Generally speaking, Las Vegas isn’t known as a walkable city. Even more congested areas like the Las Vegas Strip are more accessible by car than by foot — and that’s not even taking the 100-degree summer days into account. But there is one strip mall tucked inside Chinatown on Spring Mountain Road that serves as an ideal starting point for a casual day of wandering, snacking, and delighting in some of Las Vegas’s most crave-able bites. The Shanghai Plaza in Chinatown is a two-story horseshoe-shaped shopping area that is home to fluffy Korean shaved ice, Taiwanese baked goods, steaming soup dumplings, and super crunchy corndogs.
First stop: The Tea Maison
Kick off an afternoon of dining by stopping inside the Tea Maison. A hit of sugar and caffeine will spur your appetite, with choices like Okinawa milk tea with brown sugar, fruity mango green tea, and sweeter selections like Oreo brûlée green milk tea and strawberry matcha lattes. Drinks can be ordered with chewy boba, slippery egg pudding, refreshing grass jelly, or fruit — among other add-ins.
4284 Spring Mountain Road
Lunch, part one: Cruncheese
At the northwesternmost area of the plaza, you will find Cruncheese, a Korean-style eatery for super crunchy deep-fried snacks on a stick. The most popular item here is the original hotdog, coated in thick batter and diced potato cubes. The mozzarella sticks — either alone or paired with a hotdog — offer a substantial cheese pull, just right for dipping in ketchup, cheese mustard, or garlic parmesan and taking on the go.
4284 Spring Mountain Road
Lunch, part two: 85C Bakery Cafe
Grab a tray near the door when you enter this popular Taiwanese chain and scan the shelves of just-baked toasts, pastries, and croquettes. Using the provided tongs, select a warm pork sung bun topped with dry shredded pork and mayo sauce. Or get a box and fill it with soft bread stuffed with ham, potato croquettes, and creamy egg tarts.
4258 Spring Mountain Road Unit 103
Shopping Break: Miniso
Whatever small home good, beauty product, or generally cute thing you may be seeking, this variety store tucked into the rear corner of the plaza is sure to have it. And, in most cases, it will be under $5. For all sorts of books, toys, and anime, stop into Manga Hole Vegas. And 888 Collectibles will satisfy your mid-crawl browsing needs with aisles of Funko Pop toys and trading cards.
4276 Spring Mountain Rd Unit 103B, 4266 Spring Mountain Road Unit 201, 4276 Spring Mountain Road Unit 203
Dinner part one: Shanghai Taste
Everything at chef Jimmy Li’s restaurant is good, but in the interest of economical use of stomach space, limit your selections to Shanghai Taste’s xiao long bao dumplings, filled with savory broth. And the aptly named fat noodles, thick and chewy, are exceptional when paired with pork, shrimp, or mushrooms.
4266 West Spring Mountain Road 104 A
Dinner part two: Weera Thai Kitchen
This mini Thai chain in Las Vegas offers reliably delicious Thai food. Save room to end the crawl with one more course of savory fare. Start with a bowl of the khao soy Northern thai-style noodle soup. Round out your second dinner with a plate of sweet and salty pad Thai and a delightfully spicy papaya salad. While you can pair your dinner with sake or soju, the cocktails here are worth consideration, with an old fashioned made with jasmine-infused bourbon, a light lychee cosmopolitan, and the Phuket All which combines gin and citrus with house-made botanical coconut cream.
4276 Spring Mountain Rd #105
Dessert: Sul & Beans
You’ll wish you saved room for dessert once you glimpse the incredibly arranged bingsu shaved ice bowls at Sul & Beans. The giant mountains of fluffy milk-based shaved ice are creamy but light, more refreshing than ice cream. The earl grey bingsu is lightly sweet, with a bold tea flavor and a scoop of ice cream on top. The fresh strawberry variety comes with thin slices of fruit layered over a heap of creamy shaved ice. Or end the night with the traditional bingsu, piled with sweet and earthy red beans.
4284 Spring Mountain Road Unit 103