China

Restaurants in China

China's cuisine is amazingly complex and multi-faceted and travelers will find restaurants in China that specialize in all the various regional styles of cooking. The best restaurants in China range from some that offer white-glove service and banquets with countless courses to humble stalls that may sell only one particular broth or noodle dish. Peking duck is, of course, one of China's most famous dishes and the Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing is one of the best places to taste the duck exactly as it should be prepared and served, in three courses. 

The Donglaishun restaurants began as a food stall in 1903, but now they are famous for their Mongolian hotpots where diners cook their own meat (traditionally, thinly sliced mutton) and vegetables in a tableside pot of broth. The China restaurants scenes isn't limited to just Chinese fare. Miichelle Garnault's M restaurants (M on the Bund in Shanghai, M on the Fringe in Hong Kong, and M Capital in Beijing) are some of the most acclaimed of the many using locally sourced ingredients in European—and Middle Eastern and North African—dishes.

Overrun with ravenous foodies, The Commune Social is one of the hardest places to snag a dinner reservation in Shanghai (despite the fact that it’s now more than a year old).

This chilled-out bistro, set inside the hipster-hub, DJ lab and indie menswear store KIN, is owned by Shanghai hip-hop impresario Gary Wang. The ambience is relaxed; you can kick back among metal bistro chairs and natural wood tables beneath a sunny skylight.

One of the most unique dining experiences in Shanghai, Le Restaurant École Institut Paul Bocuse is an offshoot of the famed Paul Bocuse cooking school in France.

When I feel like splurging on a lavish brunch, Jing’An, the revered restaurant at the five-star Puli Hotel and Spa, never disappoints. The minimalist Asian interior is modern and stylish, yet not stuffy.

With its huge private terrace and its out-of-the-way location (it’s set down a quiet driveway of low-rise creative office buildings), Must is a favorite French hangout in Jing’An district.

UVA

Echoing the young, fun vibe of Dr. Wine, UVA is the hip, date-worthy wine bar of the moment in Jing’An district. Managed by two Italian oenophiles, UVA naturally specializes in Italian wines—including ten labels that sell for just RMB35 per glass.

Le Vin is a small and subdued alternative to Shanghai’s bigger, bustling wine bars.

The Roosevelt Wine Cellar boasts the largest wine reserve not only in Shanghai, but in the world. Some 4,000 bottles, to be exact, resting in state-of-the-art coolers that occupy an entire floor of the stately Bund 27 building.

Dr. Wine is a bit crowded and noisy, but that’s part of the appeal; this is, after all, Shanghai’s favorite wine bar. The ambience is cozy yet modern, thanks to industrial-chic interiors with lots of exposed brick, brushed steel and furniture crafted from dark wood and rich leather.

Xiao Nan Guo is a reliable local chain, with 15 (and counting) branches scattered around the city. The restaurants are a favorite go-to for locals hosting family gatherings and business dinners.

You can’t get more authentic than the most beloved street food in the Pearl of the Orient, sheng jian bao.

Tables at Fu 1088 are some of the hardest to snag in Shanghai.

At this charming, casual joint specializing in Shanghainese cuisine, everything about the food here is traditional (except for the MSG and generous use of oil, sugar, and salt).

Whenever local residents suggest going out for a Shanghainese dinner, Jesse is often the favorite destination. This cozy, noisy, and fast-paced restaurant in the heart of the French Concession has been around for decades.

Ultraviolet lives up to the hype as a delicious, psychedelic trip for all five senses.  Shanghai-based French chef Paul Pairet fuses expertly prepared gourmet cuisine and high-tech theatrics to create an out-of-this-world dining experience.