shanghai dumplings

Top 25 Local Shanghai Dumplings Restaurants for 2024

Shanghai residents have a deep-rooted love for soup dumplings, with shops selling them found on nearly every street, ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to tiny workshops.

The name and authenticity of soup dumplings have long been debated, with some calling them “xiaolongbao” and others referring to them as “xiaolong mantou.” Wuxi locals claim that their Wuxi-style soup dumplings are the most authentic, while Shanghai residents proudly argue that theirs are the most delicious.

Despite the ongoing debate, soup dumplings remain a staple for breakfast, gradually becoming a symbol of Shanghai’s culinary culture.

In this guide, I have meticulously selected 20 renowned soup dumpling establishments to create a comprehensive soup dumpling guide for you.

You might also be interested in:
🍖 Top 40 Restaurants to Visit for Authentic Local Flavors in Shanghai
🔍 53 Best Things to Do in Shanghai, China in 2023

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

Eager to experience authentic Shanghai cuisine?

Check out the top food tours and other activities below, immersing yourself in traditional Chinese flavors and the captivating ambiance of historic Shanghai.

🇨🇳 Top Shanghai Food Tour & Activities:

1. Food Tour: Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai
2. Night Food Tour: Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Food Tour
3. Street Breakfast Tour: Eat Like a Local: Street Breakfast Tour in Shanghai

Shanghai Travel Guide
If you’re headed to Shanghai, don’t miss my comprehensive Shanghai travel guide. It covers accommodations, transportation, must-visit neighborhoods, and more for your trip planning.

🤔What is Xiaolongbao?

Xiaolongbao is a type of Chinese steamed bun (baozi) from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and its neighboring areas. These buns are often called “soup dumplings” in English due to the hot and flavorful soup encased within the dumpling wrapper.

Xiaolongbao wrappers are made from unleavened dough, typically rolled out thinly. This thinness allows for the delicate texture and the ability to encase the soup without breaking easily.

The hallmark of Xiaolongbao is the savory soup filling inside each dumpling. This soup is created by placing a solidified aspic of gelatinized broth along with seasoned minced meat (commonly pork) inside the wrapper. During steaming, the gelatin melts, turning into a delicious broth, which remains sealed within the dumpling until bitten into.

Traditional Xiaolongbao is pleated at the top, which requires a skilled hand to achieve. The pleats not only add to the visual appeal but also serve a practical purpose, ensuring the dumplings remain sealed during steaming.

Overall, only when it meets all four criteria of “thin skin, large filling, abundant soup, and fresh flavor” can it be considered a qualified xiaolongbao.

In Jiangnan, soup dumplings (xiaolongbao) are broadly categorized into two main styles: Shanghai-style, prevalent in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and surrounding regions, and Su-style, favored in Wuxi, Suzhou, and neighboring areas.

The key contrast between Shanghai-style and Su-style xiaolongbao lies in their taste profiles: the former leans towards savory flavors, while the latter tends to be sweeter.

Shanghai-style dumplings typically feature a filling with minimal or no soy sauce, accompanied by a clear broth. In contrast, Su-style dumplings often incorporate both light and dark soy sauce, resulting in a more robust, soy sauce-colored broth.

Moreover, Su-style dumplings commonly include shredded ginger in the filling, a component typically absent in Shanghai-style counterparts.

Shanghai-style dumplingsSu-style dumplings
Soy saucewithout soy sauce, the broth is clearWith dark soy sauce, the broth has a soy sauce color
Sugara small amount of sugar, mainly salty and savorya large amount of sugar, sweeter
Fillingwithout ginger shredswith ginger shreds

Consuming soup dumplings with a single gulp is considered uncouth. Instead, one should adopt a more sophisticated approach.

First, prepare vinegar and use a spoon to carefully consume the soup dumplings. Place the dumpling in a soup spoon, bite a small hole in it, and sip the flavorful hot soup.

Then, soak the punctured dumpling in vinegar, allowing it to absorb the tangy flavor. Using chopsticks, lift the dumpling, ensuring it absorbs the vinegar, cooling down the filling and adding a sour note to the hot meat.

