What? Did you think I was going to say street food? Please! That’s the good stuff. But seriously, I’ve never (knocking on wood) had a bad encounter devouring a steaming basket of xiaolongbao or slurping down bowl of streetside pulled noodles. In fact, after almost half a decade combing the streets for the best eats and dining in the finest establishments Shanghai has to offer, I’ve only gotten sick twice – and neither was from street food. Both times (BOTH!) were from that well-oiled but superfluous cog in the international F&B machine. That’s right, I’m talking about fast food.
Western press is rife with mentions of KFC’s and McDonald’s meteoric rise in China’s grab-and-go dining culture, the hokey dining promotions and McWeddings, the exclusive Hamburger University. Let’s put the child obesity epidemic affecting the country’s little emperors and empresses aside, and talk about what really matters: taste. Sure, a homesick foreigner might cave and grab a Big Mac on a bad day, but travelers? Oh, I beg you, stay away from the Golden Arches. There are so many finer things in store for you (and your stomach). But if you do feel a sense of longing when you see Colonel Sanders smiling mug, might I make a menu suggestion?
Go for the congee. And get an order of egg tarts for dessert.
If you want to learn to really eat like a local, book your culinary adventure at UnTour Shanghai now. From cooking classes to street food market tours, we’ve got everything you need to discover authentic Chinese food.
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