyle, we’ve decided to search out the most delicious and wallet-friendly street food in Shanghai.

Some of them are Shanghai-native eats, others are popular snacks from around the country.

More on CNNGo: 11 top snacking options in Shanghai

shanghai street food -- xie ke huangA budget Shanghai snack for hairy crab fans.

1. Xie ke huang (crab shell pie, 蟹壳黄)

Why we love it: Although those hairy crustaceans from Yangcheng lake aren’t available year-round, xie ke huang, aka the poor Shanghainese man’s hairy crab, can be found around the town in any season.

Baked in a clay oven until golden brown, these little oval pies are stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. The name is inspired by its appearance -- freshly baked xie ke huang look like crispy golden crab shells.

Where to get it: We've been coming back for Wuyuan Bingjia’s savory xie ke huang for years, despite the grouchy service.

Try the cong you-flavored ones (spring onion and lard, RMB 1) for the most authentic Shanghainese taste.

Wuyuan Bingjia (吴苑饼家), 255 Yanping lu, near Kangding Lu 延平路255号, 近康定路, +86 21 6256 5556, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

shanghai street food -- sheng jianThese yummy buns are well worth the blisters on your tongue.

2. Sheng jian (fried bun, 生煎)

Why we love it: It’s hard to resist succulent pork buns, especially when they are fried and garnished with fresh spring onion and toasted sesame.

They taste best just out of the pan -- totally worth the blisters on your tongue.

Where to get it: Xiao Yang Sheng Jian is the best-known fried bun restaurant in town, but our favorite place is a little joint named Bu Cuo Sheng Jian Wang on the corner of Fujian Zhong Lu and Guangdong Lu. For RMB 6, you can get four sinfully delicious buns.

Bu Cuo Sheng Jian Wang (不错生煎王), 90 Fujian Zhong Lu, near Guangdong Lu 福建中路90号, 近广东路, +86 21 6373 1944, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

shanghai street food -- fried chickenChina's answer to KFC.

3. Chinese-style fried chicken (中式炸鸡)

Why we love it: Picture a chicken fillet being fried in a wok with chopped dried chilies, scallions, ginger and garlic, then sprinkled with sesame and five-spice powder. Viva fusion street food.

Where to get it: Walk down Wulumuqi Zhong Lu until you hit Fuxing Zhong Lu, you'll see this husband-and-wife fried chicken stand on your right.

The friendly couple who run it always do their chicken just right. For RMB 10, you can stuff your face.

328 Wulumiqi Zhong Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu 乌鲁木齐中路328号, 近复兴中路, +86 152 0185 9878, 5-8 p.m.

shanghai street food -- ci fanKick-start your day with a filling rice ball.

4. Ci fan (rice ball, 粢饭)

Why we love it: Ci fan is one of the most popular breakfast foods in Shanghai. These glutinous rice balls have everything you ever needed for an energetic start to your day.

Typical stuffing includes a you tiao (fried dough stick), pickled vegetables, pork floss, white sugar and sometimes eggs and ham. Tastes best when hot.

Where to get it: Hit the corner of Nanyang Lu and Xikang Lu for the most authentic Shanghainese ci fan.

With a secret homemade meat sauce and delicious fried egg stuffing, this 20-year-old ci fan stand is hands-down the best in Shanghai.

100 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu 南阳路100号, 近西康路, no telephone, around 7-10 a.m.

shanghai street food -- pai gu nian gaoShanghainese deep-fried pork chop usually come with a couple of rice cakes.

5. Pai gu nian gao (pork chop with rice cakes, 排骨年糕)

Why we love it: The best part of this Shanghainese dish is neither the deep-fried pork chop nor the sweet-soy sauce glaze, it’s the nian gao.

Made of glutinous rice flour, nian gao has a compact texture that seals the subtle, fragrant taste of sticky rice from any heavy sauce.

Where to get it: Proudly naming itself after the dish, Xiandelai’s pork chops and rice cakes are a must-try. Remember to sweet-talk the ayi behind the counter to giving you a freshly fried serving because it tastes like heaven while piping hot.

