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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeWorld MapChinaCheap Eats Shanghai: Morning, Day, Night, Morning Again

Cheap Eats Shanghai: Morning, Day, Night, Morning Again

Cheap Eats Shanghai is part of the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.

In my TPOL’s Guide to Libations in Shanghai, I wrote that the street BBQs were gone. That is a sad development but not the end of all cheap eats. Depending on where you are in Shanghai, there are still options.

a trays of food on a table


If you’re staying at the Andaz or the U Hotel, head to the place right next door to the U Hotel for breakfast pizza and other sweet treats. If it’s before 4AM, there’s a small place if you head left from the U Hotel.  It has amazing fried rice and noodles. Be careful. It is damn spicy.

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All sorts of treats at this breakfast place.
a man and woman in a kitchen
The spicy kitchen

a bowl of food with chopsticks a close up of food


Fried Rice Lady: After partying at Revolucion Cafe, exit to the right and take your first right. Go up one block and you’ll see the fried rice lady.a woman standing next to a cart with bags of food on ita woman standing next to a large white box with food in ita plate of food with a spoon

a plate of noodles and vegetables
She makes noodles too.


If everything is closed, jump in a taxi and ask shifu for a food place. One morning when the sun was out, I ended up with new friends eating and drinking until 8AM (see Ganbei! The Guide to Making Friends in China).a group of people sitting at a table with bottles of beera yellow container with dice on it a group of empty bottles on a table

TPOL’s TIP: Make sure the tuk-tuk doesn’t take you to a 24hr bar. Hint: It’s not a bar.

Spicy Skewers

Looking for Spicy Skewers, don’t wander aimlessly like I did. Head to the intersection of Yan’an and Yunan nan road.

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Chain Favorites 

If you want some hand-holding and don’t want to take a risk, go to Yu Garden or, my favorite, Yang’s.

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Yu Garden
food on a plate
Yummy Yang’s

Random Places 

There are small places that serve dumplings, soup, fried rice, and noodles all over. Most don’t have English names. Some are delicious. Some are terrible. I go into the ones with pictures or the ones where there are patrons. From there, I just point at what looks good and hope for the best.a round white food item on a metal tray a plate of food on a table a plate of dumplings

Out of Business

Unfortunately, the best place for fried rice and late-night dumplings is out of business. It was located near my old apartment at Nanchang Lu and Shaanxi Lu.

a man holding plates of food
Gone! But not forgotten.


The street food is alive. Some have moved indoors, but the prices are still cheap and the food is still great.


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