Best restaurants in Shanghai

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Bund & People's Square

    Ultraviolet

    You’ve probably paired food and wine before, but what about coupling an illuminated apple-wasabi communion wafer with purple candles and a specially designed cathedral scent and visuals? Welcome to China’s most conceptual dining experience – and the only restaurant in Shanghai with three Michelin stars. The evening’s diners gather first at Mr & Mrs Bund for an aperitif before they’re whisked away to a secret location.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Jing'an

    Commune Social

    From UK celebrity chef Jason Atherton, this natty Neri & Hu–designed restaurant blends a stylish yet relaxed vibe with sensational tasting dishes, exquisitely presented by chef Scott Melvin. It's divided neatly into an upstairs cocktail bar with terrace, downstairs open-kitchen tapas bar and dessert bar. It's the talk of the town, but has a no-reservations policy, so prepare to queue.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Bund & People's Square

    Yunnan Road Food Street

    Yunnan Rd has great speciality restaurants and is the spot for an authentic meal after museum-hopping at People’s Square. Find Shaanxi dumplings and noodles at No 15, five-fragrance dim sum at Wǔ Fāng Zhāi, or yán shuǐ yā (salted duck, 盐水鸭) and steamed dumplings at Xiǎo Jīn Líng. Don't miss the fly cakes at I'm Waiting For You in Chengdu.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Bund & People's Square

    M on the Bund

    M exudes a timelessness and level of sophistication that eclipses the razzle-dazzle of many other upmarket Shanghai restaurants. The menu ain't radical, but that’s the question it seems to ask you – is breaking new culinary ground really so crucial? Crispy suckling pig and tagine with saffron are, after all, simply delicious just the way they are.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Jing'an

    Brut Eatery

    An extremely popular casual cafe with half a dozen tables, plus steps with cushions and mini side tables out the front. Diners queue and then sit shoulder to shoulder with other patrons for Californian-Chinese chef Jun Wu's creations. The waffles and chicken is a winner – six-spice fried chicken, a large chewy waffle, pickled watermelon radish, jujube honey and candied walnuts.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in French Concession

    Dī Shuǐ Dòng

    Until the beer arrives, the faint breeze from the spreading of the blue-and-white tablecloth by your waiter may be the last cooling sensation you experience at this rustic shrine to Hunan's chilli-laden cuisine. Loved by Shanghainese and expats in equal measure, dishes are ferried in by sprightly peasant-attired staff to tables stuffed with enthusiastic, red-faced diners.

  • Restaurants in French Concession

    Egg

    It's easy to while away the hours in this adorable cafe, with a few stools and a big open window for people watching, plus a raised seating area. Inventive hot drinks include the s'mores latte coffee. Food-wise, a blackboard lists a few specials each day, ranging from rabbit sausage scotch eggs to choc chip bread pudding with caramel.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Jing'an

    Hǎi Dǐ Lāo

    This Sichuanese hotpot restaurant is all about service, and the assault begins the minute you walk in the door. Pre-dining options include shoeshines, manicures and trays of nuts or fresh fruit; once you’ve actually sat down, the buzz of activity continues with the donning of matching red aprons and a YouTube-worthy noodle-stretching dance performance (order lāo miàn, 捞面).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Bund & People's Square

    Yang’s Fry Dumplings

    The city’s most famous place for sesame-seed-and-spring-onion-coated shēngjiān (生煎, fried dumplings) has queues that can stretch to the horizon as eager diners wait for their scalding orders to be dished into mustard-coloured bowls. Watch out for boiling meat juices that unexpectedly jet down your shirt. Per liǎng (两, four dumplings) it's ¥12. Order a duck blood soup, fragrant with coriander.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in French Concession

    Sichuan Citizen

    The subdued evening lighting and welcoming service concoct a warm and homey atmosphere at this popular outpost of Sichuan cuisine. The extensive photo menu is foreigner-friendly and includes a sizeable vegetarian selection. The dàndàn noodles (¥12) are textbook spicy, while the pork wontons in hot oil (¥12) are spot on.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Hongkou & North Shanghai

    Xīndàlù

    Although definitive Běijīng kǎoyā (Peking duck) really needs to be flamed up within quacking distance of the Forbidden City, Shanghai’s best roast-duck experience imports all the necessary ingredients (including chefs and a special brick oven) direct from the capital. There's also excellent live seafood and crab on the menu. It has a sleek open kitchen and dark wood design.