Xiandelai Pai Gu Nian Gao (鲜得来排骨年糕), 9 Yandang Lu, near Xing’an Lu 雁荡路9号, 近兴安路, +86 21 6386 8377, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

shanghai street food -- xiaolongbaoNothing tastes more Shanghai than these porky dumplings.

6. Xiaolongbao (soup dumpling, 小笼包)

Why we love it: RMB 4 usually gets you eight of these velvety and delicate Shanghai classics. The cure for any hunger pang, these are seriously good.

Where to get it: Everywhere. That is the greatest thing about xiaolongbao -- they can be ordered at five-star restaurants, malls, food courts and street stalls. Our favorite, though, are from the stall on the corner of Yunnan Nan Lu and Jinling Dong Lu.

Corner of Yunnan Nan Lu and Jinling Dong Lu 云南南路金陵东路路口

More on CNNGo: Shanghai's best xiaolongbao

shanghai street food -- wontonFind these tasty soupy wontons on Jingling Dong Lu, if you're lucky.

7. Chai Pan wonton (柴爿馄饨)

Why we love it: Nothing beats a bowl of warm wonton soup at 3 a.m. on a freezing winter night.

We know the soup is laden with MSG, and the cart and cookers haven’t been cleaned for at least a decade, but one bite of the translucent wrapper and its tasty pork stuffing, and you’ll know it's worth it.

Where to get it: Chaipan Wonton stands used to be seen on every street corner after 8 p.m., but only a few remain. Take a stroll down Jinling Dong Lu after a night on the Bund; you should be able to cap your Moët and foie gras with RMB 5 worth of joy in a bowl.

Jinling Dong Lu, between Sichuan Zhong Lu and Jiangxi Lu 金陵东路,在四川中路和江西路之间, around 11 p.m.-later

shanghai street food -- scallion pancakeOne of the easiest Shanghai street foods to grab and go.

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

Why we love it: The best green onion pancakes are cooked up by little old grannies (and grandpas) who get up at 6 a.m. to cook, knead and slap these petite bing in the city’s many longtangs.

Where to get it: Our favorite cong you bing stall lies behind a big black gate on Xiangyang Nan Lu, run by a local granny.

Follow your nose and the huge line to find the most authentic Shanghai scallion pancake (RMB 1.5 for one). Spoil yourself by asking for an extra egg on top of your bing (RMB 3 for an egg pancake).

Ah Po Cong You Bing (阿婆葱油饼), Lane 578 Xiangyang Nan Lu, near Zhaojiabang Lu, 襄阳南路578弄口, 近肇嘉浜路, no telephone, Monday-Friday: 2:30 p.m.-later

shanghai street food -- toufu Order a cup of smooth tofu soup to go with your fried buns.

9. Tofu flower soup (豆腐花)

Why we love it: Made by curdling soy milk, this smooth tofu soup contains the subtle flavor of soybeans beneath a colorful mixed dressing of dried shrimps, pickled radish, seaweed, scallion, soy sauce and chili oil.

Where to get it: A lot of street breakfast stands serve tofu soup, but the best one we’ve tried so far is from Fengyu Shengjian, a time-honored Shanghainese eatery.

The price (RMB 3) is twice what you'll pay at other places, but you’ll know it’s worth every kuai after you had a sip.

Fengyu Shengjian (丰裕生煎), 281 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Shaoxing Lu 陕西南路281号,近绍兴路, +86 21 6472 4609, 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

shanghai street food -- lv douThese sweet treats attract hour-long queues.

10. Mung bean pie (绿豆饼)

Why we love it: Most Shanghainese prefer their snacks savory over sweet, but mung bean pie is one exception -- you will find locals queue up around the block to buy them.

Where to get it: Take a hike to Zhabei district and you will find the most delicious mung bean pies in town.

Stuffed with slightly sweetened mung bean paste, Jianlilai’s pies (RMB 14/500 grams) ooze the fragrance of fresh mung beans.

