There are so many great places to eat in Shanghai. Whether you’re interested in the local Shanghainese food or are looking for a little taste of home (wherever that might be), Shanghai’s many restaurants have something for everyone. Below, you’ll find a sampling of some of NYU Shanghai students’ favorite places to eat.
1. Yang’s Fried Dumplings
Yang’s Fried Dumplings offers cheap, Chinese-style dumplings and is a great choice for a quick bite. Six dumplings come per order, and you can either get six of the same filling or mix and match. This restaurant is on the smaller size, so while you can dine in, this bite-size snack is perfect for a grab-and-go meal.
2. Homeslice Pizza
Homeslice serves up the best New York–style pizza in Shanghai, according to our students. You can order by the slice or spring for one of their massive 20-inch pies. They also make 16-inch pies if the 20-inch is too intimidating.
Rangoli is an affordable Indian buffet restaurant that has great quality food. There are lots of vegetarian options. Several NYU Shanghai students say it’s the best value for the price. Their lunch specials are just another reason why it’s a great place to eat in Shanghai.
Yershari offers authentic Xinjiang cuisine, and it has very flavorful halal options. The lamb is a must-try according to our students. If you need to walk off your meal, Yershari is near the Nanjing Lu Pedestrian Walkway, which is also a great way to take in the sights.
5. Chongqing Gaolaojiu Hot Pot
This hot pot restaurant is right behind the Jinqiao residence hall—so you can’t beat the location. Chongqing’s prices are reasonable, and the restaurant provides a discount to NYU students. NYU Shanghai students love the authentic flavor of the hot pot, and they say that it’s a great place to eat in Shanghai for larger groups.
6. Blue Frog
Blue Frog is a growing restaurant chain that predominantly serves Western food. NYU Shanghai students love the burgers here but there are tasty vegetarian options as well. Every Monday, Blue Frog has a great discount for dinner, so that’s a popular night for NYU Shanghai students to visit.
This restaurant is famous for its delicious double tacos (a hard taco stuffed inside of a soft taco). The flavors are incredible, from what our students say, and the ambiance of the restaurant is very cool.
8. Co. Cheese Melt Bar
This small restaurant has arguably the best grilled cheese around—which is good, considering it’s the main item on the menu. Co. Cheese Melt Bar has unique and interesting variations of the grilled cheese, like roast duck, brie, and onion jam or hunan pork and chili peppers.
9. Nanjing Dapaidang
This restaurant is great for Nanjing local food. Nanjing Dapaidang is right by the People’s Square, so it’s easy to explore the area either before or after your meal. NYU Shanghai students love the decor of this restaurant. It is also good for groups.
10. HaiDiLao Hot Pot
HaiDiLao has several locations throughout Shanghai—one of which is right near the Pudong district. Many NYU Shanghai students agree that Haidilao not only has delicious hot pot with tons of options but also has great service. The secret is out about this restaurant, so you may have a long wait time—especially during peak hours.
11. Din Tai Fung
You haven’t fully lived until you’ve tried soup dumplings, and Din Tai Fung has some of the tastiest xiao long bao around, according to our students. There are several locations in Shanghai, but they’ve all got very friendly staff. There’s even a special window that lets you watch the staff fold the dumplings.
12. Element Fresh
Element Fresh has a few locations throughout Shanghai and has a great selection of fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. They’ve got a wide variety of healthy food, but are best known for their signature salads.