Shanghai is famous for many reasons, but the bounty and affordability of its cuisine is the stuff of legend. It’s possible to stumble blindly into the streets of the city and find delicious food, but the following suggestions should help guide the budget-conscious strike pay dirt without a hitch.
1) Hot Pot King
The tradition of at-the-table cooking has a long history in Shanghai, and its ways and means are in full effect at a reasonable price at Hot Pot King in the former French concession area. The aesthetic is minimalist, and the menu, while extensive, mainly consists of fresh ingredients simmered in different flavors of broth. Veggies, seafood and meat are all there for the taking – so come hungry!
2) Rendezvous Café
It may seem silly to travel all the way to the Orient to dine on American fare, but when you want a burger, you want a burger, so you might as well know where to get one cheap in Shanghai. Rendezvous Café owner Richard Soo learned his trade at the helm of a burger joint in San Francisco, and boy does it show. Soo ran a restaurant in Taiwan before moving into town, and his experience comes through in his juicy, cheese and condiment laden patties.
Vegetarians looking for grub should point their toes toward the two-story gold engraving of the Buddha housed at Gongdelin. The chefs at this establishment have been fashioning tofu and other vegetable-based ingredients into seafood-and-pork-like dishes for more than 80 years. It’s a busy place, but it’s well worth the wait.