Street Food: The best xiaolongbao in the world

In our Streed Food series, we look at the delights of local snacks and eateries. These places have a charm of their own. They can’t be clean, they shouldn’t have air-conditioning, but should instead be rustic, real and even a bit rural.

Not exactly street food, but we include these kind of lovably dirty ‘hole in the wall’ or tiny snack places in our Street Food section.

This Xiaolongbao place is right next to this fried dumpling place.

They were declared the best in Shanghai.

These xiaolongbao (steamed dumplings) are, instead, the best in the entire world.

Some people say that they like to go to Din Tai Fung, the chain restaurant that can be found in any random shopping mall.

Rather, if you ask any real, local Shanghainese, then they will tell you that you need to go to such ‘real’ local, lovably dirty places to get the best xiaolongbao. The kinds of people who prefer the shopping mall, re-packaged, re-furbished and factory output dumplings may be the kinds of people more concerned with how they look when they are there, rather than what they are eating.

I first tried these xiaolongbao in Hongkou a couple of years ago, and having lived in Shanghai for over a decade, have never, ever, found anything as good as these.

The rule is the same as any such local landmark – don’t bother going at 12 to 1, or 5 to 6.

I have literally seen two fights in this place over a seat there, such is the popularity.

The dumpling casing is thin.

The juice and meat inside is slightly sweet and fatty, with a bouncy meat bite. The secret ingredient lifts the dumpling above any other in the city.

Paired with the classic vinegar, the taste is just supreme.

For map and photos, see the Xiaolongbao Dianping page.





Categories: Food


Foreigner in Shanghai


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2 Comments on “Street Food: The best xiaolongbao in the world”

  1. October 16, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Do you know the difference between Hangzhou and Shanghai 小笼包? Is it more to say, look, Hangzhou has a famous food too? I’ve tried the ones in Wuxi, and they taste a bit sweeter.

    • October 16, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      I know not of such things… being here means I will only ever get one-sided tales of how Shanghai has the ‘real’ XLB!

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