Go back in time at Shanghai’s 1192 Lane

In the mood for exploring a lifestyle destination reminiscent of old Shanghai? Then head to the basement of the city’s Century Link Tower


What to try: Shengjianbao, or pan-fried soft dough stuffed with tender pork. Dahuchun serves a version that has meat flavored with three kinds of soy sauce. Enjoy it fresh and hot off the pan and wash it all down with a curry-flavored beef soup.


What to try: Qingtuan, a green dumpling made with glutinous rice and barley grass or Chinese mugwort. At Shendacheng, the popular street snack, which was once a food offering item in ancestral worship ceremonies, is made with salted egg yolk and pork floss.

Qibao Old Street Tangtuan

What to try: Tangtuan, a traditional Chinese dessert item often made of glutinous rice and an optional stuffing of black sesame, Chinese date, red bean or peanut. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Qibao serves the ping-pong-ball-sized bites with pork or shepherd’s purse stuffing.


What to try: Pork moon cakes, a signature of Laodafang bakeries and a different delicacy to the Cantonese-style mooncakes. The Laodafang variety has a sticky, lightweight and layered skin and comes with juicy pork stuffing.

How to get to 1192 Lane

Take Shanghai Metro lines 2, 4, 6 or 9, alight at Century Avenue station and then take Exit 8.

Camera eats first!

Beyond the foodie ’gram shots, prepare to whip out those devices for photo ops throughout 1192 Lane. From bamboo rickshaws to Art Deco neon lighting, vintage posters and antique curios, there’s a lot to color your visit and Instagram photos.

  • Check out the shipyard, with a replica ship that pays homage to Shanghai’s maritime history
  • Catch the free tram that runs every hour
  • Don’t miss groups of older Chinese women dressed in beautiful, old-style qipao (traditional body-hugging dresses) — they gather out of nostalgia for the city’s stylish past; ask politely and they may pose for photographs with you.

*Photos by Weng Lei / ImagineChina

This article first appeared in the April 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Yixuan Fan

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