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Shanghai coffee shop, Hey There
Photo by Brandon McGhee

The 16 Hottest New Restaurants in Shanghai

Where to find airy crepes, fire-grilled chops, and cat cafes in the world’s most populous city

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Shanghai coffee shop, Hey There
| Photo by Brandon McGhee

Today Eater returns to Shanghai, China, to spotlight the most in-demand restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in the most crowded city in the world. To help, Eater asked Shanghai-based food writer Christopher St. Cavish to offer up his picks for the hottest openings of the past 12 months or so.

On his list, a Korean-style izakaya (Jeju), a glitzy Szechuan palace (the Peacock Room), and a grocery store-cafe-wine bar from a three-Michelin-starred chef (the Chop Chop Club). China’s coffee boom continues, with new specialists ranging from hidden pour-over cubbies (Hey There) to a 29,000-square-foot Starbucks — the largest in the world. “At the same time,” says St. Cavish, “the city is reinventing the way it drinks tea for a younger generation. It’s an exciting time to eat and drink in Shanghai.”

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jeju Izakaya

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1095 Yu Yuan Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

A Korean-style Japanese izakaya with influences from all over and a sort of research mandate designed to benefit the parent company’s other, bigger restaurants, Jeju Izakaya is a small (eight seats) but perfectly formed eccentricity, with great food. Reservations can only be made through WeChat, China’s ubiquitous text-messaging program.

A post shared by Qing (@qing.m25) on

2. Hey There

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Shang Hai Jin Fu Di Er Yang Lao Yuan ( Yu Yuan Lu ), Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

A new contender in the sometimes-contentious world of cat cafes, Hey There has three cute felines, one for each floor of the three-story space. That space is comfy, done up like a nice friend’s house, with a large sofa on the ground floor and Rolling Stones LPs displayed upstairs, all decorated in warm wood and airy glass. The coffee itself is mild, but as far as cat cafes go, Hey There is Shanghai’s new champion.

*Note: Address approximate

Interior of Hey There
Photo by Brandon McGhee

3. 62 le Bec

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62 Xin Hua Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

After winning two Michelin stars in his native Lyon, and setting up a critically acclaimed bistro and fine dining restaurant in Shanghai, Nicolas le Bec embarked upon his latest endeavor: a grocery-cafe-wine bar. But given le Bec’s pedigree — and, more importantly, his direct-import model — this is more than just a shop for dry goods and a bottle of wine. Instead, it’s a tour through Old World wines at steep discounts (again, the direct importing) for this part of the world, with a menu of small bites to help temper the booze. Add 100 yuan for corkage and a drink in his recreated cellar atmosphere.

318 Anfu Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

When scandal hit the popular Farine bakery chain in early 2017, forcing it and all its related restaurants to close, its staff scattered across the city. RAC is a triumphant return for many of them, who regrouped at this small galette shop and cafe. The new store sits at the quiet end of Expat Alley, a stretch of Anfu Lu known for its expatriate residents, plus a good mix of restaurants, boutiques, bakeries, and coffee shops. RAC is sort of a bridge between that world and the old residences that surround it, with a hidden courtyard walled in by both offices for creative-industry types and the old 1930s housing that typifies this part of the former French Concession. It doesn’t hurt that they do an excellent cup of coffee — probably the best on the street.

*Address approximate

A post shared by RAC Shanghai (@racsh) on

5. Diner

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145 Wu Yuan Lu, Xuhui Qu
Shanghai Shi, China

With upgraded takes on comfort food from locally famous chef Austin Hu, Diner has become a neighborhood fixture in the French Concession, known for its beautiful plate glass windows and corner location. Perfect for people-watching over a stack of pancakes with lemon curd and blueberry compote or a delicious smashed and griddled wagyu burger.

6. Réel Mall

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1601 Nanjing W Rd, JingAnSi, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000
021 2239 9788 ext. 67206
Visit Website

It’s not often that a mall food court — even one as upscale as this — draws lines, but that’s exactly what happened when this prime office building revamped over the summer. The clear winner among the vendors is Da Fu Dong, a simple counter doing Asian-style grilled meat dishes over rice, with steadfast lines at meal times, but there’s plenty more to explore, from sake-flavored soft serve to marinated goose.

A post shared by Roger Cheng (@rogeryocheng) on

7. Oha Café

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23 An Fu Lu, Xuhui Qu
Shanghai Shi, China
136-2164-7680

Oha is an experiment in pairing an Australian chef and a chef from southwest China’s Guizhou province, known for its spicy cuisine, and seeing what happens. That might seem natural, given the city’s mixed character, but it’s a first for the city, and the results are exciting: a smorgasbord of small plates, many for 50 yuan or less, that jumps around Chinese regions and various countries, yet feels all its own.