Jianlilai Lvdoubing 健利来绿豆饼, No. 31, Lane 1725, Gonghexin Lu, near Yanchang Lu 共和新路1725弄31号, 近延长路地铁2号出口 , +86 21 159 2121 4238, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

More on CNNGo: 40 Shanghai foods we can't live without

shanghai street food -- tanggaoHave a Shanghainese "donut".

11. Tang gao (deep-fried donut, 糖糕)

Why we love it: Shanghai’s answer to donuts, these deep-fried Krispy Kreme look-alikes are made from glutinous rice flour and coated with white sugar.

They look seriously greasy, but taste seriously good.

Where to get it: You can find tang gao at almost every breakfast stand in the city. Grab a freshly made one (RMB 1.5) to go with a cup of non-sweetened soy milk.

The breakfast stand on Zhejiang Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu 浙江中路靠近福州路上的早饭摊, no telephone, around 7 a.m.-10 a.m.

shanghai street food -- hong shan yuDive into the crowds to find this sublime baked-on-street snack.

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

Why we love it: Sweet, fluffy, and fibrous, these baked sweet potatoes are a nice contrast to most cheap eats in Shanghai. Usually sold out of a pushcart, they are one of the healthiest snacks in town.

Where to get it: We ran into a vendor pushing her cart on Dongping Lu. “I go wherever the crowd is," she told us. So our advice is to find a crowd, and try and track down this RMB 3-7 (based on weight) snack.

shanghai street food -- duckA relatively new face in Shanghai's street food scene, duck blood soup has attracted some die-hard followers.

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

Why we love it: Brought to Shanghai by a few duck-loving Nanjing natives more than a decade ago, yaxue fensi tang is what many Shanghainese consider the go-to choice for a quick but hearty lunch.

It’s got everything: duck soup, duck blood and entrails, green vegetables and glass noodles. What more could you ask for?

Where to get it: There are numerous chains around town, but our favorite is Zhouli, thanks to their generous portions and friendly prices (RMB 12).

Zhouli Laoya Fensi (妯娌老鸭粉丝), on Qipu Lu, near Zhejiang Bei Lu 七浦路, 近浙江北路, no telephone, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

shanghai street food -- ci fanDeep-fried and salted, these rice cakes are an old-school Shanghai breakfast.

14. Ci fan gao (deep-fried rice cake, 粢饭糕)

Why we love it: Sometimes, simple is best. This salted glutinous rice cake doesn’t have fancy stuffing or pretty garnish, but one single sheet will instantly hit the spot.

Where to get it: The ci fan gao stand on Zhejiang Zhong Lu has never disappointed any hungry soul. Deep-fried until golden brown, these cakes are crispy on the outside and soft and tender inside.

125 Zhejiang Zhong Lu, near Fuzhou Lu 浙江中路125号, 近福州路, no telephone, around 7 a.m.-10 a.m.

shanghai street food -- stinky tofuStinky tofu -- the unique Shanghai smell and taste.

15. Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)

Why we love it: You know you are becoming a true Shanghailander when you start craving stinky tofu.

Once we got over the initial shock of the stench of the snack we found the tofu clean and silky. And four for just RMB 1 -- we’d be crazy not to love these.

Where to get it: Our two favorites are under the Wuning Lu Bridge, near the entrance to Carrefour, and on Yunnan Nan Lu.

20 Wuning Lu, near Changshou Lu 武宁路20号, 近长寿路, no fixed hours

More on CNNGo: Joanne Yao: Don't fear the stinky tofu

shanghai street food -- maqiuMa qiu is for anyone with a sweet tooth.

16. Ma qiu (sesame ball, 麻球)

Why we love it: If you’re a fan of red bean and sesame, ma qiu is the perfect treat for you. These glutinous dough balls are filled with sweet red bean paste and coated with white sesame. They are then deep-fried until golden brown.

