Best Local Breakfasts and Eateries in Shanghai

Written by Vivian Updated Nov. 23, 2021

The best breakfast foods in Shanghai mostly can be found in tourist-free streets which are always crowded and busy in the morning.

The normal breakfasts in Shanghai are scallion pancakes (jian bing), rolled rice cakes, fried dough sticks, soybean milk, pan-fried buns (sheng jian bao), and soup wontons.

If you’re looking for cheap, authentic, and time-honored eateries in Shanghai, pick up one of the below to start your food adventures.

1. Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Buns (Shengjian Mantou) 生煎包

Shanghai is home to pan-fried buns, it comes with a crispy bottom and soft skin on the top, inside with savory and juicy pork and spring onion fillings. The meat melts into the soup inside and extra caution must be taken when biting into it, it’s hot! the best way to eat is to dip them in rice vinegar or chili oil, it can be accompanied by a small bowl of clear soup.

Where to Eat

A San Sheng Jian 阿三生煎馆(龙茗路店)

Da Hu Chun 大壶春

Yang Dumpling (M2 Hong Kong Metropolis) 小杨生煎(M2香港名都店)

Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Buns
Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Buns

2. Scallion Pancake 葱油饼

Many versions of scallion pancake can be found in the humble street stalls and restaurants in China. The authentic Shanghai Scallion Pancake fired with cooking oil in a high-temperature pan, equally layered but smaller, chewy, and crispy, with sprinkled Scallion throughout and toasted sesame seeds over it.

Where to Eat

A Da Cong You Bing 阿大葱油饼

Ti Lan Qiao Lao Tan Tou Cong You Bing Yi Hao 提篮桥老摊头葱油饼一号

Scallion Pancake
Scallion Pancake

3. Fried Dough Sticks, Soybean Milk 油条豆浆

The fried dough sticks and soybean milk are basic breakfasts in China, these kinds of strolls are in every corner of Shanghai. Shanghai people prefer salty soybean milk while other areas in China prefer sweet. Fried dough sticks have a slightly salty, crunchy exterior with a fluffy texture, it often goes with soybean milk.

Wang Ayi Dou Jiang You Tiao Dian 王阿姨豆浆油条店

Da Pai Xiao Dang大牌小档


Fried Dough Sticks and Soybean Milk
Fried Dough Sticks and Soybean Milk

4. Rolled Sticky Rice 粢饭团

There are two types of rolled sticky rice: fried sticky rice balls and another is like rolled sushi, with meat floss, squash, pickles, and fried dough sticks wrapped inside. Sticky rice is available in white and blood glutinous rice, they are different in color and taste.

Where to Eat

真圆栥饭团 Zhen Yuan Zi Fan Tuan

南阳路粢饭团 Nan Yang Lu Ci Fan Tuan

5. Shanghai Wonton 上海馄饨

Shanghai-style wonton using square-shaped wrappers stuffed with a mixture of port ground and Chinese bok choy (shepherd’s purse), cook in boiling water and added with shredded egg, shrimp, seaweed, squash, and parsley before serving, You can also add chili oil or sesame seed oil as you like.

The wonton soup is boiling, bring a spoon of soup close to your lip and feel the heat before putting it into your mouth, otherwise, it may burn your tongue.

Where to Eat

Nong Tang Xiao Hun Tun 弄堂小馄饨

Er Guang Hun Tun 耳光馄饨

Gunag Ming Cun Da Jiu Jia 光明邨大酒家

shanghai wonton
Shanghai Wonton

6. Plain Noodles (Yang Chun Mian) 阳春面

Yangchun Noodle is only served with noodles and soup. The fine and thin noodles are white as snow and the soup is clear like spring, hence the name. The noodle soup is made of three materials to keep the flavor: chicken bones, pig bones, and eel bones.

One important ingredient for traditional Shanghai Yang Chun noodles is lard, people like to add a pinch of sprinkled scallion and a bit of lard into the soup before serving it to the table.

Where to Eat

De Xing Mian Guan 德兴面馆

Wu Yue Ren Jia Mian Guan 吴越人家面馆

Yi Gui He Yang Chun Noodle Restaurant 逸桂禾阳春面馆

What Time is Breakfast Traditionally in Shanghai

The eaten time for breakfast in Shanghai is usually between 6:30 am and 10:00 am. Most local strollers and eateries open in the early morning at 6:30 am, best to go before 8 am which variety of breakfasts are all available.

Find the Most Authentic Breakfast Restaurants in Shanghai with China Travel

We know where to eat in the tourist-free area, just eat like a local. Discover the breakfast strolls hidden behind the bustling pedestrian streets and lanes by foot. These stalls are where you’ll find the classic, traditional foods of Shanghai, as well as the locals who cherish them.

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