Eating Your Way Through Shanghai

Shanghai is best known as a business travelers’ destination. It is after all the wealthiest city in China and is home to China’s largest center for commerce and finance. What you may not know is that Shanghai has an incredibly impressive restaurant scene, which features cuisines from all around the world. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a luxury dining experience, Shanghai will meet your culinary needs. Below are the top restaurants in Shanghai.

Jade on 36

If you want to experience downtown Shanghai at its best, visit Jade on 36. It is located on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, which is right in the center of downtown. The view from this restaurant is one of the best you can find in the entire city. Beyond the ambiance, the food is also phenomenal. Jade is run by the famous chefs Oliver Pistre and Ozgur Taylan Yucel. They describe their menu as “European classics with an Asian twist.”


This luxury restaurant is about as unique as a restaurant can be. It is so exclusive that even people who have dined here before don’t know where it is. The reason why is the nature of the dining experience. It begins when you are picked up at a meeting point and taken to a secret location. The venue is a windowless room with LED screens for walls and a table set for 10 guests. What follows is a culinary, visual, and auditory experience complete with rich flavors, astounding images, varied sounds, and a full 22 courses. If you think this sounds like a James Bond movie, you’re not alone. This strange restaurant is something that you want to experience at least once in your life.

Lost Heaven

This restaurant specializes in cuisine from the southern province of Yunnan. What makes it unique is that Yunnan food is much less well known than the typical Chinese restaurants you find outside of China. Yunnan food is described as a fusion between traditional Chinese, Thai, Lao, and Burmese cuisines. If this exciting collection of influences sounds delicious to you, be sure to check out Lost Heaven.

Mr. & Mrs. Bund

This restaurant not only has a reputation in the city of Shanghai but has also been internationally recognized. This creation from chef Paul Pairet made San Pellegrino’s 2013 list of the world’s top 50 restaurants. It features classic French cuisine, but with various creative twists that will keep you interested.

8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana

If you want a little taste of Italy in the heart of Shanghai, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana is your best bet. It is the second location of this restaurant, the first already claiming its place as a top restaurant in Hong Kong. Their simple and well-executed menu will please any patron that has a love for Italian cuisine. Visitors also rave about the restaurant’s ambiance, calling it rustic and quirky.

Jia Jia Tang Bao

Though the former restaurants are all wonderful, they come with a significant price tag. For a cheaper, hole-in-the-wall dining experience, visit Jia Jia Tang Bao. Here, you can taste the delicious street food of Shanghai and get a better sample of day-to-day culture.

Shanghai has it all. Depending on your mood, you can visit ultra-luxury restaurants or blend into the casual street food scene of the city. You are also not stuck with only local food, as Shanghai features cuisines from all around the world. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you can find it in Shanghai.

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