Coming from the Northern US where the best churro you’ve ever had isn’t much better than the worst – some squishy dough dildo dusted with sandy sugar granules that’s commonly found at airport concessions next to a Cinnabon – it was relieving to chew on a sweet, authentic stick of Spain at San Gines. This newly-opened churro stand in the Hongkou Plaza’s basement food court has a history of cranking out quality pastries since 1895, when the first store opened in Spain, and it shows.
San Gines’ star is the churro basket with Spanish chocolate dip-sauce (19RMB), which, though it may not sound like it, refrains from being atomically sweet as the churros aren’t even seasoned with sugar. Instead, they’re mild, slightly crispy complements to the domineering dark chocolate syrup.
Other options include churros with white chocolate (15RMB), with ice cream (15RMB), with strawberry chocolate (15RMB), and with cheese (15RMB); a popular South American rendition. We were initially skeptical of the cheese churros due to the schoolbus-yellow cheese squeezed from a plastic mustard bottle. But having tried them, we’d deem them a kind’ve sleazily pleasurable eating experience in the same niche as the late night Big Mac or frozen Margarita.
Long, hot corkscrewed wands of dough lubed up with sweet and savory toppings? What’s not to like?
San Gines – Hongkou Plaza, B2/F, 388 Xi Jiangwan Lu, near Zhongshan Bei Lu (西江湾路388号地下二楼, 近中山北路). Hours: 10am-10pm, daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].