During winter break, I traveled to Shanghai and tasted some amazing cuisine. This city offers a variety of culinary delicacies from toad on the street to hairy crab in a five star restaurant. Whatever your palette craves, you are sure to enjoy Shanghai’s delicacies.
1. Peking Duck from Da Dong
Peking Duck is a delicacy from Beijing but is commonly found in Shanghai as well. Da Dong serves a bomb peking duck that is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters. It comes with pancakes (not American pancakes), sesame buns and a variety of toppings like thinly sliced cucumbers.
#SpoonTip: Dip the skin of the duck into sugar for a sweet and salty combo.
2. Soup Dumplings from Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a widely popular dumpling restaurant chain found in many major cities around the world. They serve many different types of dumplings but their most popular is a Xiaolongbao or soup dumpling. If you like soup and you like dumplings, you have to try this Chinese specialty. Be careful when biting into them because the soup inside the dumpling is served boiling hot.
#SpoonTip: Dip your dumplings in vinegar to eat as the locals do.
When you go to any city, the best way to experience local cuisine is to try the street food. In many tourist areas of Shanghai, there are candied fruits on sticks called Tanghulu – basically fruit kebabs. The most popular fruits are strawberries and apples. The candy on the outside of the fruit is very hard which complements the sweetness of the fruit.
4. Thai Zeed Cocktail from Lost Heaven
This cocktail actually changed my life. It has every flavor you can think of all mixed together in a perfect combination. The cocktail is made with coconut rum, vodka, chili and rum. It is spicy and sweet with a salty finish.
5. Radish Cakes
Radish cakes are Shanghai’s version of a savory funnel cake. They are found on many street corners and are totally to die for. They are fried packets of radishes that are perfectly oily and delicious.
6. Fried Scallion Pancakes
These savory pancakes are delish. They are served at many restaurants and on the street. They are most commonly eaten at breakfast time in Shanghai but are also consumed throughout the day.
7. Lotus Root With Glutinous Rice From Da Dong
This dish is unlike anything in America. Upon tasting it, I could not equate it to anything I had ever tasted. The lotus root is a little sweet and has a bit of a crunchy aspect from the rice. It is also a little slimy but don’t let that deter you from ordering this dish because it was definitely one of my favorites. Lotus root is a must-try if you are anywhere is China and is prepared in many different ways.
So, if you are studying abroad in China or just visiting, make sure you try the local delicacies. I wouldn’t be too adventurous with the food though; you might end up eating a chicken foot (I did that).