Restaurants in Shanghai
Shanghai restaurants offer fusion food from Chinese and Jiangnan culture. The local cuisine tends to be sweet and oily, noted for its freshness, bright colors, and original flavors. “Shanghai” means “above the sea,” and fitting, the local population loves to eat seafood, especially freshwater fishes, steamed shell fishes, stir fried shellfish and crabs. You can find the best local food at Bellagio Restaurant.
When it comes to meat, the Shanghainese demonstrate a strong preference for pork, served in a variety of ways at the best restaurants in Shanghai. The Crystal Jade restaurant serves minced pork in buns, stripped pork and slices are used in soups and stir-fries. Locals tend to enjoy food that is sweet and sour rather than spicy. Restaurants in Shanghai also serve chicken, duck, and regional specialties like deep-fried stinky tofu. Shanghai restaurants also serve plenty of organic vegetables.
Travel + Leisure lists Allure and Coconut Paradise as two of the best restaurants in Shanghai. Coconut Paradise serves an excellent Thai dinner which includes spring rolls, pad Thai varieties, ricepaper crab, and many more delicacies, and Allure is a popular French restaurant in Shanghai.
Cuisine from the southern Hunan region is known for its smoke, spice, and rich color. This Jing’an neighborhood restaurant’s reputation precedes it, so it’s often crowded.
The dark, Deco-y Shanghainese restaurant serves roast duck wrapped in mantou buns, kao fu, a warm, brown, bready, tofu-like rice-gluten substance that is very comforting; and steamed fish head.
Despite the exclusive-sounding moniker, this French Concession restaurant is open to common and famous; Ralph Fiennes, Yao Ming, and Jackie Chan have all graced the guest list. The villa has played many parts in its history, as home, office, and dining spot.
While there are many choices for dim sum in Shanghai, Soahc makes its mark with Yangzhou-influenced cuisine.
Chef Paul Pairet's lively, modern French restaurant offers all-day people-watching. The staff is knowledgeable and the food delicious; try the steak and foie gras.
The crabmeat dumplings are available at a decadent (for Shanghai) splurge of $14 for a dozen and are thin-skinned with a deeply, sweetly crabby rich broth and meat. The place is one small room with about 30 seats, bright cafeteria lighting, linoleum floors, and a clear view into the kitchen.
When money is no issue, this two-level restaurant perched atop the historic Bund building offers a VIP experience. Having hosted Tom Cruise and Halle Berry, the Cupola readily claims elite status.
In 1918, Wing On was one of four Nanjing Road department stores that helped define Shanghai as the Paris of the Far East. Now it houses Xian Qiang Fang, which is a perfect balance of old and new, with its green-marble vestibule and Art Deco dining room.
A refreshing alternative to the city’s ubiquitous Chinese restaurants, this small café serves traditional Cuban fare in the Changning district. The interior is simple and inviting, with walls covered in mostly Spanish graffiti.
Shouning Road is lined with street-side grills, men kneeling in alleys shucking oysters and throwing shells on alleyway middens, food carts selling roast duck, dessert stalls and grill stands circled with stools and parked motorcycles, and a constant, moving, happy throng of late-night snackers.
Part of the Elite Concepts group, this restaurant has sister locations in Hong Kong and Kowloon. Housed in a brick mansion in the Xintiandi district, the interior has a nostalgic vibe with mid-century decorations and traditional artwork.