Proving that our friends to the north have nuthin’ on us when it comes to cuisine, places that had actually gotten their start in Shanghai were extraordinarily well represented at The Beijinger’s 6th Annual Reader Restaurant Awards, presented a couple of days ago.
Over 4,600 ballots were cast for 35 categories. Each category listed three top restaurants, one “Best” and two “Outstanding,” selected from Beijinger readers’ picks. And seven of those 35 categories included dining establishments that got their start in the ‘Hai.
Shexpat fave Element Fresh was especially popular, taking home honors for Best Non-Chinese restaurant of the year, Best Sandwiches, Outstanding Outdoor Dining and Outstanding Brunch.
Other Shanghai transplants: Hazara/Lan Na Thai, Face for Outstanding Décor, and Blue Frog for Outstanding Burger.
Surprisingly, Shanghai didn’t take the top spot for its own cuisine – that went to Ding Tai Fung, the xiaolongbao slinger from Taiwan. Both Outstanding restaurants were Shanghainese though: Lu Lu’s has grown up with the city since the 1980s, while Jade Garden opened its first restaurant in the Xuhui district in 1999.