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Editor’s note: To cap off the year, we’re taking a look back at all the best eating experiences we had in 2015, and in Shanghai, that means everything from fried pork buns to shakshuka made with local ingredients.

Yang Yang’s Dumplings
The chengguan were out in full force shutting down our favorite street food hot spots this year, including one of Shanghai’s most popular night markets on Fangbang Lu and the soon-to-be-closed Tangjiawan market. We’re reminded that it’s ever more important to support those vendors who take pride in their craft and hand-make everything from start to finish.

This year had us going back again and again to the husband-and-wife team at Yang Yang Dumplings. If you get up early enough, you may get in on the only batch of fried pork buns (生煎包, shēngjiānbāo), but if not, no worries – they serve up the city’s best potstickers (锅贴, guōtiē) until about 6 p.m.

A ShanA Shan's Xue Shengnian, photo by UnTour Shanghai
More than just a meal, lunch at A Shan is a history lesson. Thirty years after opening as the second private restaurant in all of Hongqiao, A Shan has changed little, and that’s what charms first-time diners and keeps the regulars coming back (although Mr. Xue, A Shan himself, plays a big part in that, too). Home-style Shanghainese cuisine is served like it would be at the family dinner table: with diner input considered, but the chef’s recommendations are what will likely come out of the kitchen.

Zun Ke Lai
When Christopher St. Cavish told Shanghai the city’s best soup dumpling had been scientifically determined and located at an unassuming cafeteria inside Shanghai Stadium, we were intrigued. So we gathered the UnTour Shanghai tour guide crew and headed into the deep south to taste it for ourselves. Turns out, those crazy-thin wrappers splash out some good pork soup, and piling your foodie friends into an Uber XL and getting out of the former French Concession can make for a great night. Just make sure you get there early enough, as they sell out of their xiaolongbao early.

One of the biggest splashes on Shanghai’s café scene in 2015 has been Egg, a Melbourne-style café run by the founder of Shanghai Supperclub. We’ve eased many an aching head with their killer cold-brew coffee, made extra hangover-slaying with coconut water instead of plain water. And the all-day brekkie, which changes seasonally and uses local ingredients in Western ways, never disappoints. We love the rice waffle with laoganma chili sauce and the seasonal shakshuka, which in spring it is dressed up in mixian, a local purple amaranth, and feta. Come winter, it’s hearty with pumpkin and pepitas.

Xixi Bistro's caprese, photo by UnTour ShanghaiXixi Bistro
There’s a reason Xixi Bistro is sweeping up the year-end best-new-restaurant awards: It wowed Shanghai diners with innovative food in a welcoming, retro-cool space, with a patio, good service and decently priced wine by the bottle, to boot! We’re still obsessed with their take on the caprese salad, featuring locally sourced mozzarella sandwiched between two fried crispy lotus slices, fresh tomato and basil. It’s a simple, locally inspired twist on a familiar dish. Thankfully, there are many more twists to discover on the menu in the new year.

Published on December 17, 2015

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