Experience the Authentic Flavors of Shanghai Cuisine in Philadelphia, PA

When it comes to Chinese cuisine, Philadelphia, PA is a melting pot of flavors and influences. From traditional Cantonese dishes to modern fusion creations, the city offers a diverse range of options for food lovers. But one particular cuisine that has been gaining popularity in recent years is Shanghai cuisine, also known as Hu cuisine. This style of Chinese cooking originated from the city of Shanghai in Eastern China and is known for its delicate and subtle flavors, as well as its emphasis on using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

In recent years, Shanghai cuisine has gained a strong following in Philadelphia due to the growing Chinese population in the city. According to the latest census data, there are over 100,000 Chinese Americans living in Philadelphia, making it one of the largest Chinese communities on the East Coast. With this influx of Chinese immigrants, there has been a demand for authentic Chinese food, including dishes from Shanghai.

Must-Try Dishes from Shanghai Cuisine

Now that we know a little bit about the history and popularity of Shanghai cuisine in Philadelphia, let's dive into some of the must-try dishes from this flavorful cuisine.


Xiaolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, are one of the most iconic dishes from Shanghai. These steamed dumplings are filled with a savory broth and meat filling, making them a burst of flavor in every bite.

The key to a good xiaolongbao is the thin and delicate skin, which is made by hand and requires a lot of skill and practice. In Philadelphia, you can find some of the best xiaolongbao at Dim Sum Garden in Chinatown.


Another popular dish from Shanghai is shengjianbao, which is often referred to as the cousin of xiaolongbao. These pan-fried buns are filled with pork and a savory broth, but unlike xiaolongbao, they have a thicker and chewier skin. The buns are then pan-fried until crispy on the bottom, giving them a delicious contrast in texture.

You can find shengjianbao at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House in Chinatown.

Red Braised Pork Belly

Red braised pork belly, also known as hongshao rou, is a classic dish from Shanghai that is loved by many. It consists of tender and succulent pieces of pork belly that have been braised in a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, and spices. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth dish that is rich in flavor and perfect for cold winter days. You can try this dish at Han Dynasty in University City.

Lion's Head Meatballs

Lion's head meatballs, or shizi tou, are another popular dish from Shanghai that is often served during special occasions or family gatherings.

These giant meatballs are made with a mixture of ground pork and vegetables, and they get their name from their large size and round shape, which resembles a lion's head. The meatballs are then braised in a savory sauce until they are tender and juicy. You can find this dish at Han Dynasty in Old City.

Shanghai Fried Noodles

Shanghai fried noodles, also known as chow mein, are a staple in Shanghai cuisine. These noodles are made with a combination of wheat and egg, giving them a chewy and springy texture.

They are then stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of protein, such as chicken, beef, or shrimp. The result is a flavorful and satisfying dish that is perfect for lunch or dinner. You can find Shanghai fried noodles at Han Dynasty in University City.

Experience the Authentic Flavors of Shanghai Cuisine in Philadelphia

With the growing popularity of Shanghai cuisine in Philadelphia, there are now several restaurants that specialize in this flavorful cuisine. In addition to the ones mentioned above, some other notable mentions include Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, Han Dynasty in University City, and Han Dynasty in Old City. So next time you're craving Chinese food in Philadelphia, why not step out of your comfort zone and try some dishes from authentic Shanghai cuisine? With its delicate flavors and unique dishes like xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), shengjianbao (pan-fried buns), red braised pork belly (hongshao rou), lion's head meatballs (shizi tou), and Shanghai fried noodles (chow mein), it's sure to be an unforgettable dining experience!.

Ann Jorinscay
Ann Jorinscay

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