  • Restaurants in Jing'an

    Co. Cheese Melt Bar

    This small but established joint is dedicated entirely to the humble grilled-cheese sandwich. Choose from 25 different types of melts, from turkey to Thai and Branston Pickle to tuna; all are served on San Francisco sourdough. Or build your own classic grilled cheese on white bread with a side of pickles and hot sauces.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in French Concession

    Sproutworks

    A smart cafeteria where you're served food at the counter and clear and stack your own plate when you've finished. Unlike school lunches, however, the food is fresh and tasty with awesome flavour combinations spanning Asia to the Mediterranean. Our favourite dish is the pork meatballs in tomato sauce, with a side of brown rice mixed with quinoa and salad.

  • Restaurants in The Bund & People's Square

    No 1 Waitanyuan

    Nowhere's more fitting for a spot of high tea than the former British Consulate. Enjoy cucumber sandwiches, scones and English breakfast tea overlooking magnificent gardens with a Pudong skyline backdrop. The three-tiered platters are loaded with gourmet cakes and finger sandwiches, served with antique silver cutlery and teapots. Reserve a day or two in advance to get a garden table.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in French Concession

    The Barn by Green & Safe

    Part deli, part Whole Foods–style grocery, plus pizzeria, grill, bakery and brunch...the hugely popular Barn has it all. Its motto is 'eat your way around the world', and the extensive menu offers something for most palates. Ingredients are well sourced, with seasonal veggies and lots of responsibly raised meat options.

  • Restaurants in French Concession

    Polux by Paul Pairet

    This casual bistro comes courtesy of local favourite Paul Pairet. The decor and dining is everything you'd expect from a fabulous French dining experience, from the elegant but unstuffy furnishings to the fine fare. Whet your appetite with delicacies like oysters Gillardeau or pâté de champagne, before moving on to steak in one of four ways.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Xujiahui & South Shanghai

    Hóng Làjiāo Xiāngcàiguǎn

    There's no shortage of decent Hunan restaurants in Shanghai, but you won't find much better than this one. Wooden benches and an exposed-brick effect make for a rough-and-ready atmosphere, but there's nothing casual about the food: a feast of unforgettably smoky, spicy flavours.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Xujiahui & South Shanghai

    Yershari

    Yershari offers a slightly smarter version of the typically raucous Xinjiang dining experience, but this place is still no-frills and plenty of fun with regular live entertainment. Delicious classic Uyghur dishes include noodles, meat skewers, hearty stews and thick Uyghur bread, plus the awesomely tangy tomato-and-pepper salad and spicy-and-sour potato shreds. Pair your meal with black beer.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in French Concession

    Xibo

    Trust Shanghai to serve up a stylish Xinjiang restaurant – you're unlikely to find a place like this in China's wild northwest. It's a little pricey, but super-polished with great service and on-point dishes. Choose mutton, beef skewers, the spicy big-plate chicken, or the dreamy shredded tomato, pepper and onion salad from the region. Xibo gets it right.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Shanghai

    Fu 1039

    Set in a three-storey 1913 villa, Fu attains an old-fashioned charm. Foodies who appreciate sophisticated surroundings and Shanghainese food on par with the decor, take note – Fu is a must. The succulent standards won’t disappoint: the smoked fish starter is recommended, with the drunken chicken and the sweet-and-sour Mandarin fish a close second.