By Jennifer Flowers
July 17, 2014

Just back from China, T+L hotels & food editor Jennifer Flowers shares her best discoveries in this frenetic, hypnotic megacity.

Best Bite
You can’t leave Shanghai without trying xiao long bao (soup dumplings). My yuan’s on Jia Jia Tang Bao (90 Huanghe Lu; $), a beloved hole-in-the-wall in Huangpu.

Memorable Meal
Eating dinner in the kitchen with French-born chef Paul Pairet and his team at Ultraviolet ($$$$), one of the city’s most innovative restaurants.

Sweet Reward
Every morning, I loved spreading my toast with this slightly tart yangmei jam, made from regional fruit by expat Amelia Heaton-Renshaw.

Chic Crafts
Traditional hand-dyed indigo batik, found at Nankeen Exhibition Hall (24 Lane 637, Changle Lu).

What I Brought Back
A carved-lacquer soapbox from the Peninsula—an in-room gift for suite guests.

The Takeaway

Coolest Cruise
Enjoying dramatic skyline views along the Huangpu River on the Princess 54, the sleek new yacht for guests of the Peninsula Shanghai ($$$$). That’s me at left with one of the boat’s liveried attendants.

Shop This Block
The French Concession’s Tian Zi Fang, a warren of galleries, boutiques, and cafés in 1930’s former residences, has local designer labels and vintage-inspired curios.

Spice It Up
The restaurant Guyi (87 Fumin Lu, Xuhui; $) specializes in the fiery cuisine of Hunan province. Order the cumin-crusted lamb ribs.

After Dark
For classic cocktails, head to leather-​and-mahogany-clad Avenue Joffre (570 Yongjia Lu, Xuhui), where Japan native Munenori Harada expertly crafts Sidecars and Moscow Mules.

$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Jennifer Flowers is the Hotels & Food Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.