Finally, enjoy the dumpling along with the vinegar for a delightful culinary experience.

👑Shanghai’s Top 25 Dumplings Restaurants

1. Wu You Xian

Despite its limited space, the shop is bustling with customers and is quite popular. It is closed every Thursday.

Their crab roe & pork soup dumplings are a must-try, especially during crab season. The bright orange crab roe almost oozes out of the light and fluffy dumpling skin. Before eating, you scoop a spoonful of special crab vinegar into the small hole on top of the dumpling, then take a small bite from the side to taste the delicious soup. Finally, enjoy the entire dumpling, savoring the flavorful filling.

Unlike commercially processed crab meat, their crab meat is hand-peeled into chunks, giving it a rich and firm texture that pairs perfectly with the special crab vinegar, masking any fishy taste.

Wu You Xian only accepts cash, a traditional ordering method that has nearly disappeared in the city center.

🔴Chinese: 屋有鲜
📍Address: 2073 Shendu Hwy, Minhang District

2. Lailai Xiao Long

The shop is not large and can easily be missed if you’re not careful, but it’s said to be the pinnacle of Shanghai-style crab roe soup dumplings.

The crab roe & pork dumplings are the shop’s specialty, made fresh to order and steamed right away. When served, they arrive steaming hot. The steamed dumpling skins are translucent, with hints of golden crab roe visible inside. Each dumpling is large and heavy, filled with savory broth. Taking a small bite, the aroma of crab roe fills the air, devoid of any fishiness.

Their pork with matsutake dumplings have a firm and rich meat filling. While not as stunning as the crab roe ones, they are still delicious. The prominent flavor of the matsutake mushrooms tends to overpower the pork’s aroma. The broth in these dumplings maintains its high quality, clear and flavorful.

🔴Chinese: 莱莱小笼
📍Address: 506 Tianjin Rd, Huangpu District

3. Jia Jia Tang Bao

Jia Jia Tang Bao is truly the “daily” steamed bun shop for Shanghai’s 80s generation, from childhood to adulthood. Although Jia Jia Tang Bao now has many branches, I personally think that the original store on Liyuan Road still retains the old flavors and nostalgia.

Compared to its initial storefront, today’s Jia Jia Tang Bao has undergone several upgrades in brand image and store environment, offering diners a better dining experience. The soup dumplings here are made to order and steamed fresh, requiring about ten minutes of waiting time.

The “Family Dumplings” come in three flavors: original pork, mushroom, and crab roe & pork, totaling 12 pieces. The appearance of the dumplings is not very exquisite, but when you pick them up, you can see the broth flowing through the thin skin. The taste is still top-notch.

The original pork dumplings are the most classic. When you gently bite into the skin, a clear soup gushes out, neither too sweet nor too greasy.

The pork with mushroom dumplings are also excellent. The evenly distributed mushroom bits in the pork filling, along with the faint aroma of mushrooms in the broth, complement the sweetness of the meat very well.

🔴Chinese: 佳乐汤包
📍Address: 62 Liyuan Road, Huangpu District

4. Wanshouzhai

The shop isn’t large, and the environment is rather plain, but it’s always crowded. Their original pork soup dumplings and three delicacies wontons have been selected as iconic dishes in Shanghai.

The original pork soup dumplings are the top signature dish here. While the appearance is decent, it’s the taste that truly shines. The skin is not excessively thin, slightly translucent, with a good elasticity that avoids being too sticky or overly thick, giving a slight chewy sensation. The filling and broth are incredibly fresh, with a subtle sweetness.

They are just the right size, typically one bite each. But be careful, as the soup inside is piping hot!

🔴Chinese: 万寿斋
📍Address: 123 Shanyin Rd, Luxun Park, Hongkou District

5. Nanxiang Mantou Dian

Nanxiang Mantou Dian, a time-honored shop that has weathered 118 years of storms, sits bustling by the Jiuqu Bridge in Yu Garden, Shanghai—a pioneer in the realm of Shanghai’s iconic soup dumplings.