Where to get it: Xiangyang Lu has been hit with some serious road construction recently, but that hasn’t stopped loyal fans from queuing up outside Wanghaowang for its crispy, sweet sesame balls.

Wanghaowang (旺好旺), 117 Xiangyang Nan Lu, near Nanchang Lu 襄阳南路117号, 近南昌路, no telephone, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

shanghai street food -- guo tieSheng jian's half-brother tastes equally good.

17. Guo tie (pot stickers, 锅贴)

Why we love it: Pot stickers were born when a fried bun and a dumpling fell in love. From the dumpling, it inherited its elegant appearance; and from the fried bun, it inherited a sizzling personality. Need we say more?

Where to get it: Shengji Yipin offers some excellent pork guo tie (RMB 4 for four). If pork isn’t your thing, try the beef pot stickers (RMB 7 for four) from Hushangting. These juicy pockets of ground beef taste best when dipped in vinegar and chili sauce.

Shengji Yipin Guotie (盛记一品锅贴), 888 Changde Lu, near Changping Lu 常德路888号, 近昌平路, +86 21 5213 2933, 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Hushangting (沪上亭), inside the food court, 6/F, 1111 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Caoxi Bei Lu肇嘉浜路1111号美罗城6楼大食代内, 近漕溪北路, no telephone, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

shanghai street food -- tea eggsTea eggs are Shanghai street food in real sense -- they are sold on literally every street.

18. Tea eggs (茶叶蛋)

Why we love it: They might only be eggs hard boiled in green tea and soy sauce, but tea eggs are Shanghai's go-to snack -- they can be found in every convenient store, breakfast stand and small-scale Chinese eatery.

Where to get it: Head to the nearest Lawson or Family Mart and get your daily tea egg fix for RMB 1.

shanghai street food -- tea eggsDelicious, old-school Shanghainese qiang bing.

19. Qiang bing (puffy pancake, 羌饼)

Why we love it: The older generations in Shanghai grew up eating qiangbing at the breakfast table. Made of lightly salted dough and chopped spring onions, this large round bing is often cooked in a flat pan until it's puffy and golden brown.

Where to get it: It’s a shame that this greasy, savory, stuffing-free bing has become a rare find in Shanghai.

A lot of breakfast stands still offer the thinner version, but for an authentic taste, prepare to get up early to grab a slice (RMB 1.5) at a nameless hole-in-the-wall restaurant near People’s Square.

120 Zhejiang Zhong Lu, near Guangdong Lu 浙江中路120号, 近广东路, no telephone, qiang bing available from 7 a.m.-10 a.m.

shanghai street food -- dan dangA bowl of Shanghai dan dang soup.

20. Shuang dang or dan dang soup (双档或单档)

Why we love it: Shuang dang and dan dang soup used to be the stars of Shanghai’s nighttime street food scene, but they are now available mostly in small restaurants.

A bowl of dan dang soup includes a pork-stuffed tofu-skin wrap and a diced-shaped fried tofu nub also filled with minced pork, and sometimes a handful of glass noodles.

When served with double portion of wraps and tofu pieces, the snack becomes shuang dang.

Where to get it: Try the MSG-free version of this classic Shanghainese tofu and pork soup (RMB 6) at Fuchun Xiaolong. Paired up with a steamer of the restaurant’s xiaolongbao, it makes for a delicious meal.

Fuchun Xiaolong (富春小笼) 650 Yuyuan Lu, near Zhenning Lu 愚园路650号, 近镇宁路, +86 21 6252 5117, 6:30 a.m.-midnight

More on CNNGo: World's 50 most delicious foods

shanghai street food -- chuanPerfectly seasoned lamb kebabs on Yuyuan Lu.

21. Kebabs (烤串)

Why we love it: Few things taste better at four in the morning than a few grilled kebabs. Our favorite is of course the yang rou chuan (羊肉串) -- lamb kebabs.

Perfectly seasoned with cumin and paprika, they make for a perfect ending to any night out.

