As a Shanghai native and someone who grew up truly loving Shanghainese food, nothing beats a round of dumplings at Jia Jia Tang Bao to satisfy your dumpling craving.
This hole-in-the-wall chain restaurant (my favorite location is on Xizang Lu) serves up eight delicious soupy pork filled steamed dumplings for only US$2 (eat your heart out Joe's Shanghai). The famed Ding Tai Fung has nothing on this tasty local haunt.
Sure, Jia Jia is small, often packed and heat-induced during the height of summer with little interior decor to be admired--but this the best you'll get in Shanghai when it comes to food. Their menu only offers dumplings and they're the best at what they make. An open kitchen gives you a cool glimpse into how they're dumplings are made (good luck recreating'em) and each "long" is made to order. Enjoy!