Got Limited Time? Here’s What To Eat In One Day In Shanghai

shanghai layover what to do

Unsplash/Edward He

Flights to Asia from North America often require a layover. And even more often, you’re in for a long layover. But if you see a layover in Shanghai, China on your itinerary, it’s super easy to leave the airport and go out to indulge in some of the best dishes in the city. Because you know you want some delectable eats before you’re back to airplane food on your next flight.

We suggest sticking to three neighboring areas of the city: the Bund, Nanjing Road and People’s Square. Here are just a few samples of the best eats there, but we highly recommend tasting anything that calls to you as you wander, especially along Huanghe Road Food Street.


shanghai layover what to do

Flickr CC/kanegan

You can’t go to Shanghai and not eat dumplings. In fact, some people would say you should go to Shanghai only to eat dumplings. Now, there are several types to choose from. For steaming hot soup dumplings, go to Jiājiā Soup Dumplings. For a fried version of the same thing, Yang’s Fry-Dumpling is your spot. If you want straight-up steamed dumplings, go to Xiǎo Jīn Líng.

Regional Specialties

shanghai layover what to do

Flickr CC/yoppy

Wáng Bǎohé Jiǔjiā is all about crab, especially with the all-you-can-eat “hairy crab” dinner. Shànghǎi Grandmother is Shanghai home cooking and serves crispy duck and veggie options, such as braised aubergines in soya sauce. For Sichuan cuisine, popular chain restaurant Spicy Joint and Yúxìn Chuāncài are great options for chili-coated chicken or fish, but you’re likely in for a line at both.

South Memory’s Hunanese plates also draw lines (try the spicy bullfrog). For a unique blend of traditional and modern Yunnan food, you can expect complex flavors at Lost Heaven.

Getting Out Of The Airport

shanghai layover what to do

Flickr CC/Sharon Hahn Darlin

The best way to skip the hassle of a cab or subway journey into the city center is to take the high-speed Maglev train and transfer to the subway. From there, you can take the subway Line 2 to Nanjing Road station. Cheers to your day of dumplings and beyond!


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