The ambiance here speaks for itself: elegant, grand, and steeped in antiquity. Business thrives, but the queues can be dauntingly long.

Their traditional original pork dumplings are the standout, boasting fresh fillings, thin skins, and ample juiciness.

Compared to other soup dumplings, Nanxiang Mantou Dian’s soup dumplings are larger, falling between the typical Shanghai-style size and the smaller Wuxi-style soup dumplings. The larger size offers a more satisfying experience, with solidly packed fillings.

Their crab roe & pork dumplings are also exceptional, featuring tender meat, thin skins, and a generous filling of crab roe. They are filled with plenty of crab roe, making them a delightful treat, and the broth is delicious when sucked out with a straw.

🔴Chinese: 南翔馒头店
📍Address: 87 Yuyuan Old Street, Huangpu District

6. Shan Shan Xiao Long

Shan Shan Xiao Long, which opened in the 1980s, has since expanded to several branches across Shanghai.

They offer two types of soup dumplings: the delicate and light Nanxiang-style and the savory-sweet Wuxi-style.

Their signature dish is the Nanxiang-style soup dumplings, known for their compact filling, non-greasy broth, and fresh, sweet flavor. Priced at CNY 8 for a basket of 6, they offer great value.

The standout, however, is the Wuxi-style soup dumplings. Slightly larger than the Nanxiang-style, with slightly thicker skins, each basket contains four dumplings. The broth is sweeter and more flavorful than the Nanxiang-style, with a perfect balance of soy sauce and sugar. The taste falls between Shanghai-style and the authentic Wuxi-style.

The Wuxi-style soup dumplings offer a richer flavor profile compared to the Nanxiang-style, catering to different preferences.

🔴Chinese: 珊珊小笼
📍Address: 749 Kangding Rd, Jing’An District

7. Xi Sheng Yuan

Xi Sheng Yuan is a legitimate Wuxi-style soup dumpling shop that originated from Wuxi, and they only sell two things: soup dumplings and wontons.

The shop environment is clean and tidy, especially with the kitchen visible through the glass, everything is neatly organized, making it very comfortable to dine in.

The freshly steamed soup dumplings come in a basket of eight – not a large quantity, but they are typical of Wuxi-style, with surprisingly large size. You can see the amber-colored broth through the thin skin, and there is a generous amount of broth. Due to their size, they feel exceptionally heavy when picked up with chopsticks.

When you open them with chopsticks, you’ll find that the skin is not as thin as expected, slightly thicker, giving it a good texture. The filling is naturally sweet, and the sweet broth can fill an entire palm-sized plate.

The meat filling is compact and fine, and it’s quite chunky. I recommend dipping the meat filling in vinegar before eating to balance out the sweetness, if you’re not used to such sweet seasoning.

🔴Chinese: 熙盛源
📍Address: 389 Fengzhuang Rd, Jiading District

8. Fuchun Xiaolong

Fuchun Xiaolong, representing Shanghai’s Wuxi-style soup dumplings, has its flagship store on Yuyuan Road, which has always been highly praised. Many domestic and international tourists visiting Shanghai specifically request to eat at Fuchun Xiaolong.

Despite its unremarkable appearance, the skin of the original pork soup dumplings is well-crafted, with a semi-transparent and soft texture. When bitten into, there’s plenty of broth, slightly sweet and mildly greasy, yet the meat filling is firm and full of flavor.

It’s worth mentioning Fuchun’s vinegar, which is sour and fragrant, but not as sharp as aged vinegar, making it a perfect match for the soup dumplings.

However, with the increasing number of Fuchun Xiaolong branches, the consistency of the offerings at each branch has become less reliable.

🔴Chinese: 富春小笼
📍Address: 650 Yuyuan Rd, Jing’An District

9. Lin Long Fang

Lin Long Fang has a small storefront, but it’s always bustling with customers, most of whom seem to be neighbors from the surrounding area, warmly greeting the aunties inside.

Lin Long Fang specializes in the light style of Nanxiang soup dumplings, all made to order and steamed on the spot, so you have to wait about ten minutes for your order.