Where to get it: The kebab stand on the corner of Wulumuqi Bei Lu and Yuyuan Lu. It grills some pretty mean lamb for around RMB 2 per stick.

Corner of Yuyuan Lu and Wulumuqi Bei Lu 愚园路, 近乌鲁木齐北路, no fixed hours

shanghai street food -- shouzhuangWhat would you like in the bing? Eggs, ham, bacon, or even cheese?

22. Taiwan shouzhua bing (Taiwanese pancake, 台湾手抓饼)

Why we love it: We aren’t sure if shouzhua bing (from RMB 4) really originated from Taiwan. What we do know is that this greasy, yet incredible tasting bing has captured the hearts and stomachs of Shanghai population.

Where to get it: Shouzhua bing tastes wonderful all by its puffy, doughy self, but the joint on Xiangyang Bei Lu offers numerous toppings to add to the Taiwanese delight.

Choose from sunny-side eggs, ham, bacon, cheese and de-boned chicken drumsticks to give your bing one hell of a sinful kick.

4 Xiangyang Bei lu, near Julu Lu 襄阳北路4号, 近巨鹿路, +86 137 8893 1839, 11 a.m.-midnight

shanghai street food -- roujiamoThe Chinese sandwich is highly flexible in fillings and much healthier.

23. Rou jia mo (Shaanxi-style sandwich, 肉夹馍)

Why we love it: Pick your meat, and then add the veggies you want -- we love the chicken for RMB 5 with cilantro, lettuce, and plenty of chili sauce.

The buns are steamed, split open, then stuffed with the most tasty meat and veggie mix.

Where to get it: For some reason, Caoxi Bei Lu, leading from IKEA up to Lingling Lu, is full of these stalls. Our favorite is the stall just near the metro entrance of Shanghai Stadium.

shanghai street food -- shaxianThese Fujian-style steamed dumplings look lovely, and taste ever better.

24. Shaxian steamed dumplings (沙县蒸饺)

Why we love it: In the past decade, this legendary Fujianese snack has conquered most of the first and second-tier cities in China, and most recently the metropolitan area of Shanghai. These flower-petal-shaped steamed pork dumplings taste gorgeous with just a few drops of Fujianese chili sauce.

Where to get it: The fact that Shaxian is one of the biggest chain eateries in China guarantees a certain standard to the quality of its dumplings.

The location on the corner of Fahuazhen Lu and Yan’an Xi Lu is where post-party munchers can grab a bite after a late-night Yuyintang show.

Shaxian Xiao Chi (沙县小吃), 913 Fahuazhen Lu, near Yan’an Xi Lu 法华镇路913号, 近延安西路, no telephone, 9 a.m.-1 a.m.

shanghai street food -- dan bingIf you pass a dan bing cart like this, make sure you grab one freshly made egg pancake.

25. Dan bing (egg pancake, 蛋饼)

Why we love it: For most Westerners, Chinese breakfast is either too bland or overly greasy. Dan bing (RMB 3), aka jian bing, boasts healthy ingredients and flavorsome sauce and, most importantly, it keeps your tummy content all morning.

Where to get it: These whole wheat crepe look-alikes can be found outside of most large residential area before 9:30 a.m. during weekdays.

Head to the corner of Zhenning Lu and Jiangsu Lu for a taste of a fantastic secret black bean sauce.

Corner of Zhenning Lu and Jiangsu Lu  镇宁路, 近江苏路, no telephone, around 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

More on CNNGo: Shanghai's best food deals: A 7-day guide

shanghai street food -- liang piLaomaji serves the best Shaanxi-style cold jelly noodles in town.

26. Liang pi (cold jelly noodles, 凉皮)

Why we love it: Having grown in popularity across the Middle Kingdom, Shaanxi liang pi has established itself as the perfect summer lunch or a snack.

Dress the chunky, chewy jelly noodles and fresh vegetables with sesame sauce, vinegar, and chili oil, and then sprinkle some toasted peanuts and sesame for the final touch. Voila.

