85 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiuqu Bridge
HOURS: Daily 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
COST: Entrées less than ¥100
METRO: Yu Garden (Line 10)
For a taste of Shanghainese xiao chi (snacks), head inside the Yu Garden complex and join the queue at Nanxiang Mantou, which sells xiaolongbao soup dumplings and mantou buns.
Xiaolongbao are named after the steamer baskets they cook in. Traditionally, they are filled with minced pork or crab and pinched at the top to hold in the soup. They are smooth and translucent, unlike the fluffier mantou buns that are more like bread rolls stuffed with meat.
If you’re willing to brave the lines that gather during peak times, inside you’ll see stacks of huge round wooden steamers that are used to cook the dumplings, with white-clad chefs bustling around. The restaurant itself is simply decorated with carved wood window frames; a giant xiaolongbao welcomes guests on the ground floor.