Monday, 20 October 2014

What to Eat for Breakfast in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The resident of this lovely city don't really spend so much time eating breakfast. Breakfast is either "Eat & Run"  or "To-Go"

I came across an article that said that the most common breakfast foods in Shanghai are called the Four Heavenly Kings or 四大金刚. So syempre try talaga si Dora the explorer. 

Do make it your mission as well  to try these when you find yourself in Shanghai for the holidays.

1.  Chinese Pancake
It's like crepe but it has chives and chili. You can even add egg. I know it sounds weird but it actually tasted good. 

2. You Tiao 
This is a deep fried piece of dough. It's like bichu-bichu but the outer crust is crispy and it's slightly hallow inside.

Photo sourced from

3. Ci Fan Tuan

This reminds me of Ma Tsang. It's glutinous rice with meat filling inside. I didn't eat this in Shanghai because I get my Ma Tsang fix from my mother-in-law.

4. Soy Milk

Ahhhh yes. Just this once, skip the coffee and enjoy your breakfast with a glass of soy milk. Try dipping your You Tiao into your soy milk, Oreo style. 

Other Popular Breakfast Items:

Xiao Long Bao

Apparently the dainty version with thin skin  is a modern innovation. The traditional ones  have thicker skins, hence are more filling or nakakabusog

We tried the one in Yu Yuan Garden. I believe it's called Nan Xiang Xiaolong Mantou (南翔小笼馒头). 

SKIP THE LINES. In our own humble opinion (and we are not food bloggers, just food eaters) it's not worth falling inline for. Apart from it's historic significance,  there is nothing special about it. 

Mini Wonton Soup

This is pretty much self explanatory and we are all familiar with the humble wonton soup. What I loved about this is the fact that's it's the cheapest breakfast I had in Shanghai...

...And the fact that we ate in a stall that made me feel like a local. 

 Sheng Jian Bao

One of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai.  It's pan fried baotzi or in short FRIED SIOPAO.  It is simply divine. It's more heavenly than the Four Heavenly Kings! 


Funny story:

I decided to eat breakfast in our room. So I went to the market and joined the long line of people. I didn't know then what the line was for. Basta join lang ako!

After 15 mins, I saw these mini paos. Phew! Buti nalang hindi naman fried ipis ang pinilahan ko. 
Worth the wait and uncertainty.

When I came back with my breakfast stash, S and sister-in-law loved  and devoured the "small fried siopaos with soup inside".  That's what they called it. 

They happily sipped the "soup" and raved that these precious fried gems are better than the xiao long bao we had in Nan Xiang.

I later found out that the "soup" we all slurped was fat. It was the juice of the meat filling. Ewww... And to think we drank it as if it's water. 

Incidentally. Sheng Jian Bao made it to the list of Shanghai's Fattiest Food.

So when you go to Shanghai, bring XENICAL! You need it!

Bringing you good vibes on this Monday morning,



  1. Thanks for this wonderful article! I am very happy to know about the traditional food of Shanghai. Well dear, I am going to San Francisco so I would like to get some reviews about food of San Francisco restaurants! Can you provide dear?

    1. Hey curtis! Drat I wasn't blogging yet when I went to sanfo. But hey here are the places I went to which I think you shouldn't miss. 1. HOUSE OF PRIME RIB 2.Kara's Cupcake 3. Bi-rite creamery 4. Tartine. Hey don't miss napa! Just take the ferry! The best restos are there!