Renowned as the city that never sleeps, Shanghai offers a variety of thrilling day and nighttime activities. Apart from its iconic tourist attractions, the food scene in Shanghai is equally famous and highly acclaimed. So, are you looking for some Shanghai must eat restaurants? Let’s check out our top rated 12+ best local restaurants in Shanghai and best Chinese restaurants in Shanghai as follows!

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

If you find yourself with just a single day to explore this vibrant city, Living Nomads is here to be your guide, ensuring you maximize your time enjoying the local cuisine like a true insider.

Sichuan cuisine (#best chinese restaurants in shanghai)

Sichuan cuisine is popular for its bold and distinctive flavors, particularly its use of chili peppers and Sichuan pepper.

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

The cuisine is well-known for its “mala” flavor, which combines spiciness with a unique numbing sensation provided by the Sichuan pepper. Sichuan cuisine also offers a wide variety of dishes, from fiery hotpot and stir-fried dishes to aromatic braised dishes.

Sichuan pepper

Whether you’re a fan of spicy food or interested in exploring the bold flavors of Sichuan cuisine, Shanghai offers a diverse range of options to satisfy your cravings for authentic Sichuan dishes. Here are some recommended Sichuan restaurants in Shanghai:

Sichuan Court

Address: 39F, Hilton Hotel, No. 250, Huashan Road, Jing’an District (near West Yan’an Road)

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

This restaurant stands out as a rare gem among luxury dining establishments in Shanghai. While the cost of dining here may be higher, the culinary offerings are widely acclaimed for their delectable flavors, good quality, and authentic Sichuan taste. Additionally, you can enjoy your meal in a luxurious setting, accompanied by enchanting zither performances that grace the evenings.

Fish soup at Sichuan Court | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

When dining at Sichuan Court, be sure to treat yourself with their signature dishes, such as the aromatic fish soup, mouthwatering grilled lobster, and flavorful Chengdu smoked duck.

Smoked duck at Sichuan Court

With an average cost of approximately 40 USD per customer, it’s a worthwhile investment for an unforgettable culinary experience.

South Beauty (#best chinese restaurants in shanghai)

Address: 2F, Ciro’s Plaza, No. 388, West Nanjing Road, Jing’an District

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Combining elements of Eastern and Western design, South Beauty is a restaurant that exudes a unique charm, appealing to both local and international diners. While the venue’s decor may be a harmonious blend of styles, the heart of its culinary options remains rooted in the flavors of Sichuan cuisine.

Pork rips at South Beauty | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Since its foundation in 2000, South Beauty has flourished and established numerous branches across China, including a notable presence in Shanghai.

Skewer pot at South Beauty | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

On average, you can expect to spend around 30 USD per person when enjoying a meal at this venue.

Mapo tofu at South Beauty | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Yuxin Sichuan Dish (# best local restaurants in shanghai)

Address: 5F, Huasheng Plaza, No. 399, Jiujiang Road, Huangpu District (near South Shanxi Road)

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Yuxin Sichuan Dish Restaurant immerses diners in a vibrant atmosphere with its striking all-red decor, perfectly reflecting the intense heat and spice of Sichuan cuisine.

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste their standout dish, the hot boiled fish, alongside a variety of other popular culinary offerings.

Hot boiled fish at Yuxin Sichuan Dish | best chinese restaurants in shanghai
Water boiled beef at Yuxin Sichuan Dish | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Sichuan Folk (Baguo Buyi)

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Sichuan Folk, also known as Baguo Buyi, is a highly recommended restaurant in Shanghai that showcases the vibrant flavors and cultural richness of Sichuan cuisine. As one of the top 10 Sichuan restaurants in the city, Sichuan Folk stays true to its name, offering a genuine Sichuan dining experience with authentic dishes and warm service.

| best chinese restaurants in shanghai

In addition to the Sichuan specialties, Sichuan Folk also serves typical Shanghai dishes, providing a diverse culinary experience.

Sliced pork with cucumber at Sichuan Folk | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

To enhance the dining atmosphere, the restaurant hosts performances of Sichuan Opera, creating a truly memorable and immersive experience that adds an extra touch of warmth and enjoyment to your meal.

