Like any great major city, Shanghai has many diverse neighborhoods that each have their unique intricacies. One of my favorite destinations within the city is Tianzifang. This art district is made up of connected alleyways that are home to some of the best food, shopping, art and architecture in Shanghai – below are some of my go-to spots!
(Note: If you are going to Tianzifang from Fudan, you will take line 10 to the Laoximen stop, change to line 8 and take the train to Lujiabang, then transfer to line 9 traveling west and take the train two stations to Dapuqiao. Depart the station using exit 1 as it will put you right at the entrance.)
A great place to try some different teas, or bring home some delicious gifts from China, Tea House has everything from a basic Earl Grey to fruit teas, sweetened with peach, blueberry, and more. They come in varying sized containers perfect for just a taste or if you want the tea to last you a long while. Located at No. 12, Lane 210 Taikang Road.
This communist-themed restaurant has a menu in English and Chinese and runs plenty of events, so is a great place to meet other local transplants. Kommune also has WiFi, outlets to charge your devices and even AC in the summer months. The chai latte is a must-try, but everything from brunch to lunch to dinner is delicious. Visit their Facebook page for the location.
Anything can go into a baozi, more commonly known as bao. There are plenty of bao shops around Tianzifang, with a variety of different shapes and fillings. Each piece is anywhere from 2-5 yuan and range in shapes from normal dumplings, to animal shapes as well. Located at Lane 220 Taikang Road.
Sān shēng yǒu xìn StationEry Store
This shop is perfect for beautiful notebooks for class, artistic postcards depicting scenes of Shanghai to send home, or just small elegant trinkets. You’ll also find a lot of dried flower pressed items and unique maps.
Korean Hot Dog
Tianzifang is a great place to get trendy food not just from China but internationally. Cheese dogs are one of the hottest street food trends in Korea right now, but you can snag one of these delicious snacks here! Crunchy on the outside and exploding with melted cheese on the inside, it’s no surprise why the trend has crossed into China. There are a variety of fillings available but go with the mozzarella option to start – it’s the most classic. Located at No. 25, Lane 155 Jian Guo Middle Road.
Wherever you end up in Tianzifang there’s sure to be good shopping, food and some art to peruse. If you get the chance, visit when it’s quieter during the weekdays. It’ll be less packed with tourists and you’ll be able to take your time looking around.
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