Where to get it: Laomaji is a popular liang pi chain in Xi’an. The expansion here in Shanghai has kept the authentic flavor, so it is no surprise the locals are always lining up to take a slurp.

Laomaoji 老马记, 162 Wuning Lu, near Dongxin Lu 武宁路162号, 近东新路, +86 138 1833 4195, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

shanghai street food -- malatangPick your veggie and meat on sticks, they will be turned into a bowl of spicy soup in a wink.

27. Malatang (numb, spicy soup, 麻辣烫)

Why we love it: After this popular street snack from Sichuan adapted itself to satisfy Shanghainese taste buds, it quickly became a local favorite.

A humble version of hotpot, you pick your own skewered vegetables and meat from the shelf (from RMB 1), and get staff to boil them together in chicken or pork broth.

Where to get it: If you are anywhere near People’s Square, Tiantianwang is probably the best malatang joint in the entire neighborhood. The 24-hour eatery is clean, fresh and the soup is absolutely delicious.

Get there early to avoid the lunch crowd.

Tiantianwang (天天旺), 25 Shantou Lu, near Yunnan Zhong Lu 汕头路25号, 近云南中路, +86 21 6351 7290, 24 hours

shanghai street food -- xiao long xiaCrawfish is Shanghai's most popular street food in summer.

28. Xiao long xia (crawfish, 小龙虾)

Why we love it: Here we are, at Shouning Lu for a food that Shanghailanders go crazy for in summer: crawfish.

The 35 C weather in Shanghai is just not bearable without these weekend buckets of crawfish tossed with chili consumed alongside cold, cheap Tsingtao with lots of friends chowing down as well.

Don’t be scared to sit eye-to-eye with locals as you challenge them to a crawfish de-shelling battle on their own turf.

Where to get it: Any place on Shouning Lu, but we like the restaurant called Xiang Ba Dao on Shouning Lu near Xizang Lu.

Xiang Ba Dao Long Xia Guan (香吧岛龙虾馆), 17 Shouning Lu, near Xizang Nan Lu 寿宁路17号, 近西藏路, +86 21 6328 0098, 2 p.m.-4:30 a.m.

shanghai street food -- duck neckJuewei is Shanghai's duck neck emporium.

29. Duck neck (鸭脖)

Why we love it: Don’t let the thought of chewing a piece of bony duck neck put you off -- these less-than-appetizing-looking tubes are actually full of delicious lean meat.

Pick a cool autumn evening and invite a couple of friends over for board games, cold beer and some spicy duck necks. You’ll know what we are talking about.

Where to get it: There are duck neck stores all over the city, but our favorite is a chain called Juewei. Choose the savory jiang xiang flavor or spice it up with a bit of zhong la (medium spicy) flavor (RMB 33/500 grams).

Juewei Yabo (绝味鸭脖), 479 Jiaozhou Lu, near Kangding Lu 胶州路479号, 近康定路, +86 21 6215 0804, 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

shanghai street food -- milk teaHave a cuppa, dear. Your pudding and cake are already added inside.

30. Milk tea (奶茶)

Why we love it: We just can’t resist a cup of these smooth, pearly and self-melt liquid in winter.

The Chinese-style milk tea goes incredibly well with jelly pudding, tapioca balls, herbal jelly and nata de coco. 

Where to get it: Coco is undoubtedly our favorite among the hundreds of milk tea shops in town. It’s cheap, tasty and never overly sweetened.

Perk up your afternoon with a three-treasures milk tea (RMB 9) consisting of a standard milk tea filled with tapioca balls, jelly pudding and cake.

Coco (都可茶饮), 17 Yandang Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu 雁荡路17号, 近淮海中路, +86 21 150 2669 8561, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

More on CNNGo: 5 Chinese eating habits explained

shanghai street food -- bunsBabi man tou is the best-known chain stores for steam buns.

31. Man tou (steamed buns, 馒头)

Why we love it: With a history spanning more than 1,800 years, these puffy man tou, or bao zi as they are known in northern China, were probably the world's fast-food; not to mention they are cheaper and healthier than their modern day fast-food contemporaries.

