No visit to Shanghai is complete without a basket or two of Xiaolongbao, the city's signature soup dumpling. Here are our favorite spots to grab a juicy bite.

1. Fu Chun 富春

Packed to capacity during the lunch rush, Fuchun is usually full of locals sitting at communal tables elbow to elbow hovering over a basket of steamy soup dumplings.

Their menu includes noodles, veggies and other snacks, but their xiaolongbao is the way to go. The dumpling skins here are the thinnest we’ve had, so it’s a good idea to have a spoon ready to catch the soup if you accidentally pierce the skin with your chopsticks.

If you go for lunch, be ready to wait and nudge your way through the crowd for a seat.

2. Loushi Dumpling Shop 陋室汤包馆

This is a perfect example of a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Though small and with only a handful of tables and stools inside, Loushi Dumpling Shop is the place to be if you're after an authentic, local-loved xiaolongbao.

The soup dumplings at this shop are a little smaller than the ones we’ve had elsewhere, but no less delicious. It doesn’t take much for the shop to get busy but seats turn over pretty fast so you won’t find yourself waiting for too long for a table.

3. Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包

It might not look like much from the outside, but Jia Jia Tang Bao's xiaolongbao are definitely worth the wait and tight space. The steamed dumplings on offer here include pork, pork with egg yolk, and even crab if you're feeling fancy.

Unlike the other shops on this list, Jia Jia tends to run out of xiaolongbao by noon, so we recommend you get there early.

4. Lin Long Fang 麟笼坊

Unlike its sibling shop, Jia Jia Tang Bao, Lin Long Fang rarely has a line of hungry customers. Don’t get us wrong, it gets crowded, but never to the point where you have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a spot.

Their dumplings have almost the perfect ratio of soup to meat to wrapper, providing for a very balanced flavor. The soup at Lin Long Fang is also, in our opinion, a bit tastier than Jia Jia. Regardless, we love them both!

5. Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰

For those who prefer to go upscale, Din Tai Fung is a safe bet for some high quality xiaolongbao. This popular Taiwanese chain has multiple locations throughout the city and around the world, and is well-known for its consistency and attention to detail and flavour.

With translucent skin, tender pork and a rich spoonful of soup, their soup dumplings don't disappoint. In addition to the usual pork filling, Din Tai Fung also offers other varieties of xiaolongbao, such as vegetarian, chicken and even goose liver.