Blogger Explores UnTour Shanghai’s Night Markets


Jennifer from Adventurous Appetite joined UnTour Shanghai for our Night Markets tour. Here’s a taste of what she had to say:

I recently discovered a food tour group that has made this desire a bit more feasible. UnTour was founded in 2010 by a woman named Jamie Barys, a food writer and longtime Shanghai expat. She says, “More and more people rank eating local foods in authentic settings as their number one priority when traveling, but discovering where the locals eat can be difficult in an unfamiliar location.” She states that Shanghai especially can be overwhelming with the language barrier and street food options.

adventurousappetitenightmarkets copyI personally hadn’t eaten much street food before joining Barys’ night tour last month. Stories of recycled oil and ingredient sourcing had scared me away. Plus, I wasn’t sure what to order and where to order from. But in just one night, I made up for it.

Along with about ten others, I met the Untour team on Shouning Lu to experience our first night market of the evening. It began with an explanation of the market, along with identifying all of the items being grilled and barbecued. Then it was off to a local restaurant to eat all the street food after it was prepared. Crawfish, lamb kebabs, garlic scallops, lotus root skewers, green bean skewers, snake, and roasted garlic eggplant filled the table. “Make sure not to fill up, guys!” our tour guide warned. But it was hard to show restraint, and the food kept coming.

After sampling a variety of fruit puddings and custards, we waddled over to a hole-in-the-wall noodle shop on Fangbang Lu for beef noodle soup, hand-sliced noodles with lamb and peppers, and noodles with egg and tomato. The chefs welcomed us into the kitchen and dazzled us with their flour pulling and knife skills. We finished with pepper cookies and beer.

Read the whole post here to check out her mouthwatering pictures!

Shanghai Road Closures During October Holiday (National Day) 2015

Shanghai 2015 October Holiday National Day Road Closures Traffic

As you might have heard, it’s October Holiday (or National Day or Golden Week – it’s got all sorts of names!), which means that getting around town might be a bit harder due to an influx of domestic tourists. In addition to the sheer number of people in Shanghai, the government is also shutting down areas around the Bund and Lujiazui to traffic, making it even harder for those of you who will have a great view of the fireworks to find a taxi.

Here’s the info you need to know:

Dates: 30 Sept – 3 Oct

Time: 3:30pm – 11:30pm

Area: Bund, People’s Square & Lujiazui (see map above)

Public Transit Closed: East Nanjing Road (Line 2/10), Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, South Bund Ferry service

(Also, on Oct 3 & 6, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum will change its entry gates).

We highly recommend you use the subway to get around the city over the next couple days – use Explore Shanghai to find out the best metro routes. And we hope you’re not heading out via plane or train – record ticket sales ensure this is going to be a very busy holiday season and extra security checks will mean it will take even longer to get to your gate, so prepare accordingly. Happy travels!

UnTour Shanghai will still be running tours during the holiday, so join us and get eating!


UnTour’s Night Markets Tour in Fiji’s Shanghai Guide

Fiji Water is branching out of the volcanically-filtered, tropical-rain bottled water business and writing city guides of the most exciting cities in the world, including Shanghai! UnTour Shanghai’s Night Market food tour is featured the “Taste” section of the guide, so check it out. We’re whipsmart. And unconventional!

UnTour Reveals Favorite Breakfast Street Food for Time Out Shanghai


We love Chinese street food breakfast so much that our Street Food – Breakfast tour was the first one we ever designed at UnTour Shanghai! So when Time Out Shanghai approached us to talk about some of our favorite local breakfast spots, we could barely stop talking…

Read the whole article here or check out some highlights below:

The first stop on UnTour’s Street Eats – Breakfast tour is Xiangyang Lu, just north of Changle Lu. This half block is the densest concentration of morning street food in the area. I love that street food is the ultimate open kitchen, and our guests enjoy watching everything being made right in front of them, from the dough being kneaded for danbing (a yeasty pancake crowned with fried egg and a slather of sweet chili sauce) to the spinning wok technique ofguotie (potstickers). I cannot resist a good jianbing (Chinese crepe), and the husband-wife team here whip up a delicious one with a fiery chili sauce that will wake up more than your tastebuds. If you order the guotie orshengjianbao (Shanghai’s famous fried pork buns), you can pull up a stool at the dumpling shop’s tiny dining room and rub elbows with the locals slurping congee. There’s more than a half dozen other stalls selling youtiao (oil sticks), baozi (steamed buns), zhima qiu (sesame balls) and doujiang (soy milk) – just to name a few of the dishes.

UnTour Shanghai’s Food Tours in Sunday Times Magazine


Sunday Times UnTour Shanghai


Self-proclaimed dumpling devotee Ellen Himelfarb ate her way through Shanghai for the Sunday Times Magazine, and along the way discovered UnTour Shanghai’s food tours. 

