Shanghai

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.

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.

This restaurant on the eleventh floor of Le Royal Méridien hotel offers a taste of France in the hub of Shanghai. This 50-seat location puts food before views; Chef Michael Wendling prepares dishes from the southern region of France.

Sometimes the best way to find a restaurant is look for the longest lines, and that’s the case for this street-side restaurant that specializes in shengjian baozi, steamed pork buns. A couple dollars will buy four of these thin-skinned snacks, which are partly fried and partly steamed.

French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten incorporates his affinity for Eastern tastes into the flavors and textures of his cuisine. The first restaurant bearing his name outside America opened in 2004 on the fourth floor of Three on the Bund.

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.

Chef de cuisine Franckelie Laloum, formerly of Michelin three-starred Maison Pic and Maison Troisgros, brings his top-shelf experience to this French restaurant on the 36th floor of the Pudong Shangri-La hotel.

Table No. 1 is a pared-back, industrial-chic restaurant, stripped to its unadorned material essence.

Xiao long bao (Shanghainese soup dumplings) are the speciality. ($1)

Ubiquitous chain with English menus and solid xiao long bao. Various locations.

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.

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.

Perched in the middle of a man-made lake, the path to this house twists and turns (legend says spirits don’t do curves.) Also known as “Huxin Ting,” this two-story building with traditional Chinese architecture was built in the Qing Dynasty and turned teahouse in 1855.

This Julu Road eatery is a favorite with expats and locals looking for a unique dining option. Nepali Kitchen serves food of the Himalayas inside its dining room, which has low tables, cushion seats, prayer flags, and bright-colored walls.

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.