"Street dumplings and other adventures" Shanghai Shi Things to Do Tip by RockyDaniels

Shanghai Shi Things to Do: 95 reviews and 155 photos

As with other travels, some of the best food I had was from street vendors. In Shanghai, large dumplings can be found wherever you go. Dumpling have different fillings with most versions costing 1 RMB (though some run to 3). For now, that means they're all less than $0.50.

Signage for the dumplings is in Chinese (even the Yuan Bazaar's famous dumpling houses) so you'll have to take your chances. I found the best option was to point to one of the basket stacks and end up with whatever you end up with. At 1 RMB, throwing away a bad guess would have been no loss but I was lucky enough that every dumpling I tried was a winner.

I also tried getting the vendors to make the choice for me by shrugging my shoulders and showing a handful of RMB coins. That worked okay in that the dumplings were great but the downside is that every vendor seemed to default to the same dumpling filling. I'm not sure what it was (some kind of ground/chopped meat in a brown sauce), it was good but they were all the same.

It might be useful to know what happens when you bite into one of these dumplings. Of course, that depends on the filling but mostly you want to be aware that it can be like biting into a pocket of soupy/brothy filling. If not done with some precautions, you're going to have a heck of a mess on your hands. For your protection, the vendor gives you the dumpling picked up using a thin plastic bag or glove. The trick is to bite off the end and suck out the juices while holding the dumpling so that the bag/glove can catch whatever gets away from you. Once the juices are disposed of, you'll know if you have a winner and dispose of it accordingly.

Also from street vendors, you can buy baked breads of all sizes, shapes and finishes. I tried a few of these and found that I ended up with slightly sweet but very tasty breads similar to anything I'd find at a good bakery back home.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 25, 2010
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