We’ve been scouring China’s hidden food scene for decades, and leading guests to the city’s hidden gems for more since 2010. We take pride in our restaurant, food and city history knowledge – our guides go through a rigorous training process and are active in the F&B industry – from food writers to industry professionals, our bilingual guides get rave reviews. Find out more about us below.
When she’s not eating food, she’s writing about it. The former dining editor of China’s longest running English language magazine, Jamie spends her days finding the city’s best hidden gems and learning secret recipes in the kitchens of the best restaurants. From holes in the wall frying up the best shengjianbao to Michelin starred chefs serving foie gras feasts, she’s always hungry for more.
A freelance editor and writer by day and foodie at every other time, Kyle has eaten and cycled his way around the world. From Chile to Germany and then back to China because he just can’t resist bowls of steaming sesame noodles at any time of day. Kyle is also working on jogging every street in Shanghai. Since that may take a while, in the meantime he loves showing visitors how delicious Shanghai really can be.
Christopher grew up in Kentucky and arrived in China in 2001. He spent the next 7 years traveling to every corner of the country in various guises. During that time, he explored the outstanding diversity in Chinese culture, picked up Mandarin, and ate everything in sight. He’s had both feet firmly planted in Shanghai since 2008. Ask him about the local improv comedy scene.
Lauren landed in China in 2010 for a “ten-month adventure”. She blames the soup dumplings for keeping her here longer. Formerly an editor at That’s Shanghai magazine, Lauren has sampled, and written about all-things Shanghai. She loves ‘run’-touring, which has taken her racing down (and up) the steps of the Great Wall, exploring the wilds of Inner Mongolia, and shuffling through the back alleys of Shanghai.
Tracy came to China to study Mandarin, found a passion for education, and is staying for her day+ job to change the way the world learns (and teaches) languages. However, she definitely misses Portland food carts and Suzhou tangmian. She loves Sichuan peppercorn and cooking, but with excellent Chinese and international cuisine available in Shanghai, it’s hard to do it all!
Elsa fell in love with Chinese culture and food when she first started learning Mandarin in 2012. She loves traveling, trying new food and studying languages (she can speak four languages and still wants to learn more). Elsa eats almost everything, especially spicy dishes. She spends most of her time teaching English to college students and plans to pursue a master’s degree in teaching Chinese.
Sherry was raised to be a foodie. If her family wasn’t conversing about their current meal, then they were reminiscing about past dinners or salivating over the next. Her palate was fine-tuned through traveling the globe and spending slices of her life in NY, Taipei, Paris, Toronto, Byron Bay and Hong Kong. In between meals, she is a certified yoga teacher and enjoys sharing stories with fellow foodies and yogis alike.
Back in Shanghai after spending 10 years mostly in Hawaii, Li’s hometown is located in Guiyang and he grew up near Macau. Growing up he loved food, especially dumplings, and he’s excited to share his food culture with guests and expats. He worked in tourism and the restaurant industry in Hawaii, making him a perfect foodie guide fit!
Sophia came to Shanghai first in 2013 to complete an internship – she fell in love with the language and more importantly: the Chinese cuisine – whatever the size, shape, smell or texture – if it’s food, she is more than happy to try it. She can’t hold a conversation without talking about her favorite dishes and giving advice on where to find the best xiaolongbaos in town!
Thomas arrived in Chongqing, southwest China in 2012, were he developed a love of the in-your-face, fiery flavors of Sichuan cuisine. Moving to Shanghai two years ago to pursue a career in the alcohol industry, he still loves to find time to explore the diversity of Chinese cuisine.
Originally from Singapore and having spent most of the past decade in the United Kingdom, Brenda came to Shanghai two years ago and dove straight into discovering the city’s best hole-in-the-walls and local eats. When not eating or working in the media industry, she enjoys backpacking and amateur photography.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto, Dominic first visited Shanghai in 1998, where he fell in love with shengjianbao, xiaolongbao and guotie – nearly all forms of fried and steamed dumplings. He’s been living in China since 2009, writing and editing food and lifestyle articles for English publications in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Half Tibetan and half British, Nyima has lived in China for 5 years. Although she loves all Chinese food, especially spicy Sichuan dishes, as the granddaughter of a street-side jiaozi seller, she is biased towards dumplings. When she is not introducing guests to the wonders of dumplings, she is editing one of the local expat magazines.
Rose came to China in 2007 to work for an NGO based in Gansu, China’s remote northwest province. During the day, Rose works as a teacher at Jiaotong University and as a freelance translator. At the weekends, she’ll mostly be found eating her way around Shanghai and attempting to make sense of the local dialect! Ask her about places to visit in China’s remote northwest.
Stefanie first visited China in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics. Her fascination with the Chinese language and love of cheap street eats, particularly dumplings, brought her back to live in Beijing in 2011. Since then she has lived in Taipei and eventually found her way to Shanghai, where she is training for her first marathon to work off all that street food.
David first made his way to China to study Mandarin. 4 yrs, 3 cities, and several thousand lamb kebabs later, he found his way to our team to lead fellow food lovers to discover new tastes and experiences in Chinese food.
Erik developed a passion for food and travel at a young age. A frequent visitor of Asia he finally made the jump and moved to Beijing from Toronto in 2013. His passion is food, the preparation, the taste, the service. Erik is currently working in the education field as a content developer but is looking to break into the food and beverage industry as a chef. In his free time, Erik likes to bike around the city, play volleyball, and find new unknown eateries.
In search of broadening her mind and her stomach, Katie left the UK and touched down in Beijing in 2008 and hasn't looked back. She spent extended periods of time in Nanjing & Fuzhou, then found herself back in Beijing and is happy to call this city her home away from home. Katie loves traveling and and her first priority upon arriving in a new place is to open one of her restaurant apps and scope out the best grub in town. Feel free to ask her for recommendations.
The first bite numbed his tongue and opened his mind... and that was the start to the story of how Chinese cuisine changed MCK's relationship with food, altering his life - and stomach - forever. From smalltown Upstate New York to the big city of Beijing in 2004, these days MCK is building a community of people who ask good questions and, when not sharing Beijing's culinary delights with you, feeds everyone who comes to his kitchen :)
Since arriving in Guangdong Province in 2002, Garth has spent more than a decade in awe of China's cultural, linguistic and culinary diversity. After moving to Beijing in 2009, Garth has been working hard to uncover the city's best bars, restaurants and nightlife as a freelance writer & columnist for City Weekend and The Beijinger. When he isn't searching for Beijing's newest (or oldest) eateries, Garth also works backing local bar owners and restaurateurs as a menu, management and media collaborator. Garth is a conflicted but dedicated carnivore.
Lotus arrived in China in 2004 and counts herself as one of the 'China veterans'. She is half Chinese and half Austrian and studied Chinese language, culture and history for her Bachelor's degree. Equipped with this knowledge, Lotus has been active in the tourism industry for the last couple of years. A foodie at heart (and in stomach), she is very happy to be able to pursue her passion for food by introducing guests from all over the world the many layers and stories that make Chinese cuisine so fascinating and delicious.