Their Family Dumplings offers great value, including the best-selling items from the menu. The soup is is light but refreshing, never too greasy even after several dumplings. The pork filling is traditional, savory with a hint of saltiness, and the meat is firm and flavorful.

Their crab roe & pork dumplings is also worth trying, with a richer soup compared to the pork. The crab roe is plentiful and flavorful, almost equal in quantity to the pork, which is quite generous. The most memorable aspect after eating is the freshness and richness without being greasy.

If you prefer sweeter vinegar, you can add an extra CNY 1 for a serving of the restaurant’s secret ginger vinegar, which pairs nicely with the soup dumplings.

🔴Chinese: 麟笼坊
📍Address: 10 Jian Guo E Rd, Huangpu District

10. He Zheng Lou

He Zheng Lou is also one of the most authentic Wuxi-style soup dumpling places in all of Shanghai.

The signature Wuxi-style soup dumplings are indeed quite good, with a large size and rich, slightly sweet broth that doesn’t feel too greasy. The meat filling is larger than that of some other soup dumpling shops, and the meat is very compact, and most importantly, no ginger is added.

Of course, they also sell Shanghai-style soup dumplings here. Although the meat filling doesn’t have soy sauce, it does have sesame oil, which gives it an average taste.

🔴Chinese: 禾正楼
📍Address: 496 Zhonghua Xin Rd, Zhabei District

11. Ding Fu Ji

In Shanghai, there’s another well-known Wuxi-style soup dumpling place! It is said that this place perfectly replicates the Ding Fu Ji from Wuxi down to every detail.

The Wuxi-style soup dumplings are the star attraction here, with four plump dumplings arranged on a blue-and-white porcelain plate, emitting a fragrant aroma from the delicate skin and hint of meat inside. The broth is plentiful, and when you take a bite, the meat juices gush out!

However, the dumpling skin is not particularly thin, leaning towards medium thickness, and while the meat filling is compact, it lacks a bit in freshness, with an excess of sweetness. Compared to another Wuxi-style soup dumpling place in Shanghai, Xi Sheng Yuan, it falls short by a few notches!

The crab roe and pork dumplings demand patience as they require approximately ten minutes. The broth is rich with crab roe, albeit a bit oily. Furthermore, the meat filling lacks sufficient firmness.

🔴Chinese: 鼎福记
📍Address: 558 Ningbo Rd, Huangpu District

12. Youyicun

Youyicun and Wanshouzhai, two restaurants from the same school, are equally crowded during meal times. The taste is okay, but compared to Wanshouzhai, it’s a bit lacking.

The pork soup dumplings are served piled up on a plate, not in a steamer. There are about 14 dumplings per serving. The top of the dumplings is twisted together, resulting in a thick and slightly hard texture, with a raw flour taste.

The soup in the dumplings is not plentiful and appears a bit shriveled, but the freshness of the meat filling is decent, full and firm, comparable to Wanshouzhai. The seasoning is traditional Shanghai style, slightly sweet.

The vinegar provided by the restaurant is overly sweet, masking the fresh sweetness of the dumplings. However, the chili sauce is just right in spiciness, giving the dumplings a new and exciting flavor reminiscent of spicy wontons, which is quite refreshing.

🔴Chinese: 又一村
📍Address: 591 Siping Rd, Hongkou District

13. Man Long Chun

You can’t imagine how beautiful this old Shanghai soup dumpling restaurant looks. The retro terrazzo staircase, the decoration style combining Art Deco with old Shanghai and Hong Kong restaurant vibes—it’s all so charming. The restaurant is divided into two floors, with the lower floor for making dim sum and the upper floor for dining.

Once you’ve ordered, a waiter will come to pour the vinegar. The vinegar selection at Man Long Chun is quite special, with two options. One is a must-have vinegar for crab dishes, and the other is rose rice vinegar. The flavor of the rose vinegar is amazing, with a charming sweetness that pairs beautifully with seafood.