A dish at Oha Café
Photo: Oha

8. Dodu

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81 Chang Shu Lu, Jingan Qu
Shanghai Shi, China

Shanghai is an international city, so it wasn’t really a surprise when a pair of young French chefs showed up and immediately won the crown for best roasted chicken in the city (beyond Cantonese restaurants, that is). Crispy, herbal, and very juicy, the Dodu chickens took Shanghai by storm and inspired more than a couple imitators. Served with simple but delicious sides, like potatoes roasted in the drippings and peas and carrots doused with butter, these chickens are great, but be warned: The shop is small and seating is limited.

Roasted chicken at Dodu
Photo: Dodu | Facebook

9. Simply Better

Copy Link
China, Shanghai Shi, Jingan Qu
Xin Zha Lu, 1321号-3 邮政编码: 200000

This Korean newcomer went viral in 2017 for its Dirty Coffee, a latte covered in chocolate shavings. It was initially part of its monthly series, but there was a collective coffee-fanatic outcry when the cafe tried to take it off the menu, and so it remains, along with a constantly revolving list of creative specials.

10. Zee Tea

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74 Tong Ren Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

Zee Tea is an achingly cool tea cafe, one of a handful of places reimagining tea for the millennial generation. The raw concrete interior, cold-drip high-mountain oolongs, and jewel-like pastries have attracted hordes of pretty young things to wait in line — for tea, long thought to be the drink of grandparents and taxi drivers. Backlash against coffee? Pride in their heritage? Desire for something new? Yes to all of those.

A post shared by Betty.Du (@betty.du) on

11. Moka Bros

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108 Xiang Yang Bei Lu, HuaiHai Lu XiDuan, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

A hip cafe and creative hangout from Beijing, Moka Bros finally decided to take the trip south in 2017, with a bright, funky, and airy space in the heart of downtown. The food is familiar — falafel wraps, smoothies and sandwiches, rice bowls and poke — but the buzzy atmosphere draws in the laptop set as well as the health-seekers, who spend hours lingering on the beanbag chairs.

A daytime spread from Moka Bros
Photo: Moka Bros | Facebook

12. InWe

Copy Link
Mei Long Zhen Guang Chang, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

The name sounds better in Chinese, a play on “because of tea” and “flavor”. Like ZeeTea, InWe is reinventing what a cafe in China should be, from something based around a chromed espresso machine to something built around brewing leaves, whether hot or cold, Chinese or not. The design is minimalist and hip, and drinks range from a rooibos latte to a fascinating tea made with Chinese olives (which are an ovoid fruit, but nothing like the brined Western olive) and white tea, which has been in vogue for the last couple of years.

*Address approximate

A post shared by iwanna2eat (@iwanna2eat) on

13. Starbucks Reserve Roastery

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789 Nan Jing Xi Lu, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

Shanghai was already home to the world’s largest number of Starbucks in one city (631 and counting), so it seems natural that it would get the biggest actual Starbucks as well. This 29,000-square-foot emporium is indeed the largest Starbucks in the world, and serves as a tribute to everything coffee bean, with on-site roasting, embedded AR technology, bars for cold-brew coffee, bars for cocktails, and a very spendy pastry shop by Milanese star baker Rocco Princi. When it opened at the end of November, the lines stretched down the long block to get in. While there may still be a queue as you read this, it’s since died down, making now the time to go.

The coffee bar at Shanghai’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Photo: Starbucks

14. The Peacock Room

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180 Shi Men Yi Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085
021 5239 1999

Shanghai has moved away from the big, glamorous restaurants of the early ’00s as rents skyrocketed and diners opted for cozier, smaller venues. The Peacock Room is a recent exception, with an endlessly glamorous dining room from two of the city’s premier design icons, Andy Hall of MQ Studios and Caesar Song of the wildly popular Yu Ba Xian restaurants. The single long marble table, big enough for 50, is the backdrop for the Malaysian chef’s playful approach to classic Sichuan cooking, invigorating for both its spice and originality.

A post shared by Angela Cai (@jingangie) on

15. Homeslice Pizza

Copy Link
158 Ju Lu Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

Of all the venues to open in the open-air, belowground Found 158 complex in 2017, Homeslice is the best. The passion project of an amateur chef, its big New York-style slices prove that relentless research and development can trump experience — a message reinforced by the crowds lining up for cheesy slices. Go for the white pizza, topped with Parmesan cream, lemon zest, and garlic.

