- Beijing’s Best Sights
- Beijing’s Best Restaurants
- Beijing’s Best Nightlife
- Beijing’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Beijing’s Best Shops
- Beijing’s Best Hotels
- Best of the Great Wall
- Shanghai’s Best Sights
- Shanghai’s Best Restaurants
- Shanghai’s Best Nightlife
- Shanghai’s Best Arts and Leisure
- Shanghai’s Best Shops
- Shanghai’s Best Hotels
- Shanghai’s Best Excursions
Over the past 10 years, Shanghai has become a truly international city when it comes to dining. It’s no exaggeration to claim that every imaginable cuisine is represented here, from obscure regional hot pots eaten on plastic seats to gourmet molecular gastronomy overlooking the Bund.
Since migrants make up such a large percentage of Shanghai’s population, it’s no surprise that regional Chinese food is so prevalent. In recent years, regional food has expanded from home-style neighborhood restaurants to higher-end establishments; places like Sichuan Citizen cater to diners who have more money to spend, but still want authentic flavors.
The city’s swelling number of expatriates has inspired a boom in Western restaurants. The trend is led by a handful of overseas restaurateurs like Australians Craig Willis, executive chef of the Wagas café chain and manager of the eponymous Mr. Willis, and David Laris, among whose many projects is a popular wine bar, the Fat Olive. Other leading lights are Peruvian brothers Eduardo and Marco Vargas and Chinese-American Kelley Lee who runs the Boxing Cat Breweries.
The Bund has always been blessed with excellent restaurants, all benefiting from the highly marketable skyline view. These range from the relatively affordable to the downright exorbitant. The Old French Concession is also a top spot for dining, with countless restaurants and bistros nestled among the trees and villas.
The Sinan Mansions complex is a series of converted colonial-era houses containing popular, mid-range restaurants and bars. Heading away from the main tourist areas, you’re more likely to find one-off, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and snack vendors. There are plenty of Western fast food chains, too. One thing’s for sure: In Shanghai, you won’t go hungry.
- Best Views While You Eat: M on the Bund
- Best Local Flavor: Yang’s Fried Dumplings
- Most Healthy: Wagas
- Spiciest Food: Hunan Xiangcun Fengwei
- Best Regional Chinese Food: Sichuan Citizen
- Best Beer Selection: Southern Barbarian
- Most Bohemian: The Cottage
- Best for People-Watching: Cantina Agave
- Best-Known Celebrity Chef: Table No. 1
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition