Shanghai Restaurants

You'll notice that most Chinese restaurants in Shanghai have large, round tables. The reason becomes clear the first time you eat a late dinner at a local restaurant and are surrounded by jovial, laughing groups of people toasting and topping off from communal bottles of beer, sharing cigarettes, and spinning the lazy Susan loaded with food. Whether feting guests or demonstrating their wealth, hosts will order massive, showy spreads.

Shanghai's standing as China's most international city is reflected in its dining scene. You can enjoy xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) for breakfast, foie gras for lunch, and Korean barbecue for dinner. In many restaurants, it’s traditional to order several dishes to share among your party for family-style dining. Tipping is not expected, but more upmarket restaurants will tack on a 10%–15% service charge. Although you can eat at Chinese restaurants for less than Y50 per person, Western meals go for Western prices.

Some restaurants in Shanghai offer set lunches at a fraction of the dinner price. Check out the dining section of Time Out Shanghai, That's Shanghai or Smartshanghai.com, all of which list dining discounts and promotions around town.

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  • 1. Lost Heaven

    $$ | The Bund

    Southern China's Yunnan cuisine—with Burmese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences—is highlighted at this restaurant, which has a second location in the Former French Concession. Though service...

    Southern China's Yunnan cuisine—with Burmese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences—is highlighted at this restaurant, which has a second location in the Former French Concession. Though service at this branch lacks a bit, the dining room is romantic, with dim lighting and exotic, traditional decor; in warmer months, try for a table on the spacious roof deck.

    17 Yan'an Dong Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200001, China
    021-6330–0967

    Known For

    • Yunnan wild vegetable cakes
    • Dalí-style chicken
    • Ghost chicken salad

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 2. Sui Tang Li

    $$$ | Jing'an

    On the second floor of The Middle House Residences, this polished restaurant delivers excellent contemporary renditions of regional Chinese fare, including modern takes on dim...

    On the second floor of The Middle House Residences, this polished restaurant delivers excellent contemporary renditions of regional Chinese fare, including modern takes on dim sum. Stellar service and tasty Chinese-inspired cocktails combine with the elevated cuisine to make this a must-try eatery.

    366 Shimen Yi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021-3216–8068

    Known For

    • Black-truffle soup dumplings
    • Panfried foie gras and chicken dumplings
    • Jasmine tea-smoked pomfret
  • 3. Yong Yi Ting

    $$$$ | Pudong

    You'd expect nothing less than an exquisite experience from a restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, and Yong Yi Ting delivers. The nuanced dishes—which focus on...

    You'd expect nothing less than an exquisite experience from a restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, and Yong Yi Ting delivers. The nuanced dishes—which focus on China's famous Huaiyang cuisine from Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province near Shanghai—are light in flavor and skillfully prepared.

    111 Pudong Nan Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021-2082–9978

    Known For

    • Crispy fried pomfret with sweet soy
    • Braised beef ribs with walnuts
    • Crispy mandarin fish with sweet sour sauce and pine nuts
  • 4. A Da Scallion Oil Pancakes

    $ | French Concession

    The scallion-oil pancakes at this shop are incredibly popular, with long lines forming from the 6 am opening time until closing—around 3 pm, which is...

    The scallion-oil pancakes at this shop are incredibly popular, with long lines forming from the 6 am opening time until closing—around 3 pm, which is when the pancakes usually sell out. Indeed, demand for A Da's delicious take on this traditional Shanghai street food is so fierce that the owner has placed a limit on the number of pieces each customer can order.

    120 Ruijin Er Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    No phone

    Known For

    • Great craftsmanship
    • Long waits
    • Efficient service

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Wed.
  • 5. Bellagio

    $ | Pudong | Chinese

    ...

    DBS Tower, 1318 Lujiazui Huan Lu, B1, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200120, China
    021-5015–1539
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  • 6. Bellagio

    $ | Gubei

    Taiwanese expats pack the Bellagio (which also has branches in Hongqiao and downtown), so you know it offers an authentic taste of Taiwan. Carrying classic...

    Taiwanese expats pack the Bellagio (which also has branches in Hongqiao and downtown), so you know it offers an authentic taste of Taiwan. Carrying classic dishes such as three-cup chicken, waitresses with short, chic hairstyles move efficiently between the closely spaced black tables and red fabric–covered chairs.

    778 Huangjin Cheng Dao, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021-6278–0722

    Known For

    • Favorite with Asian and Western expats
    • Pineapple fried rice
    • Bellagio Breeze shaved ice

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted, Reservations not accepted
  • 7. Bird and Bitter

    $$ | French Concession | Coffee

    A narrow driveway is all that separates this couplet of venues on a leafy lane. Bird, an intimate, relaxed wine bar and kitchen, has a...

