Explore Shanghai's street food: Tianzi Fang
Updated 22:18, 04-Nov-2018
By Ye Qing
As a city that experienced Western industrialization firsthand, Shanghai has many old abandoned factories. 
Finding a way to repurpose these old buildings used to be a challenge for many people. However, Tianzi Fang has become a model for the reconstruction of an old city.
VCG Photo

VCG Photo

Tianzifang, or Tianzi Fang, is a typical old factory that has developed from a renovated traditional residential area in the French Concession area of Shanghai. It is now a tourist shopping and cafe area in the old French quarter.
Though not as well-known as Yu Garden, Tianzi Fang is still a popular tourist attraction in Shanghai, and even on weekdays, its alleys are full of tourists from all over.
Tianzi Fang in Shanghai, November 13, 2012 /VCG Photo

Tianzi Fang in Shanghai, November 13, 2012 /VCG Photo

Since Shanghai is a city full of history, you can see various buildings in Tianzi Fang, including British castles, Spanish and Baroque buildings, as well as traditional Chinese brick and wood buildings, such as the Chinese-style Shikumen. There are also stone gate buildings along with French buildings.
There are not only shops, but some Shanghainese also live here, giving you a glimpse of the everyday lives of residents.
A produce shop in Tianzi Fang /VCG Photo

A produce shop in Tianzi Fang /VCG Photo

In 1998, Chen Yifei, a renowned classical Chinese painter, was the first person to set up a studio in Tianzi Fang. Since then, many artists have settled in Tianzi Fang, including Wang Jieyin and Wang Jiajun, giving the once unknown street an artistic flavor.
In 1999, painter Huang Yongyu inscribed the title "Tianzi Fang" on Lane 210 of Taikang Road. 
According to historical records, Tian Zifang is the name of the oldest painter in ancient China, the homophone of his name, Tianzi Fang, is a place where artists gather. 
This attractive place, near the popular Xintiandi shopping area, has a great variety of local and international foods in domestic and foreign-owned restaurants.
From the renovation of the old factory building in the early 21st century to the studios, galleries and creative shops in the street now, every corner of Tianzi Fang is full of original old Shanghai customs, and brimming with vitality.