A regular cheese pie at Homeslice
Photo: Homeslice Pizza | Facebook

16. The Chop Chop Club

Copy Link
3 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

Paul Pairet is the biggest name in Shanghai’s chef circles, winning three Michelin stars for his iconoclastic fine dining project Ultraviolet in 2017. Somehow he found the time to open the Chop Chop Club, a revolutionary roastery where the menu is ditched in favor of an auction-like system run on a giant digital billboard. Portions are equally large, with an emphasis on large-format chops and whole fish, so come with friends to get the full experience.

Small plates at the Chop Chop Club
Photo: The Chop Chop Club

1. Jeju Izakaya

1095 Yu Yuan Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085

A Korean-style Japanese izakaya with influences from all over and a sort of research mandate designed to benefit the parent company’s other, bigger restaurants, Jeju Izakaya is a small (eight seats) but perfectly formed eccentricity, with great food. Reservations can only be made through WeChat, China’s ubiquitous text-messaging program.

1095 Yu Yuan Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

2. Hey There

Shang Hai Jin Fu Di Er Yang Lao Yuan ( Yu Yuan Lu ), Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
Interior of Hey There
Photo by Brandon McGhee

A new contender in the sometimes-contentious world of cat cafes, Hey There has three cute felines, one for each floor of the three-story space. That space is comfy, done up like a nice friend’s house, with a large sofa on the ground floor and Rolling Stones LPs displayed upstairs, all decorated in warm wood and airy glass. The coffee itself is mild, but as far as cat cafes go, Hey There is Shanghai’s new champion.

*Note: Address approximate

Shang Hai Jin Fu Di Er Yang Lao Yuan ( Yu Yuan Lu ), Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

3. 62 le Bec

62 Xin Hua Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

After winning two Michelin stars in his native Lyon, and setting up a critically acclaimed bistro and fine dining restaurant in Shanghai, Nicolas le Bec embarked upon his latest endeavor: a grocery-cafe-wine bar. But given le Bec’s pedigree — and, more importantly, his direct-import model — this is more than just a shop for dry goods and a bottle of wine. Instead, it’s a tour through Old World wines at steep discounts (again, the direct importing) for this part of the world, with a menu of small bites to help temper the booze. Add 100 yuan for corkage and a drink in his recreated cellar atmosphere.

62 Xin Hua Lu, Changning Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

4. RAC

318 Anfu Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

When scandal hit the popular Farine bakery chain in early 2017, forcing it and all its related restaurants to close, its staff scattered across the city. RAC is a triumphant return for many of them, who regrouped at this small galette shop and cafe. The new store sits at the quiet end of Expat Alley, a stretch of Anfu Lu known for its expatriate residents, plus a good mix of restaurants, boutiques, bakeries, and coffee shops. RAC is sort of a bridge between that world and the old residences that surround it, with a hidden courtyard walled in by both offices for creative-industry types and the old 1930s housing that typifies this part of the former French Concession. It doesn’t hurt that they do an excellent cup of coffee — probably the best on the street.

*Address approximate

318 Anfu Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

5. Diner

145 Wu Yuan Lu, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

With upgraded takes on comfort food from locally famous chef Austin Hu, Diner has become a neighborhood fixture in the French Concession, known for its beautiful plate glass windows and corner location. Perfect for people-watching over a stack of pancakes with lemon curd and blueberry compote or a delicious smashed and griddled wagyu burger.

145 Wu Yuan Lu, Xuhui Qu
Shanghai Shi, China

6. Réel Mall

1601 Nanjing W Rd, JingAnSi, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000

It’s not often that a mall food court — even one as upscale as this — draws lines, but that’s exactly what happened when this prime office building revamped over the summer. The clear winner among the vendors is Da Fu Dong, a simple counter doing Asian-style grilled meat dishes over rice, with steadfast lines at meal times, but there’s plenty more to explore, from sake-flavored soft serve to marinated goose.

1601 Nanjing W Rd, JingAnSi, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

7. Oha Café

23 An Fu Lu, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
A dish at Oha Café
Photo: Oha

Oha is an experiment in pairing an Australian chef and a chef from southwest China’s Guizhou province, known for its spicy cuisine, and seeing what happens. That might seem natural, given the city’s mixed character, but it’s a first for the city, and the results are exciting: a smorgasbord of small plates, many for 50 yuan or less, that jumps around Chinese regions and various countries, yet feels all its own.

23 An Fu Lu, Xuhui Qu
Shanghai Shi, China

8. Dodu

81 Chang Shu Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
Roasted chicken at Dodu
Photo: Dodu | Facebook

Shanghai is an international city, so it wasn’t really a surprise when a pair of young French chefs showed up and immediately won the crown for best roasted chicken in the city (beyond Cantonese restaurants, that is). Crispy, herbal, and very juicy, the Dodu chickens took Shanghai by storm and inspired more than a couple imitators. Served with simple but delicious sides, like potatoes roasted in the drippings and peas and carrots doused with butter, these chickens are great, but be warned: The shop is small and seating is limited.