Where to get it: We occasionally stumble upon some small, back alley man tou stand. But most of the time, we prefer to sate our bun cravings at Babi, a popular chain that never disappoints.

Apart from the traditional pork buns (RMB1. 5) and veggie and mushroom buns (RMB 1.2), we also love the glass noodle and pork buns (RMB 1.5) as well as shepherd's-purse and pork bun (RMB 1.5).

Babi Man tou 巴比馒头, 749 Caoxi Bei Lu, near Yude Lu 漕溪北路749号, 近裕德路, no telephone, 6 a.m.-7 p.m.

shanghai street food -- egg tartsPortuguese-style egg tart is one of the most popular desserts in Shanghai.

32. Portuguese egg tarts (蛋挞)

Why we love it: We love Portuguese-style egg tarts, and in Shanghai, Lillian Cake Shop is synonymous with this eternally popular pastry.

With the store motto: “We probably have the best egg tarts in town,” who can resist this sweet treat?

Where to get it: Lillian does consistently tasty Portuguese-style egg tarts with soft, flaky crusts and a filling just like crême brûlée.

They fly off the shelves after 5 p.m. during rush hours. Plus, they seem to be present on every busy downtown corner. (Are they the cause of Shanghai's eternal traffic jams or sweet relief? Something we'll continue to ponder.)

Lillian Cake Shop (莉莲蛋挞), 988 Nanjing Xi Lu 南京西路988号, +86 21 6218 9680, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

shanghai street food -- mooncakeAlthough sweet mooncakes are seasonal, the pork ones are available throughout the year.

33. Pork mooncake (鲜肉月饼)

Why we love it: Unlike the sweet, oily pastries that Chinese people eat during the Mid-Autumn Festival, pork mooncakes are a savory, meaty Shanghainese delicacy that is available all year around.

Where to get it: RMB 3.5 (and possibly 20 minutes' queuing) at Guanming Cun will get you a juicy, pork-filled mooncake straight out of the oven.

We suggest getting a box of six of these awesome little meat pies because -- let's face it -- you can’t get away with just one.

Guanming Cun (光明村), 588 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Chengdu Nan Lu, 淮海中路588号, 近成都南路, +86 21 5306 7878, 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

shanghai street food -- beef bingGet ready to queue for these spiced up beef pancakes.

34. Niu rou bing (beef pancake, 牛肉饼)

Why we love it: A meaty, spicy version of the Shanghainese cong you bing, Xi’an’s niu rou bing is known for its crispy dough exterior and ground beef stuffing, which is marinated in Sichuan peppercorns.

A small bite will have your tongue tingling and your heart warmed up a few degrees.

Where to get it: Head to the Apple store on Huaihai Zhong Lu and let your nose guide you across the street until you see this authentic Xi’an niu rou bing window on Songshan Lu.

Baqian Xi’an Xiangsu Niurou Bing (八千西安香酥牛肉饼), No. 1, Lane 71 Songshan Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu 嵩山路71弄1号, 近淮海中路, +86 21 6384 3619, 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

shanghai street food -- xun yuFish-and-chips tonight? Nah, xun yu is better.

35. Xun yu (smoked fish, 熏鱼)

Why we love it: Deep-fried then boiled in soy sauce, this fish dish can be eaten as a starter in traditional festival banquets or simply as a snack when you’re out and about.

While the outer skin is fried until golden brown and crispy, the inside remains snow-white, and tastes incredibly tender and succulent.

Where to get it: For the freshest and tastiest xun yu in town, make a trip to the chaotic Qipu Lu.

Trust us, once you have tried the original five-spice-flavored fish chunks (RMB16-17/500 grams) at this decade-old stand, you’ll know it’s worth the schlep.

Meiji Dakuaitou Baoyu (梅记大块头爆鱼), 245 Jiangxi Bei Lu, near Qipu Lu 江西北路245号, 近七浦路, +86 21 6356 3228, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.