    A narrow driveway is all that separates this couplet of venues on a leafy lane. Bird, an intimate, relaxed wine bar and kitchen, has a changing menu of unfussy small-plate dishes with fusion twists and a list of wines with interesting stories. Neighboring Bitter, a café and bar with a living-room-like setting, is a great place to grab a coffee or apertif.

    50 and 58 Wuyuan Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    135-0172–6412

    Known For

    • Casual, welcoming environment
    • Creative menu
    • Great coffee
  • 8. Blackbird

    $$ | Changning

    Part of the renovated Columbia Circle complex, the carousing spot for American expats in the 1930s, Blackbird features different spaces on three levels. The chic...

    Part of the renovated Columbia Circle complex, the carousing spot for American expats in the 1930s, Blackbird features different spaces on three levels. The chic first-floor lounge serves contemporary cocktails and Chinese-influenced small plates and casual mains; the fine-dining Table Black, one level up, has a regional-Chinese tasting menu; and the lovely rooftop space is complete with an outdoor bar and an herb garden that supplies the downstairs kitchens.

    1262 Yan'an Xi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    187-0199–0479

    Known For

    • Interesting wine and cocktail lists
    • Good outdoor space
    • Polished yet casual atmosphere
  • 9. Brut Eatery

    $ | Pudong | Coffee

    This branch of Brut Eatery is a good choice if you're staying near Century Park and/or are traveling with children. The casual café offers a...

    This branch of Brut Eatery is a good choice if you're staying near Century Park and/or are traveling with children. The casual café offers a good selection of Western-inspired dishes, with the occasional Asian touch, and has a large play area where kids can run about while you relax and sip coffee.

    199 Fangdian Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021-5078–2797

    Known For

    • Family-friendly
    • Chicken and waffles
    • Adorable ceramic mugs created by the founder
  • 10. Canton Table

    $$$$ | The Bund

    Though the decor here is thoroughly modern, it still evokes old Canton, with gorgeous tiled floors and painted murals of women in qipao dresses. The...

    Though the decor here is thoroughly modern, it still evokes old Canton, with gorgeous tiled floors and painted murals of women in qipao dresses. The classic Cantonese dishes have been refined, elevated, and updated to perfectly match the stunning contemporary view of the Pudong skyline.

    3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200000, China
    021-6321–3737

    Known For

    • Whole abalone puffs
    • Cantonese barbecue platter
    • Sauteed beef with matsutake mushroom
  • 11. Cejerdary

    $$$$ | The Bund

    Outfitted in gorgeous pale wood with an aesthetic that feels almost Japanese in its minimalism, this light, airy shop specializes in one thing: crab noodles....

    Outfitted in gorgeous pale wood with an aesthetic that feels almost Japanese in its minimalism, this light, airy shop specializes in one thing: crab noodles. They don't come cheap, but you can taste the care and craftsmanship in each serving—plus, the premium bowls are topped with gold flakes.

    59 Guangdong Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200000, China
    021-6969–7777

    Known For

    • Singular, specialized menu
    • High price tag
    • Beautiful design
  • 12. Cobra Lily

    $$ | Xintiandi

    From the team behind local craft brewery Boxing Cat and American eatery Liquid Laundry comes this hip Southeast Asian fusion concept. Spread over two floors...

    From the team behind local craft brewery Boxing Cat and American eatery Liquid Laundry comes this hip Southeast Asian fusion concept. Spread over two floors and tucked into a renovated shikumen on Xintiandi's main drag, the space is beautiful by day, when it's flooded with light, but you should come in the evening when you won't feel so bad sampling the excellent cocktails.

    No. 19, Lane 181, Taicang Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200000, China
    021-5351–0116

    Known For

    • Butter chicken
    • Lemongrass carnitas banh mi
    • Scallion-oil noodles
  • 13. Coquille Seafood Bistro

    $$$$ | City Center

    The scent of butter and brine waft from the kitchen of this lovely French restaurant, the brainchild of Californian banker-turned-restaurateur John Liu and set in...

    The scent of butter and brine waft from the kitchen of this lovely French restaurant, the brainchild of Californian banker-turned-restaurateur John Liu and set in a refurbished space that was previously his mother's Vietnamese restaurant. While seated in a brasserie chair at a marble- or wood-topped table, you can tuck into platters of seafood and slurp French onion soup; while seated at the bar, you can watch the frenetic concocting of cocktails.