To get your fill of all the regional dumplings in Shanghai, come on our Hands-On Dumpling Delights tour, where you’ll eat xiaolongbao, boiled northeastern dumplings and more – plus you get to make your own shengjianbao (pan-fried dumplings).


Design Sponge’s City Guide Includes UnTour Shanghai’s Food Tours


The wonderful design gurus over at Luru Home wrote up a city guide for Design Sponge back in March, featuring UnTour’s street food breakfast tour, as well as some other great options for eating, shopping, drinking and playing around the city.

Here’s what they said about us:

Hop on UnTour Shanghai’s Breakfast Tour to get an intimate peek at how the locals start their day. Fellow Shanghai entrepreneurs Jamie and Kyle lead a host of nuanced and refreshing tours around themes like dumplings and night markets.

Check out the article to read more about the best ways to explore Shanghai! And make sure you check out Luru’s gorgeous traditional textiles. They are fab housewarming gifts and gorgeous additions to any home!

Shanghai Food Competitions!

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 5.56.11 PM

Right now is a good time to have a little extra free on your hands for entering contests.  Here are two competitions, one big, one small-ish. Like a good tapa, good things do come in small packages, so we’ll start there.

Glutton Guide Shanghai: We’ve partnered with Talk Magazine to give out a combo free Street Eats Breakfast tour for 2 people + free copy of the city’s only digital foodie guidebook, Glutton Guide Shanghai. More details and info here, but all you really have to do is tag Talk on social media with a comment about your favorite street food stall to win! Basically we’re giving you a fish, but also teaching you how to fish, and all you have to do is type an @ symbol and 140 characters…Make us proud.

Twitter: @talkmagazinesh
Instgram: @talkmagazinesh

FREE TRIP TO NEPAL: Ok, so this one is huge. Nepal needs our support and tourism dollars more than ever, so Sherpa’s (get it?) is offering an epic contest with round trip airfare, accommodations, tours, etc. for 2 people. It’s worth RMB15,000, which is basically more than you earn all month. Full info here, but here’s all you have to do:

-Get a photo of yourself posing as a Sherpa’s courier/logo, and post it to one of their social media sites (there’s one for everyone, including your grandma)
Post it to Instagram with hashtag #sherpascontest and #deliverme2nepal
Post it to their Facebook page:
Post it to their Weibo page (if you use that I’m sure you know where to look)
You can also send it to them as a photo message to wechat if for some reason that is even easier (keep it mind they may post it, so try to keep your pants on)
You can also leave it as a comment on a blog post: at
I bet you could even just hand a printed out photo to a courier to see what would happen. Ya never know!

You can enter as many times as you like before September 30.

12 of China’s Craziest Street Foods by UnTour’s Chief Eating Officer

UnTour Shanghai’s Chief Eating Officer Jamie Barys wrote City Weekend’s cover story in February 2015, covering the weird and wonderful street foods in Shanghai you don’t see everyday.


If you want to give them a try, join our Night Markets tour that covers two of Shanghai’s best late-night food streets (and samples several of the items in this article!).


UnTour Shanghai Eats Taipei

We love a good food city, and that is exactly what Taipei is. In fact, we did nothing cultural the entire time except eat. And eating is cultural… Right?

We have several guides who hail from Taiwan, as well as one who married into the island and one whose dad was born there, so we’ve rounded up everyone’s recommendations. Here are some of UnTour’s favorite places to eat when they’re visiting across the Strait:

Night Markets: The first time I visited, we arrived around 10 p.m. and went straight to Raohe Jie 饶河街 for the night market. There’s a huge temple on the east entrance that’s lit up very nice at night too and is next to the 胡椒包 (pepper buns) vendor (most night markets have a few dishes that they’re well known for).

Shilin is the most famous market and gigantic, but I try to spend as little time there as possible. Still, the 大鸡排 is worth going for. It’s on Wenlin Lu, so you don’t actually have to go into the market lanes to get it (yes, they have stores in Shanghai but they’re not as good). Around the corner on is my favorite 雪花冰 place called 辛發亭. I switch between strawberry and peanut.

Ningxia Night Market — Even though it’s a smaller night market, it’s a local favorite for food. Deep fried taro balls, oyster omelette and sesame oil chicken noodles are all great.

For 热炒 (rechao – a big get-together-like meal), I often find myself at 品鱻 (Pin Xian) on 乐利路 (Leli Lu) near the Liuzhangli stop. The portions are small so you can try a bunch of different dishes, plus the seafood’s all out front so you can get an idea of what you’re ordering (dishes in Taiwan don’t always go by the same name, e.g. squid is 花枝 (huazhi) instead of 鱿鱼 (youyu).

IMG_6844Aquatic Addiction (上引水)

This place is kind of in between a nice seafood market and a number of Japanese restaurants. It’s also become a tourist mecca for Singaporeans and folks from HK. The owner of this place actually started out at a tiny little restaurant called Mitsui (also very good Japanese food) that we started eating at maybe 15 years ago, and it’s grown into a huge Japanese cuisine empire including this ‘market’. It’s a little difficult to get to, so would recommend taking a cab. They have options for raw bar, hot pot, sushi, and bbq. The wine by the glass option makes it particularly lovely, and they have a nice shaded patio.

Beef noodles (Niu Rou Mian) 老王記牛肉麵

Known by most people as the “Taoyuan” st. Beef Noodles, the actual restaurant name is: Lao Wang Ji Niu Rou Mian.  Here, the main thing you want to get is just beef noodles, with actual beef in it… some people prefer just soup and noodles, but their beef is usually pretty good. Of course it’s possible to get a bowl with a less tender cut, but overall it’s usually very good. I also like getting their pickled cabbage. This is the beef noodle that I grew up with and it’s been consistently delicious for the past 20+ years. This place also showed up in one of the NYTimes articles about good eats in Taipei. No. 15號, Taoyuan St, Taiwan 100

IMG_6888Da Wan Yakiniku (大腕烤肉)

A Japanese Yakiniku, this place doesn’t come cheap – but then again when does A10 Wagyu ever? The restaurant is tiny, the meat is grilled to order in front of you and the staff is beyond friendly. As my friend said recalling the last time we visited, “I think I had the best two mouthfuls of meat of the past 10 years in that place.” (The seafood ain’t bad either!). Just trust the recommendations from the staff and you’ll have a great meal.

Din Tai Fung (xiaolongbao aka soup dumplings)

No trip to Taiwan is complete without visiting one of the Din Tai Fung stores. Sure, they have chains all around the world now… but the stores in Taipei (maybe all of Taiwan) are significantly better than the ones elsewhere, maybe because of the pork suppliers. I now live in Shanghai, the actual birthplace of xiaolongbao, and I honestly think that the ones at DTF (in Taipei, and not SH) are much, much tastier. Most of the items on their menu are really good. Of course you have to get the original xlb, but their beef noodles are actually pretty good too, as well as their hot and sour soup (so much better than the crap you get at American Chinese restaurants) their fried pork chop, their stir-fried water spinach, and their fried rice (you can get it with shrimp or with the fried pork chop, both are excellent).

You can go to their original location, but all their other locations in Taipei are just as good, and the wait might be a tad shorter. There are a lot of good eats in the area around the original DTF, except after eating at DTF, you’re not really going to have room for anything else.

IMG_6913Ice Monster

The original store was located on Yongkang st. (near the flagship DTF) and is famed for creating fresh mango shaved ice over a decade ago. The couple that owned it got divorced or something and sold the original store on yongkang to someone else (it’s still a very popular tourist attraction for HK folks and the Japanese), and I think maybe the husband moved over to this new location. There is always a line – especially in the summer.

The mango shaved ice is very good of course, especially now that it’s mango season. I would also recommend the bubble milk tea shaved ice… it’s different and also really delicious, but can be a little cloying in the summer. There’s also a shaved tea and citrus ice that isn’t as awesome of a photo op, but more refreshing to consume in the heat. Either way, I suggest you bring someone with you so that you can try more than one type of shaved ice. They’re pretty big bowls too.

Popcorn Chicken

Taiwan’s First Popcorn Chicken Store(第一家雞創), No. 530-1, Bei’an Road, Zhongshan District,Taipei City

This style of popcorn chicken (and fried other things – squid legs, fish cakes – my favorite!, chicken cartilage, mushrooms, etc.) is a very, very popular street snack in Taiwan. This place is more of a store-front and they’re really good even though they’re a bit out of the way. That said, they’re right around the corner from an MRT station so it’s not impossible to get to.

Lan Jia Gua Bao 藍家割包 

IMG_6853The city’s best Gua Bao (Taiwanese hamburger with peanut powder, omg so goood). You can order half-fatty, half-lean or full-on either way. We recommend going right as it opens and you’ll get a seat, no problem.  Also do try the black sugar boba milk from the vendor across the street.
Address: 台北市中山區羅斯福路3段316巷8弄3號.  Roosevelt Blvd Sec. 3, Lane 316, Alley 8,
No.3 MRT: Gongguan station. Hours: 11am-10pm, closed on Wednesdays.

The places listed here are fairly solid too:


In Taiwan, bubble tea is a must, the place they mention for bubble tea on the CNN list is supposed to be the store (now a chain) that created bubble tea. Other solid options include chains like ComeBuy and 50Lan. You can always adjust the sweetness/how much ice in each drink too.  You can also say more or less boba depending on your preferences. =)