China and dumplings (jiaozi) are intrinsically entwined, so it should come as no surprise that Shanghai has a plethora of great jiaozi spots. Each province prides itself on a unique twist to the classic dumpling, but there are some common factors that can make or break this mainstay. Firm (but not chewy!) skin, plenty of filling, and just the right amount of juice should ideally come together into one joyful mouthful of dumplings. Read on for some of the best dumpling places in Shanghai. But as we all know, everyone has their personal favorite jiaozi joint – so feel free to post your local neighborhood favorite in the comments section below!
1) Dongbei Four Seasons Dumpling KingView In Map
Let's just start with the best, shall we? That would be Dongbei Four Seasons Dumpling King. While it sounds like they couldn't decide on just one name for their restaurant, they certainly didn't have trouble deciding how to make their dumplings: delicious. Their jiaozi list is seemingly endless and as far as I can tell, you can't go wrong with any of them. Their "specialty" jiaozi come steamed in a wicker basket, while the regular ones are simply boiled and loaded into a heaping bowl. Their pork and vegetable ones are personal favorites, but if you're feeling adventurous I would recommend trying their donkey dumplings!
Add: 1791 Huaihai Xi Lu, near Wanping Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6433 0349
Opening hours: Daily; 11:00-15:00, 5:00-23:00
2) Yang's Fried DumplingsView In Map
While Four Seasons is the king of boiled and steamed dumplings, Yang's Fried Dumplings remains the benchmark for shengjian bao (pan fried pork dumplings). Slurping the soup out of these bready, sesame seed coated puffs is a delicate process (be careful, it's piping hot – no seriously, it'll burn your tongue off if you're not careful) but oh so worth it. The pork and chive mixture inside is perfectly seasoned, while the aforementioned broth is heavenly. But for some reason, Yang's seems to have a problem with consistency, so make sure you go to the People's Square location. The long lines attest to its superior status and stand in marked contrast to the largely empty locations on places like Changning Lu or Kangding Lu.
Add: 720 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Guizhou Lu, Shanghai
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-24:00
3) Din Tai FangView In Map
I'll admit that I was skeptical of Din Tai Fang at first, only because I knew they were a Taiwanese chain and that it was a friend of mine's favorite restaurant – in California. But I'm so glad I gave it a chance because their crab xiaolongbao are hands down the yummiest I've ever had. Granted, they're going to cost you a lot more than any street stall (or any of the other places on this list, for that matter) but when it's xiaolongbao that you're craving, it's Din Tai Fang you should visit. And some people may argue that xiaolongbao (which are technically the local Shanghai specialty soup dumplings) don't fall under the category of traditional "dumplings," I say: Shut up and eat a crab xiaolongbao.
Add: Shanghai Center, 1/F, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu, Shanghai
地址：上海市南京西路1376号 上海商城1楼, 近西康路
Tel: 021 6289 9182
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00
4) Jia Jia TangbaoView In Map
The other xiaolongbao spot that made the list is Jia Jia Tangbao, which is pretty much the complete opposite of Din Tai Fang – in ambiance, that is. This is your typical hole in the wall "local" place that consistently serves the perfect xiaolongbao (and has the long lines to prove it). Delicately thin skin, and bursting with (hot) soup and meaty filling, the wait is worth it considering they make everything fresh to order. Just keep in mind that it's best to plan on coming here early because when they run out, they run out.
Address: 90 Huanghe Lu, near Beijing Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6327-6878
Opening hours: Daily, 6:30 – sold out (usually early evening)
5) Lao ShaanView In Map
This Shaanxi outpost serves up their hometown specialty of pork dumplings served in a spicy and sour soup. It's a great pick me up, especially in the winter, when the spiciness will warm you up and the sourness of it all is just the kick you need to get out of your apartment on these frigid days. Even jiaozi enthusiasts sometimes overlook this Shaanxi style cooking, which is a shame but, luckily, something that is fixable.
15 Yunnan Nan Lu, near Renmin Lu, Shanghai
地址：上海市云南南路15号, 近人民路 老陕饺子馆
Tel: 021 6373 0274
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
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Keywords: Shanghai dumplings Best dumplings in Shanghai Shanghai jiaozi
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