Grab mantou and dumpling for breakfast at Shanghai's local stands
There are little red and yellow Babi Mantou’s all over town, and the long queues out front tell you that it’s a popular breakfast spot. With only takeaway available, you can see locals lining up to collect one or two buns to snack en route to work, or a big bag that they’re taking away for the family or co-workers. While the meat-based buns (try the pork meat and preserved vegetables for 1.50RMB) slide down easily at breakfast time, we recommend the black sesame bun for a sweet treat. Also setting you back just 1.50RMB, it’s a classic breakfast bargain.
Babi Mantou is at 1609 Pudong Avenue, near Minsheng Lu
Everyone has their favourite shengjian shop in town and while there’s a host of places to choose from across the city, many of them starting service from 5am, we’ve plumped spotfor Dahuchun for two reasons. Firstly, history; Dahuchun is the oldest shengjian purveyor in town, having been around since the 1950s – they’re clearly doing something right. Secondly, unlike most shengjian that come filled with soup, at Dahuchun the beef broth is served on the side, meaning you can slurp at will while chomping on the sweet pork packages separately – perfect if you’re still a little dozy first thing and don’t want a piping hot soup-fuelled rude awakening before work.
Dahuchun is at 71 Yunnan Nan Lu, near Jinling Dong Lu
Tangbao (classic soup-filled dumplings) make for a great quick meal in the mornings and they’re also dirt cheap if you’re looking to save the pennies. For some of the best examples around, check out Jia Jia Tang Bao, but be prepared for insane queues from the moment they open (and often for half an hour or more before). A standard basket of a dozen pork dumplings costs only 13RMB, though if you aren’t on a budget, try their legendary crab meat and roe ones that sell for 99RMB for a dozen. See where else to find dumplings in the city