The Sheng Jian Bao 上海生煎包 is a must-have when you’re in Shanghai. These pork-filled, soup dumplings/buns are pan-fried until just the bottoms are crisp; the tops are covered in chives and sesame seeds.
The best dumplings are readily available in restaurants all over Shanghai and there are small shops designed to be more pick-up-and-go; these are often crowded in the mornings as commuters stop by on their way to work. You order at the counter and pay in advance and then someone will fill a small plastic bag and hand you your order to go. If you plan on carrying these a ways, it’s best to bring your own box. The soup can leak and cause quite a mess– trust. These shops are extremely affordable and great as an answer to a craving. But, you should definitely try the tastier restaurant variety at least once.