Shanghai’s restaurant business is fiercely competitive, forcing owners to continually push expectations higher. As more foreigners and Chinese continue to pour into Shanghai, expect to see Chinese food get more experimental and your choices of Western and Asian food expand. Like bars and nightclubs, new restaurants open and close here by the day. For the latest hotspots, it’s always wise to consult the local English publications.
Modern teahouses are popular with the young in Shanghai. cuisine is known for heing swe Throughout China, Shanghainese cuisine is known for being sweet and oily. For a true Shanghai specialty, try the hairy crab, a fresh water crab that becomes mature in fall the crab roe is delectable. Another popular dish is the drunken shrimp -live shrimp are marinated in an alcohol-based marinade. They’re a bit hard to eat because they squirm and jump in your hands, but they’re delicious. A variation on this is drunken crab, where raw pieces of crab are marinated in a similar sauce. For street food, Shanghai’s most famous contributions are the steamed buns (xdolong bao) or fried meat dumplings (shengjian bao Dining options are numerous in Shanghai. Because of Shanghai’s large expat community, cuisines from all over the world are available, from delicate Japanese sushi to tender Brazilian barbeque. Choices are unlimited and so are the prices.
Most restaurants take reservations, and they are advised, as the Shanghaine love to eat out.
Chic and quiet, 1221 is a favorite restaurant for romantic meals and large get-togethers. The spacey orange and white interior sets the pace for unearthly dining. The drunken crab appetizer is a local delight. All major credit cards are accepted.
1221 Yan’an West Road
11am to 2pm, 5pm to 11am
Bao Luo Restaurant
This place is packed almost anytime, day or night, but it’s also deceptively large with spacious dining rooms and numerous private rooms tucked into the old building’s nooks and crannies. For some Shanghainese favorites, try the red dates stuffed with sticky rice, the crabmeat tofu soup or the incredibly rich and tender dongpo meat. The service staff competent and fast and large parties, often drinking Shaoxing wine, give the restaurant a heady, frenetic atmosphere.
271 Fumin Road, Luwan District
10am to 6am
lished in 1938, the colonial flare is maintained with its classic decor of marble furniture and paneled walls. Sichuan influences run throughout many of the dishes. Try the Sichuan duck or the Meilongzhen Special Chicken for a real treat. All major credit cards are accepted.
No. 22, Lane 1081, Nanjing West
Road, Jing’an District
11am to 1: 30pm, 4pm to 10pm daily
Nanxiang Steamed Restaurant
If there is a Shanghai institution for snack food and traditional local fare, this place is it. Not only is it located in the beautiful and historic Yu Garden, it’s widely known throughout the city as the place to go for steamed dumplings. The restaurant complex actually consists of three separate dining rooms with prices increasing as you ascend. In the two upstairs dining rooms traditional Shanghainese dishes and Cantonese dim sum abound. It fills up fast and waiting for a table is not uncommon. Even with the crowds and noise, if you want a taste of old Shanghai, don’t miss the place. Look for the lines.
85 Yu Garden Road, Nanshi District
7am to 10pm
Shanghai Dexing Guan
29 Dongmen Road, Huangpu District
6: 30am to 8: 30pm
242 Fuyou Road, Huangpu District
5pm to 8: 30pm
Aiming to be Shanghai’s premier Cantonese restaurant, the Summer Pavilion is elegant and refined and the food is top notch. The menu ranges from Bird’s’ Nest, Shark’s’ Fin and Abalone to the more pedestrian dishes of Crispy Pigeon and Roast Duck. All major credit accen cards are accepted. Portman Ritz-Carlton, 1376 Nanjing West Road.
ang ‘s’ Kitchen
Long renowned as one of the best restaurants for traditional Shanghainese fare, Yang’s is set back in a charming lane off the leafy, ambling Hengshan Road. The atmosphere at Yang’s is decidedly reserved and elegant but that doesn’t mean the food is boring. The stewed eggplant pork mince(roumo qiegua jiabing), rolled up into small pancakes, is outstanding. Yang’s long tradition of quality cuisine and polite dining continues to draw both locals and guests throughout the years. All major credit cards are accepted.
all “shanghai is probably the most glamorous city in China. Just head down to Xintiandi on Saturday night and you’ll see the snazziest people in this town partying it up.
“The Shanghai Museum is great. We spent the better part of the day there going through all the exhibition halls the best part is there’s actually English explanations that make sense. Afterwards we went down the Naning Road great way to end the day.