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.
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.
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.
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).
TPOL’s TIP: Make sure the tuk-tuk doesn’t take you to a 24hr bar. Hint: It’s not a bar.
Looking for Spicy Skewers, don’t wander aimlessly like I did. Head to the intersection of Yan’an and Yunan nan road.
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.
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.
The street food is alive. Some have moved indoors, but the prices are still cheap and the food is still great.