A performance of Sichuan Opera at Sichuan Folk | best chinese restaurants in shanghai

Hunan cuisine (# best local restaurants in shanghai)

| best local restaurants in shanghai

Hunan cuisine, also known as Xiang cuisine, is a popular and distinctive culinary style originating from the Hunan province in China. Hunan cuisine is known for its bold and robust flavors, making use of ingredients such as chili peppers, garlic, shallots, and fermented soybeans. It is characterized by its spicy, sour, and numbing flavors, achieved through the use of various spices and seasoning combinations.

| best local restaurants in shanghai

In recent years, Hunan cuisine has gained remarkable traction and emerged as a trendy and sought-after culinary choice throughout China, including the vibrant city of Shanghai. When you step into a Hunan restaurant in Shanghai, you’ll be greeted by a countryside-inspired atmosphere that reflects a sense of simplicity and authenticity.

Here are 3 Hunan restaurants in Shanghai that Living Nomads recommend to you.

Guyi Hunan Restaurant (# shanghai must eat restaurants)


  • Suite A, 1F, May Fair Tower, No. 87, Fumin Road, Jing’an District (near Julu Road)
  • Room LG1-81, LG1 Building, IFC Trade Center, No. 8, Century Avenue, Pudong New Quarter
  • Jiuguang Department Store, No. 1618, West Nanjing Road, Jing’an District
| best local restaurants in shanghai

Guyi Hunan Restaurant is a renowned establishment that has gained fame for its exceptional Hunan cuisine, accompanied by a selection of Shanghai-style dishes. This impressive venue attracts both locals and tourists seeking an authentic Hunan dining experience.

Such a warm dining space! | best local restaurants in shanghai

The menu features standout specialties such as the irresistible cumin-crusted ribs, fiery La Zi Chicken, and delectable eggplant and long beans. These dishes are praised for their freshness and impeccable seasoning, making them truly remarkable culinary delights.

Steamed fish head with chopped chili at Guyi Hunan Restaurant | best local restaurants in shanghai
Red braised pork at Guyi Hunan Restaurant | best local restaurants in shanghai
Spicy frog at Guyi Hunan Restaurant | best local restaurants in shanghai

The average cost per person is about 21 USD.

South Memory Xiang Cuisine

Address: Store no. 29, 4F, Super Brand Mall, No. 168, West Lujiazui, Pudong New Area

| best local restaurants in shanghai

Since its establishment in 2002, South Memory has solidified its reputation as one of Shanghai’s top 10 finest Hunan restaurants. Specializing in authentic Hunan cuisine, this eatery is renowned for its daring and fiery flavors that leave a lasting impression.

Fish head at South Memory | best local restaurants in shanghai

Adding a touch of local influence, select dishes are enriched with the sweet sauce commonly found in Shanghainese cuisine, creating a unique and unforgettable taste experience.

Nangxiang flower pork at South Memory | best local restaurants in shanghai

Among the must-try dishes at South Memory are the highly recommended Double Pepper Fish Heads and Shredded Cabbage, both celebrated for their exceptional taste.

Eggplant and green bean at South Memory | best local restaurants in shanghai

On average, guests can expect to spend around 14 USD per person.

Di Shui Dong

Address: 2F, No. 56, South Maoming Road, Luwan District (near Changle Road)

| shanghai must eat restaurants

With its cozy and rustic atmosphere, Di Shui Dong has long served as a go-to spot for affordable and authentic Hunan cuisine.

A cosy dining space | shanghai must eat restaurants

For over a decade, this Hunan-style restaurant has attracted a loyal following of locals and foreigners, despite its modest, cafeteria-style main dining area and numerous “private” rooms.

Crunchy pig’s ear in chili oil at Di Shui Dong | shanghai must eat restaurants

The food at Di Shui Dong is renowned for its rich and bold flavors, capable of igniting the senses and even causing tears to well up.

Cumin ribs at Di Shui Dong | shanghai must eat restaurants

Don’t leave without trying the cumin-rubbed ribs, the crunchy pig’s ear in chili oil and the fish head steamed with chili.

Fish head steamed with chili at Di Shui Dong | shanghai must eat restaurants

Xinjiang cuisine (# shanghai must eat restaurants)

In Shanghai, the city’s multicultural food scene embraces various regional cuisines, including Xinjiang cuisine. Xinjiang cuisine is known for its bold, robust, and aromatic flavors.

| shanghai must eat restaurants

It is influenced by the culinary traditions of the Uighur ethnic minority and incorporates elements from Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cuisines. The cuisine showcases a harmonious blend of spices, herbs, lamb, beef, and dairy products, resulting in unique and distinctive dishes.

