10 January 2019

Shanghai's Must-Do Food Tour


Being a total foodie and having a 48-hour layover in Shanghai, I was so excited to try authentic Chinese food for the first time.

I absolutely love doing food tours in each new country I visit, it ensures you try some of the very best, you get to learn all about it and it sets you up for the rest of your time there.

I did some research and found UnTour Food Tours, the number one original and top-rated food tour in not only Shanghai but the whole of China.

They have several great-sounding tours to choose from and I opted for the Eat Like A Local: Shanghai Night Eats Tour, which was the perfect introduction to Chinese cuisine and culture.


A Culinary Journey

Stop #1

Our group's meeting point was outside Golden Phoenix which was to be our first seated stop. Our lovely guide for the evening, Charlotte, introduced herself and told us what to expect from our upcoming tour.

Before heading inside the restaurant we walked a few doors down for a quick standup tasting at Fresh Bread Roujiamo, where we got to try a stewed pork sandwich. It was deep-fried so it had a delicious crunch and it was so moreish. We were off to a great start!


Back at the meeting-point restaurant, we had a large round table reserved for us. It was piled full of traditional Chinese dishes and drinks for us that we could help ourselves to off the rotating table.

The mixed platters included roasted pork, roasted duck, fried rice noodles with beef, as well as pineapple buns and mango pudding for dessert. Everything was so flavoursome and absolutely delicious. I loved the experience of sharing the plates and getting to try so many different dishes at once.


We also had Chinese beer and fermented rice wine if we wished, which made for quite the merry feast. We all went around the table and introduced ourselves, which was nice to get the conversation flowing as there were quite a few solo travellers among us.

A great time was had enjoying each of the dishes and making new acquaintances from around the world, before heading off to the next stop.



Stop #2

Only a few streets away, our next foodie stop was at Ningbo Restaurant, which was a classic mom and pop owned shop. We were invited upstairs where we had the whole section to ourselves, and again we were presented with some amazing and interesting platters.

We got to try fried yellow croaker fish with seaweed, fried bamboo, stir-fried rice cakes, mashed fava beans and even jellyfish!


There were certainly some unique and new flavours we got to try which is exactly why I love doing these food tours. We also had a delicious beer and some fun shots of a strong Chinese spirit. All throughout the tour, we were also supplied with unlimited bottled water which was perfect.



Stop #3

When we were all ready to go we were off again for a short walk to Shy Pepper Restaurant. Charlotte told us they specialised in rabbit's head which is a Chinese delicacy, which everyone was excited to try except me (I like rabbits). But not to worry as there were many other amazing dishes to try as well.


I just observed the process of Charlotte demonstrating how to crack open the head and, uh, remove things. It's all a part of the experience! Other dishes we got to sample were cowpea noodles, spicy potato and the most delicious chilli wontons, which were my favourite of the whole night.



Stop #4

Off on another pleasant stroll, we stopped by a local bakery to pick up something sweet for later to finish the evening off. Our final seated stop was at Fuchun Xiao Long which was a very popular restaurant.

At our reserved table, we got to enjoy more cold beers along with speciality Shanghainese food. We tried Celtuce which tasted a bit like celery but was really yum.


We also had a Chinese version of schnitzel, rice ball soup and arguably Shanghai’s most famous dish, xiˇaolóngbāo (小笼包) or soup dumplings, which are bite-sized steamed dumplings, usually stuffed with minced pork and soup.
We tried a mixture of pork and also special crab ones which were amazing and bursting with juicy goodness.



I was officially full to the brim but I managed to try the sweet butterfly biscuits purchased earlier which were nice and flaky. It was perfect to finish up with and everyone was highly satisfied after a fantastic evening of trying so many highlights of authentic Chinese cuisine.


We were also each given a handy booklet with tips and recommendations on the best places to eat for the rest of our time in Shanghai. Charlotte also ensured each person knew how to get back to their accommodation which was a very thoughtful touch.


The Details

Tour: Shanghai Night Eats Tour

Reviews: 5/5 stars from 1,907 reviews on Trip Advisor

Price: Adults: US$80, Kids (Ages 6-12): US$60

Times: Every night at 6:00 pm or 6:45 pm


Final Thoughts

This tour was a top highlight of my time in Shanghai, I really enjoyed trying such a variety of dishes from popular local spots. The food was all high quality, fresh and delicious, I have no doubt we were taken to try some of the very best the city has to offer.

Our guide Charlotte was such a star, she was so friendly and informative, we all learnt a lot about the history of each dish and where it came from. She had a great sense of humour which made the tour even more fun, and I was entirely impressed that she could speak fluent Mandarin.

From start to finish, the tour was well thought out and paced, we spent a decent amount of time at each stop so we could enjoy the food to our heart's content.

I loved being taken into authentic local shops off the beaten path, trying new specialised regional cuisine in each place.

Whether it's your first time to Shanghai or your tenth, this tour is perfect for anyone with an interest in experiencing authentic Chinese cuisine and getting an insight into the local culture. The tours are also family and vegetarian-friendly.

I highly recommend this tour and any of their others if you are coming to Shanghai yourself, it was a fantastic culinary journey and a cultural one as well.


Pin it! :)

Pro Tip: If you plan on doing one of the UnTour Food Tours (which you totally should), have a very light lunch and wear stretchy pants!

Happy Travels,
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3 comments

  1. Lovely images of dishes thanks for sharing us Definitely Shanghai is an amazing place for food.

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