Where to eat Xiăolóngbāo
Let me start by stating that this is a chain restaurant. But with locations throughout China as well as the US, this is a great place to try out your first xiăolóngbāo. The menu is in English and the staff speak English as well. I started my xiăolóngbāo journey here by first trying the chicken version. Just know that you are going to pay more here for both a higher level of service and cleanliness.
Lin Long Fang (There are two locations though I prefer the first: SML, Basement Level 2, 618 Xujiahui Lu near Ruijin Er Lu or 10 Jianguo Lu near Zhaozhou Lu)
I actually stumbled across this spot while lost under the SML center. The place was empty so I almost didn't stop but a bowl of scallion oil noodles lured me inside. You might want to order some in addition to your dumplings. The staff don't speak English here but it's easy enough to point at what you want on the English menu. I'd consider the cost midrange at 27 rmb for 12 dumplings.
Loushi Tangbao Guan (601 Nanchang Lu near Xiangyang Lu)
If you want to practice your Chinese, this is the spot to try. No one speaks English and there certainly isn't an English menu. But their dumplings are juicy and wicked cheap at 6 rmb for 8 dumplings.
So who else is hungry now?