Restaurants in Shanghai

As with most things in Shanghai, the wonderfully eclectic food scene reflects Shanghai's tendency to looking beyond the city's limits for its inspiration. You'll find some fabulous Shanghainese food of course (which is generally sweeter than food from the rest of China), but local kitchens share the streets, avenues and food malls with restaurants specialising in food from other Chinese provinces and from abroad.

The Shanghai restaurants below have been grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over ¥300)
Moderate (¥100 to ¥300)
Cheap (up to ¥100)

These prices are for an average three-course meal and for a bottle of house wine or cheapest equivalent. They do not include tax or tip unless stated otherwise.


Price: Expensive
Cuisine: French

Hidden in a secret location (diners meet at Mr and Mrs Bund, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu), chef Paul Pairet’s Ultraviolet is as much about the sensory experience as it is the food. The epic tasting menu features 20 courses with matching art and sound installations. The food is French, but that’s only the half of it. Book early: the waiting list here is by the month rather than the minute and it has no phone number.

Address: Waitan, Shanghai, China

M on the Bund

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: French, Mediterranean.

Opened in the late 1990s, M on the Bund remains a Shanghai pioneer - and the first upscale restaurant located along the Bund. Australian-owned, and sister to Hong Kong's M at the Fringe, the cuisine melds Mediterranean and Australian styles. The stylish atmosphere, unbeatable terrace views and good wine menu make this Shanghai's number one venue to impress visitors.

Address: 7th floor, 5 The Bund (corner of Guandong Lu), Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6350 9988.

Jean Georges

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: French

Enfant terrible Jean-Georges Vongerichten has wowed diners from Chicago to Hong Kong with his upscale Vong brand. Now he has opened a sublimely designed, high-class restaurant in Shanghai, which serves French cuisine. The dining room is chic and sensual and the food is sensational.

Address: Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (entrance on Guangdong Lu), Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6321 7733.

Baoluo Jiulou

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Shanghainese

Gather up a boisterous bunch of friends for a fun-filled meal at this typically chaotic and cavernous Shanghai institution, which has lines out the door late into the night. Try the excellent lion’s head meatballs, lotus-leaf roasted duck or the baoluokaoman (baked eel).

Address: 271 Fumin Road, Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6279 2827.


Price: Moderate
Cuisine: American, Western.

The smell of bacon, eggs and tomato frying on an open grill attracts punters to this Shanghai courtyard restaurant on Sundays when home-style breakfasts are served all day – hash browns included. The barbecue also fires up on Wednesday evenings. On sunny days it's best to get here early. Kommune also serves a hearty lunch menu including salads and ciabatta.

Address: 7 The Yard, Lane 210, Taikang Lu, Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6466 2416.

Element Fresh

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Salads, Mediterranean.

This is a resident expat haven for great salads, pasta, juices and comfort food as well as one of the most popular Sunday brunches in Shanghai. Clean, spacious and with a nice terrace for summer eating, Element Fresh serves good-sized portions and the waiting staff are extremely attentive. Now expanding across the city, this small chain has plenty of other Shanghai branches.

Address: Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu (by Xikang Lu), Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6279 8682.

Southern Barbarian

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Chinese

Hidden away in a little mall near the former French Concession, Southern Barbarian specialises in food from Yunnan province. The emphasis is on barbecue, with succulent meat cooked in flowers and spices. The range of craft beers available here is also impressive.

Address: Ju’Rosin Life Arts Space, Floor 2 169 Jinxian Lu, Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 5157 5510.

Guyi Hunan

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Chinese

If you like your Chinese food scalding spicy, Guyi Hunan is a good bet. A vast menu and ubiquitous use of chilli make this one of the hottest regional restaurants in Shanghai. Most people opt for a personal hotpot and a gallon of lager. The food is well-prepared, good value and always tasty. Expect to queue without a reservation on the weekends.

Address: 87 Fumin Lu (by Julu Lu), Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6249 5628.

Yang's Fry Dumpling (Wujiang branch)

Price: Cheap

shengjian (fried dumplings) is a traditional street food in Shanghai, and this place is widely considered to be the city's 'most famous fried dumpings'. Be prepared to queue as tourists and locals all love these little parcels filled with a juicy meat centre. 


Address: 269 Wujiang Road, Shanghai, China
Telephone: +86 21 6136 1391.
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