    29 Mengzi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200231, China
    021-3376–8127

    Known For

    • Ultrafresh seafood
    • Beef Wellington
    • Foie-gras crème brûlée

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch, Reservations essential
  • 14. Da Hu Chun

    $ | The Bund

    This hole-in-the-wall shop makes traditional Shanghaiese shengjianbao (fried soup dumplings) with wrappings that are pillowy and soft rather than thin and chewy. Take care not...

    This hole-in-the-wall shop makes traditional Shanghaiese shengjianbao (fried soup dumplings) with wrappings that are pillowy and soft rather than thin and chewy. Take care not to scald your mouth with the piping-hot soup inside the dumplings, and try to come off-hours to avoid the inevitable morning and lunchtime crowds.

    136 Sichuan Zhong Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200000, China
    021-6313–0155

    Known For

    • Local favorite
    • Pork or shrimp-and-pork shengjianbao
    • Shrimp wonton soup
  • 15. Daimon Gastrolounge

    $$ | The Bund

    Hong Kong "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung does playful, inventive, excellent takes on Hong Kong street food at this casual-concept restaurant, where a dimly lit interior...

    Hong Kong "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung does playful, inventive, excellent takes on Hong Kong street food at this casual-concept restaurant, where a dimly lit interior features neon signs and pumping music. If you're feeling flush with funds, book a seat at Leung's upscale Bo Shanghai speakeasy (it's hidden behind an unmarked wall), for a fine-dining tour of regional cuisines remixed with Western flair.

    5 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200000, China
    021-5383–2031

    Known For

    • Over-the-top hipness
    • Barbecue pork buns
    • Chili crab xiaolongbao
  • 16. Din Tai Fung

    $$ | Lujiazui

    The star attractions at this Taiwanese chain are the delicate, impeccably folded xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). Be sure to try the particularly delectable pork and black...

    The star attractions at this Taiwanese chain are the delicate, impeccably folded xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). Be sure to try the particularly delectable pork and black truffle version.

    168 Lujiazui Xi Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200120, China
    021-5047–8883

    Known For

    • Good service
    • Very family-friendly
    • About 10 locations around town
  • 17. Egg

    $ | French Concession | Coffee

    Laptop-equipped freelancers and other trendy locals frequent this petite, friendly, Australian-style café. The menu focuses on breakfast/brunch fare; small plates, often featuring local ingredients; and,...

    Laptop-equipped freelancers and other trendy locals frequent this petite, friendly, Australian-style café. The menu focuses on breakfast/brunch fare; small plates, often featuring local ingredients; and, of course, delicious hot- or cold-brew coffees.

    12 Xiangyang Bei Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    No phone

    Known For

    • Avocado toast
    • Pumpkin spice latte
    • Meeting place for local creatives
  • 18. Fuchun Xiaolong

    $ | Jing'an

    Outfitted to evoke 1920s Shanghai, Fuchan regularly appears on lists of the city's best soup-dumpling restaurants. This branch was renovated in 2018, making it a...

    Outfitted to evoke 1920s Shanghai, Fuchan regularly appears on lists of the city's best soup-dumpling restaurants. This branch was renovated in 2018, making it a particularly pleasant place to soak up a retro atmosphere over breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

    650 Yuyuan Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021

    Known For

    • Pork soup dumplings
    • Fried pork cutlet
    • Wonton soup
  • 19. Ginger by the Park

    $ | French Concession | Coffee

    Ginger is a Southeast Asian eatery with a strong European flavor. The food is excellent, and the intimate indoor space, the patio, and the relatively...

    Ginger is a Southeast Asian eatery with a strong European flavor. The food is excellent, and the intimate indoor space, the patio, and the relatively tranquil park-side setting make it a good place to enjoy quiet conversation over a meal or a cup of coffee.

    91 Xingguo Lu, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, 200031, China
    021-3406–0599

    Known For

    • Laksa
    • Crispy honey-herbed chicken
    • Black cod with lemongrass

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted
  • 20. Golden Maurya

    $$ | Pudong

    With a gold- and marble-filled interior, this restaurant makes a statement that lives up to its "Golden Peacock" name. Its serves excellent and fiery Sichuan...

    With a gold- and marble-filled interior, this restaurant makes a statement that lives up to its "Golden Peacock" name. Its serves excellent and fiery Sichuan classics and is a higher-end version of the group's popular Maurya chain.

    8 Shiji Dadao, Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
    021-5757–5578

    Known For

    • Chongqing fragrant peas and mandarin fish
    • Spicy tofu
    • Crispy "hand grab" cake

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