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 | Chinese

    Southern China's Yunnan cuisine—with Burmese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences—is highlighted at this restaurant, which has a second location...Read More

  • 2. Coquille Seafood Bistro

    $$$$ | City Center | French

    The scent of butter and brine waft from the kitchen of this lovely French restaurant, the brainchild of Californian banker-turned-restaurateur...Read More

  • 3. Mercato

    $$$$ | The Bund | Italian

    Prolific restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten's namesake restaurant has delighted Shanghai for quite a few years now, but Mercato is a whole...Read More

  • 4. Mr & Mrs Bund

    $$$$ | The Bund | French

    Open into the wee hours, chef Paul Pairet's Bund-side eatery features not only satisfying modern French dishes but also a lengthy list of wines...Read More

  • 5. Taian Table

    $$$$ | Changning | International

    For a treat, head to Stefan Stiller's Michelin-starred Taian Table, where most seating is at a bar that wraps around a truly open and impressively...Read More

  • 6. Together

    $$$ | Jing'an | French

    Helmed by Bina Yu, a young Korean chef who trained under Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Together typifies Shanghai's contemporary dining scene—a...Read More

  • 7. HoF

    $ | Pudong | Eclectic

    It's a mystery how owner Brian Tan stays so slim with all this tempting chocolate. Desserts are to die for; our pick of the dizzying lot is...Read More

  • 8. The 5 Tables Bistro

    $$$ | City Center | European

    This restaurant is small in size but packs in plenty of personality. The friendly Singaporean owner is the sole waiter, yet no water glass goes...Read More

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