Let Living Nomads introduce to you some great Xinjiang restaurants in Shanghai.

Shanghai Daolang Restaurant

Address: Shanghai Daolang Restaurant, No. 180, Guangling Er Lu, Hongkou District, Shanghai

| shanghai must eat restaurants

Shanghai Daolang Restaurant, located in the vibrant Hongkou district near Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), is a charming, family-owned establishment.

Inside Shanghai Daolang Restaurant | shanghai must eat restaurants

Originally from Xinjiang, the owners have journeyed to Shanghai, infusing their culinary expertise with the authentic flavors of their hometown.

Roasted duck at Shanghai Daolang Restaurant | shanghai must eat restaurants

Their unique Xinjiang-inspired dishes have swiftly garnered a loyal following among culinary enthusiasts, establishing Shanghai Daolang Restaurant as a cherished destination for food lovers.

Cumin-spiced lamb chops at Shanghai Daolang Restaurant

You should definitely try some popular dishes of the restaurant like cumin-spiced lamb chops, hand-pulled noodles and roasted duck among others.

Hand-pulled noodles at Shanghai Daolang Restaurant

Yershari Restaurant


  • 6F, East zone of Raffles City, No.1139, Changning Road, Changning Distric, Shanghai
  • 7F No. 819 East Nanjing Rd. Huangpu District, Shanghai

Founded in 1998 in Shanghai, this restaurant chain specializes in authentic Xinjiang cuisine.

Lamb chops at Yershari Restaurant

A visit to their establishments is incomplete without savoring their renowned lamb chops, which have gained widespread acclaim. The dish is so popular that arriving after 6:30 pm may make it challenging to secure a serving due to the restaurant’s bustling atmosphere.

Chicken and potato at Yershari Restaurant

Additionally, their chicken and potato dishes, along with the delectable Uyghur bread, are equally celebrated.

Uyghur bread at Yershari Restaurant

So, indulge in these culinary delights and share your experience with Living Nomads for others to discover!

A performance at Yershari Restaurant

Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi

Address: Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi, No. 379, Xikang Lu, Jingan District, Shanghai

Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi Restaurant burst onto the Jingan district scene in 2008, capturing the hearts of locals and swiftly establishing itself as one of the leading providers of Xinjiang delicacies.

Lamb and vegetable skewers at Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi Restaurant

Step into the world of Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi and be embraced by an atmosphere of luxury, accompanied by a menu teeming with the vibrant flavors of Xinjiang.

Lamb stew at Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi Restaurant
Spicy bread at Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi Restaurant

To further delight its customers, the restaurant hosts captivating and spirited dance performances, ensuring an unforgettable dining experience that leaves a lasting impression.

A performance at Dong Fang Ya Ke Xi Restaurant

Some places to enjoy street food in Shanghai

Fangbang Xi Lu

Fangbang Xi Lu, also known as Fangbang West Road, is famous for its vibrant food scene, with numerous small restaurants and street food stalls offering a variety of local food. The large street food market is quite hidden, but very popular with tourists and locals alike. It’s located around the corner from the famous Yu Yuan Garden and can get quite crowded.

As you venture through the narrow alleyways, your senses will be woken by the aromatic fragrances emanating from the food stalls. The air is filled with the scents of the food such as stinky tofu, crayfish, colossal lobsters, steamed wontons, fried dumplings, and fried noodles.

Besides, it’s worth noting that hidden behind these food stalls, you may come across budget-friendly restaurants that serve delectable local dishes. This culinary haven truly characterizes the essence of Shanghai street food, making it an absolute paradise for those in search of unique and authentic culinary experiences.

4.2. South Bund Fabric Market

The South Bund Fabric Market enjoys widespread acclaim for its wide range of garments and premium fabrics, making it a go-to destination for fashion.

A look inside the market

Yet, the true culinary treasures in the vicinity are not to be overlooked. The delectable dishes curated around the fabric market boast a harmonious blend of flavors, promising an enchanting evening that extends beyond the fun of shopping.

Food stalls around the market

Certainly, Shanghai offers a lot more of other culinary treasures for you to explore. However, embracing the opportunity to enjoy dishes like a local in this globally renowned city can truly be an extraordinary experience. If you find the information provided by Living Nomads helpful, explore our website for plenty more articles. We wish you a delightful and memorable food journey in this sleepless city!

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Shanghai you can refer to

Read more: Shanghai travel blog — The fullest Shanghai travel guide for first-timers.