81 Chang Shu Lu, Jingan Qu
Shanghai Shi, China

9. Simply Better

China, Shanghai Shi, Jingan Qu, Xin Zha Lu, 1321号-3 邮政编码: 200000

This Korean newcomer went viral in 2017 for its Dirty Coffee, a latte covered in chocolate shavings. It was initially part of its monthly series, but there was a collective coffee-fanatic outcry when the cafe tried to take it off the menu, and so it remains, along with a constantly revolving list of creative specials.

China, Shanghai Shi, Jingan Qu
Xin Zha Lu, 1321号-3 邮政编码: 200000

10. Zee Tea

74 Tong Ren Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085

Zee Tea is an achingly cool tea cafe, one of a handful of places reimagining tea for the millennial generation. The raw concrete interior, cold-drip high-mountain oolongs, and jewel-like pastries have attracted hordes of pretty young things to wait in line — for tea, long thought to be the drink of grandparents and taxi drivers. Backlash against coffee? Pride in their heritage? Desire for something new? Yes to all of those.

74 Tong Ren Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

11. Moka Bros

108 Xiang Yang Bei Lu, HuaiHai Lu XiDuan, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
A daytime spread from Moka Bros
Photo: Moka Bros | Facebook

A hip cafe and creative hangout from Beijing, Moka Bros finally decided to take the trip south in 2017, with a bright, funky, and airy space in the heart of downtown. The food is familiar — falafel wraps, smoothies and sandwiches, rice bowls and poke — but the buzzy atmosphere draws in the laptop set as well as the health-seekers, who spend hours lingering on the beanbag chairs.

108 Xiang Yang Bei Lu, HuaiHai Lu XiDuan, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

12. InWe

Mei Long Zhen Guang Chang, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085

The name sounds better in Chinese, a play on “because of tea” and “flavor”. Like ZeeTea, InWe is reinventing what a cafe in China should be, from something based around a chromed espresso machine to something built around brewing leaves, whether hot or cold, Chinese or not. The design is minimalist and hip, and drinks range from a rooibos latte to a fascinating tea made with Chinese olives (which are an ovoid fruit, but nothing like the brined Western olive) and white tea, which has been in vogue for the last couple of years.

*Address approximate

Mei Long Zhen Guang Chang, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

13. Starbucks Reserve Roastery

789 Nan Jing Xi Lu, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
The coffee bar at Shanghai’s Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Photo: Starbucks

Shanghai was already home to the world’s largest number of Starbucks in one city (631 and counting), so it seems natural that it would get the biggest actual Starbucks as well. This 29,000-square-foot emporium is indeed the largest Starbucks in the world, and serves as a tribute to everything coffee bean, with on-site roasting, embedded AR technology, bars for cold-brew coffee, bars for cocktails, and a very spendy pastry shop by Milanese star baker Rocco Princi. When it opened at the end of November, the lines stretched down the long block to get in. While there may still be a queue as you read this, it’s since died down, making now the time to go.

789 Nan Jing Xi Lu, NanJing XiLu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

14. The Peacock Room

180 Shi Men Yi Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085

Shanghai has moved away from the big, glamorous restaurants of the early ’00s as rents skyrocketed and diners opted for cozier, smaller venues. The Peacock Room is a recent exception, with an endlessly glamorous dining room from two of the city’s premier design icons, Andy Hall of MQ Studios and Caesar Song of the wildly popular Yu Ba Xian restaurants. The single long marble table, big enough for 50, is the backdrop for the Malaysian chef’s playful approach to classic Sichuan cooking, invigorating for both its spice and originality.

180 Shi Men Yi Lu, Jingan Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

15. Homeslice Pizza

158 Ju Lu Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200085
A regular cheese pie at Homeslice
Photo: Homeslice Pizza | Facebook

Of all the venues to open in the open-air, belowground Found 158 complex in 2017, Homeslice is the best. The passion project of an amateur chef, its big New York-style slices prove that relentless research and development can trump experience — a message reinforced by the crowds lining up for cheesy slices. Go for the white pizza, topped with Parmesan cream, lemon zest, and garlic.

158 Ju Lu Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200085

Related Maps

16. The Chop Chop Club

3 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Small plates at the Chop Chop Club
Photo: The Chop Chop Club

Paul Pairet is the biggest name in Shanghai’s chef circles, winning three Michelin stars for his iconoclastic fine dining project Ultraviolet in 2017. Somehow he found the time to open the Chop Chop Club, a revolutionary roastery where the menu is ditched in favor of an auction-like system run on a giant digital billboard. Portions are equally large, with an emphasis on large-format chops and whole fish, so come with friends to get the full experience.

3 Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi
China, 200000

Related Maps