The chicken and pork soup dumplings have a delicate appearance, but they are a bit small in size. When you bite into them, the skin is evenly chewy. However, the filling inside the dumplings is slightly loose, but the seasoning is good, with a moderate saltiness. When paired with vinegar, it’s just right. The highlight is the soup, which is very flavorful. It said that it is made by simmering pig skin, old hen, and ham the day before, without adding chicken essence or MSG.

Comparatively, the pork with shrimp roe and shrimp dumplings have a more delicious taste. The soup has a rich and fresh flavor, reminiscent of fish soup. The combination of shrimp roe, shrimp, and pork is well-balanced. The shrimp tastes fresh, without the taste of frozen shrimp. The shrimp roe is evenly distributed on the surface of the shrimp and pork, adding a fresh taste to the dumplings.

🔴Chinese: 满陇春
📍Address: 73 Yongkang Rd, Xuhui District

14. Paradise Dynasty

Paradise Dynasty is quite unique—it hails from Singapore. Their signature eight-flavor soup dumplings are quite intriguing, featuring original, luffa gourd, foie gras, black truffle, cheese, crab roe, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorn flavors, each offering its own unique taste.

The presentation is impeccable, with the eight-colored soup dumplings neatly arranged together, resembling delicate macarons. The folds of the dumplings are uniform, and the skin looks light, thin, and even.

The waiter will provide a color card and suggest tasting them in the order on the card, without dipping them in vinegar, to savor the original flavors. The sequence makes sense, from plain to spicy, from light to rich.

The original pork flavor is somewhat ordinary, lacking in seasoning balance. However, the clear and sweet soup broth, along with the firm texture of the meat, adds some points.

Apart from the original pork, the black truffle and foie gras flavors are the most impressive.

Biting into the black truffle soup dumpling releases a special aroma, and the generous amount of black truffle is evident.

The foie gras flavor is also rich and flavorful, with a large, luscious piece of foie gras providing a satisfying richness.

🔴Chinese: 乐忻皇朝
📍Address: 1601 Nanjing W Rd, Jing’An District

15. Din Tai Fung

The controversy surrounding Din Tai Fung has never ceased. Its fans regard it as the epitome of soup dumplings, but it doesn’t quite match the taste preferences of Shanghai locals.

Shanghainese are accustomed to soup dumplings with firm fillings, whether sweet or savory, while Din Tai Fung’s fillings are soft and easily fall apart. While some diners may not notice this difference, it does affect the overall eating experience.

In terms of flavor, Din Tai Fung’s style differs from traditional Shanghai soup dumplings. Their filling includes green onions and ginger, with a mild seasoning. The texture of the filling is somewhat like cotton, lacking the unadulterated meaty flavor of traditional soup dumplings.

The ambiance and service at Din Tai Fung are excellent, but with the addition of a service charge, everything feels expected rather than exceptional.

🔴Chinese: 鼎泰丰
📍Address: 1376 Nanjing Rd (W), Jing’An District

16. Jining Tangbao

People who have been to Nanjing should be familiar with Jining Tangbao, a century-old brand known for its must-try specialty soup dumplings. The menu at the restaurant is simple, focusing on soup dumplings and other Nanjing-style snacks and noodles.

The main difference between Nanjing soup dumplings and those from Wuxi and Shanghai lies in their appearance. Traditional Nanjing dumplings are sealed with the closure facing downwards, which some say is to prevent the soup from leaking out, while others say it is to ensure that the soup does not evaporate upwards.

The filling of Nanjing dumplings is meticulously prepared, using pork shoulder meat mixed with chicken broth as the authentic Nanjing chicken soup dumplings.

While some locals may claim that their dumplings are sweeter than those from Wuxi, after trying them, many still find the taste closer to that of Nanxiang dumplings, belonging to the savory-sweet category with a slight sweetness but very natural.

🔴Chinese: 鸡鸣汤包
📍Address: 259-1 Dongan Rd, Xuhui District

17. Dalong Tangbao

This is a restaurant specializing in Yangzhou-style buns.

The original pork soup dumplings are freshly steamed, and when they are not too hot, you can take a bite and enjoy the abundant soup bursting in your mouth.

They are delicious and flavorful, not too sweet, with plenty of juice and tight meat. The skin is quite firm, slightly thick, and won’t leak, but the top sealing part can be a bit too thick to eat.

🔴Chinese: 大龙汤包
📍Address: 865 Sichuan N Rd, Hongkou District

18. A’Fu Restaurant

This restaurant in Hongkou District has been open for over 20 years, offering a variety of authentic Shanghai dim sum and snacks.

Their pork soup dumplings, deep-fried pork chops, and wontons are favorites among the locals, providing a rare taste of traditional Shanghai flavors.

The pork soup dumplings are a must-try at almost every table, and they are very affordable! The dumpling skin is slightly thick, possibly using semi-fermented dough, and may not look as exquisite, with fewer pleats. However, they are delicious with a fresh and flavorful filling, ample soup, and a slight sweetness, making them very appealing to Shanghai residents.

The shrimp dumplings are also a great value at CNY 12 per basket! The skin is thin enough to see through, and the shrimp filling is very chewy and flavorful, with plenty of soup.

🔴Chinese: 阿福饭店
📍Address: 569 Tangshan Rd, Hongkou District

19. Fude Xiaolong

This small shop in Hongkou District may not look impressive at first glance.

Ordering their signature pork soup dumplings, they arrive steaming hot but not scalding, at the perfect temperature to enjoy. The skin is thin, and the filling is generous.

Inside the meat, there is gelatin made from real pork skin. When the gelatin melts into the soup, the skin and meat blend together, giving it a crispy texture. The overall mouthfeel is very smooth, with a delightful chewiness.

The vinegar for dipping is also fragrant, and a bit of chili flakes balances out any greasiness that might come from eating too many soup dumplings.

🔴Chinese: 福德小笼
📍Address: 862 Dongyuhang Rd, Hongkou District

20. Yongxing Tangbao Guan

This is a Suzhou-style soup dumpling, known for its thin skin, plentiful soup, and a flavor profile that is savory with a hint of sweetness, likely due to the addition of soy sauce to the filling.

Their soup dumplings with salted egg yolk and pork have a special texture from the salted egg yolk, which is quite commendable.

However, it seems that this restaurant’s soup dumplings are not made-to-order and steamed on-demand. While this may result in quicker service, the texture and taste are likely not as good as those steamed fresh.

🔴Chinese: 永兴汤包馆
📍Address: 148 Lanxi Rd, Putuo District

21. Shang Wei Guan

Shang Wei Guan, a fixture in Shanghai for three decades, has evolved from a cozy corner with just a few tables to a spacious establishment spanning over 100 square meters, having undergone recent renovations to enhance its ambiance. Additionally, there are several branch locations.

Drawing a consistent crowd, primarily comprising nearby residents, the main attraction remains the soup dumplings, often accompanied by a side of small wontons.

Freshness is paramount, with the soup dumplings made to order and steamed on-site. Despite their modest size, they pack a flavorful punch, brimming with savory broth and a well-packed filling. Balanced in flavor, with subtle hints of ginger, they pair seamlessly with the provided vinegar, reminiscent of the authentic Nanxiang soup dumplings experience.

The small wontons are served in a soup with added spring onions and shredded egg crepes. The wonton skin is thin and silky, with a hint of pork aroma.

🔴Chinese: 上味馆
📍Address: 598 Xingshan Rd, Putuo District

22. Su Xiao Liu

Su Xiao Liu may not have been established for a long time, but it has already expanded into multiple chain stores. With an open kitchen layout, customers can witness the cooking process firsthand. The ambiance of the entire establishment exudes a blend of fashion and nostalgia, evident in the lighting and the style of the furniture.

Even the tableware is custom-made, including the soy sauce and vinegar bottles, showcasing unique designs.

Their signature pork dumplings, of moderate size, are neatly arranged in the steamer, with six per serving. Biting into one reveals a clear meat broth flowing out. While the broth may not be abundant, the meat is firm and succulent.

Their wild mushroom and vegetable dumplings are quite rare. With even skin thickness and vibrant green filling, they are visually appealing and appetizing. It seems they’ve been stir-fried with oil alongside shiitake mushrooms, with the latter providing a delightful chewy texture, serving as a perfect substitute for pork.

