Whether you're studying abroad in Shanghai now, heading there soon and making your bucket list or just back in the United States and reminiscing about the food in China, here are 10 resources you'll appreciate.
1. THE SHANGHAI KID. The Shanghai Kid is a blog written by Fred Lin who is originally from Singapore. Fred is a spirited soul who works as the Head of Creative for Avazu, as well as the founder/creative director of FLINT Creative. Alongside his other hobbies like music, designing, web developing, and photography, Fred eats well. Fred's love for food led him to open a restaurant, Hello Miss Dong, where he cooks recipes inspired by his mother and Singaporean cuisine. Fred started his food blog in 2013 to share his thoughts on the eating experiences he had in Shanghai. His blog has transformed over the past few years to an outlet where diners and restaurant owners alike value his opinion and seek his approval.
2. BON APP! If you're looking for an app where you can discover new restaurants with honest, unbiased reviews by real people, look no further than Bon App! This bilingual app is a community for foodies where you can read and write reviews about your favorite (or least favorite) restaurants in Shanghai. Vote for and save your favorite places for easy access to information about those restaurants. Use the app's "Near Me" feature to see what's closest to your current location. Follow your favorite reviewers based on mutual ideas that you share about food, and even get suggestions for your next meal.
3. STREET FOOD NIGHT MARKETS. If you find yourself roaming the streets of Shanghai late at night, you might happen upon a classic scene. As your belly rumbles from hours of walking and seeing the sights, you'll start to smell aromas of roasting garlic and sizzling meat. These are Shanghai's Street Food Night Markets. The markets, located on several avenues and alleys throughout the city, sell classic street foods like roasted eggplant, custards, and meat on a stick. Visit the hawker stalls on Sipailou Lu for some fried tofu and Wujiang Lu for hand pulled noodles.
4. SHANGHAI GIRL EATS. Have you ever spent 10 minutes trying to figure out the best angle or lighting to make your plate shine in just the right way? For visual foodies, Shanghai Girl Eats' Instagram page is one for the books. This girl's feed will have you drooling; from crispy duck caviar to braised pork belly, she always mixes it up between Western and Chinese food. Of course, we can't forget dessert either. The pictures of caramelized apple crepes and browned butter chocolate chip cookies will satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. Check out her profile here, and follow if you like what you see (which, we're betting you will).
5. COOK IN SHANGHAI. In the States, Chinese food can be seen as the thing to order when you're too lazy to cook or go out to eat. Though take-out comes in handy, the trend of knowing ingredients in your meals and making things from scratch has been on the rise. Though you might be intimidated by the spices and ingredients in Chinese cooking, taking an authentic class in Shanghai will help you feel more comfortable making these dishes at home, and help you understand the history and culture behind each dish. Cook in Shanghai offers all types of classes, like team building activities for corporations or special classes for kids. Just select the option you're looking for and get ready to make some tasty delicacies to share with your family and friends.
6. ASIA'S LARGEST FOOD INNOVATION EXHIBITION. It's no surprise that the largest food innovation exhibition is in Shanghai due to the city's transformation into an ultra modern metropolis over the past century. So what exactly is a "food innovation exhibition"? It's a place where vendors from all over the world come to show off their innovation, creativity, and passion for creating new food products. SIAL estimates there will be 3,000 exhibitors and over 66,000 visitors. Exhibitors will be showcasing everything from frozen foods and preserved foods to horticulture (there are even vendors showcasing things for our furry friends!).
7. LAND OF FISH AND RICE. Shanghai is located in the Yangtze River delta, a region otherwise known as Jiangnan, which has been known for centuries as the Land of Fish and Rice. Due to the water system and fertile soil, these two foods both grow plentifully in this area. The cuisine in this part of China tends to be more delicate as compared to the heat of Sichuan or strong flavors of Cantonese cooking. Fuchsia Dunlop, the book's author, explains the typical cooking methods of Jiangnan food while teaching you to make both famous and unique dishes that are still a staple today. The book will be released on October 18, 2016, but order early and get a special pre-order price!
8. SHANGHAI FOOD TOURS. Viator, a company now owned by TripAdvisor, is a place where you can research tours led by locals in various cities across the world. It is an extremely useful tool to book any kind of tour, which you can narrow down by your interests. Viator offers several food tour options in Shanghai, including Old Shanghai, street breakfast, and farmer's market tours to name a few. The tours vary in price and length so that you can choose the best one for you according to how much time and money you want to spend. Access reviews and photos posted by people who have already been on the tour, and see specific inclusions and exclusive services like hotel pickup, lunch and dinner, and more.
9. RESTAURANT WEEK. Cities across the world have been partaking in their own restaurant weeks for several years. Restaurant week is usually one week of every season where restaurants create a pre-fixed menu of their specialties for you to try at a more affordable price. For those who desire the glitz and glamour of fine dining in Shanghai, but want to keep a checked budget, this is the option for you. For even more exclusivity, sign up to get priority booking and enjoy a night out on the town with your friends in style.
10. DINING CITY. Dining City, the company that organizes Restaurant Week, is a great tool itself when it comes to finding a place to eat. There are several ways to search for your perfect meal. You can look up restaurants by name, find special deals like discounted lunch sets or promotions for a certain percentage off of dinner, and browse detailed guides that tell you where to dine based on what type of food you're in the mood for. Select a category like "Weekend Brunch", "Newly Opened", or "Terrace Restaurants" to find exactly what you're looking for. Once you decide on a place to eat, you can reserve a table, share your experience, and join the foodie community.