🔴Chinese: 苏小柳
📍Address: 819 Nanjing E Rd, Huangpu District

23. Su Zhe Hui

This restaurant is actually a relatively high-end establishment specializing in local Shanghainese and Jiangsu-Zhejiang cuisine. Many local Shanghainese or Jiangsu-Zhejiang cuisine restaurants include xiaolongbao on their dim sum menus, so it’s worth a try.

The ambiance speaks for itself – tranquil and elegant, reminiscent of a classic Western-style mansion.

Their Suzhou-Zhejiang soup dumplings are their signature dish, priced at CNY 28 per basket, which is not too expensive. The skins are thin yet resilient, crystal clear. The meat filling is fresh and firm, but the seasoning is average, slightly on the bland side.

You might also want to try their crab roe and pork dumplings. When picked up with a spoon, they hold together well without breaking, and each bite releases a burst of soup, filled with aroma. After finishing the soup, dipping them in vinegar adds another layer of delightful flavor. However, the downside is that the crab roe may not be freshly prepared, resulting in a slightly stronger fishy taste.

🔴Chinese: 苏浙汇
📍Address: 288 Nanjing Rd (W), People’s Square, Huangpu District

24. Fahua Tangbao

Fahua Tangbao, a typical Nanjing-style soup dumpling restaurant, has a small dining area with only 8 tables.

The restaurant offers five flavors of soup dumplings: pork, shepherd’s purse, crab roe & pork, curry, and secret recipe. A common characteristic of these soup dumplings is their clear, non-greasy broth, which has a natural salty and savory taste.

The pork soup dumplings feature fresh meat with ample soup bursting into your mouth with each bite, leaving a lingering flavor.

The shepherd’s purse soup dumplings are filled with the sweet freshness of shepherd’s purse. Although they have slightly less broth compared to the pork soup dumplings, they offer a unique and refreshing taste.

🔴Chinese: 法华汤包
📍Address: 504 Fahuazhen Rd, Changning District

25. Lv Bo Lang

The Lv Bo Lang is not only famous in Shanghai but also renowned both domestically and internationally. It has hosted state-level dignitaries from around the world, demonstrating its high reputation.

It is known for its four main series of dishes: Shanghai cuisine, Shanghai dim sum, shark fin, and crab feast. Its soup dumplings are also highly praised.

The signature pork soup dumplings are priced at CNY 20 per basket, with 7 dumplings per basket. Upon biting into one, there is little to almost no soup inside. The flavor of ginger is strong, and the pork filling is chewy. The dumpling skins might have been stored for too long, making them somewhat tough. The skins are not very thin, and they can be a bit dry.

Perhaps the expectations were set too high, resulting in a slight disappointment in the taste.

However, the soup dumplings are still delicious. Located in a tourist area and with an international positioning, the flavor of the soup dumplings deviates from the local taste, leaning more towards a mainstream flavor.

Dining at the Lv Bo Lang is divided into dining in and takeout. If you only order the soup dumplings, you cannot dine in the restaurant; you can only take them out.

🔴Chinese: 绿波廊
📍Address: 115 Yuyuan Rd, Huangpu District

🌸Final Thoughts: Shanghai Soup Dumplings

If I must rank them.

Personally, I believe that Lailai Xiaolong, Shanshan Xiaolong, Jiajia Tangbao, and Wuyouxian are the best. Fuchun Xiaolong and Nanxiang Mantou Dian are slightly below. I’m not a fan of the sweeter flavors, like those found at Youyicun.

At this point, some readers may already disagree. Everyone has different preferences, so opinions on soup dumplings vary. Some may think that what I consider the best is actually the worst, while what I consider least appealing is their favorite.

There has never been a shortage of debates about food. For example, regarding soup dumplings, some people prefer to drink the soup first before eating the dumpling, while others are captivated by the sensation of the soup bursting in their mouth with the first bite.

However, the value of food lies in its consumption by individuals, so there’s no need to rank them.

For foodies, the best one is the one that suits their taste the most.

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap