Shanghai has a vast range of restaurants catering not only to local palettes, but also serving dishes from all over China and all over the world. If you want to eat it you can probably find it in Shanghai!
This page covers the best of Shanghai's mainstream Chinese restaurants. For other tastes and restaurant styles click below.
If you're in Shanghai, you'll want to be sure to add a Shanghainese restaurant to your agenda. It's been argued that the city doesn't have a unique cuisine all of it's own, but to it's credit, it blends of some of the best flavors of the surrounding regions to create it's own style. Read more about Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisines to understand the local influences on the city's unique fare.
Shanghai-style food, Shanghai-style snacks, shark's fin dishes and a crab feast. English Menu available. Reservation recommanded. It is featured for its 4 distinguished food series of Shanghai-style food, Shanghai-style snacks,shark’s fin dishes and crab feast. The restautant has hosted heads of state from more than 40 foreign countries such as President Clinton.
Lü Bo Lang Wenchang Road Branch (文昌路店)
Located on top of Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Oriental Pearl Revolving Restauran is considered to be the highest one in Asia, with its unique spectacle, outstanding cuisine and leisurely environment it is open to be a giant in Shanghai. Hundreds of Chinese and western food are placed on marvelously decorated buffet tables, alluring landscape is revolvingly changed per two hours, it definitely leaves you a deep impression while dining there.
This 200 seater restaurant is located in the center of Zhu Jia Jiao Town, an ancient place in Shanghai, which specializes in authentic local cuisine. Homemade decoration creates an atmosphere of water town, and the popular dishes delight your taste buds with genuine flavors and ingredients.
Wujiang Lu (吴江路 /woo-jyang loo/) Snack Street, located in Jing'an District, is famous for snacks. Wujiang Road Snacks Street has the same status as the prosperous and parallel business street of Nanjing West Road (南京西路 /nan-jing sshee loo/), but different in style.
The Business Street is well-to-do fashionable, while the Snack Street is very close to the fashion of ordinary people. Some of the small shops there are so attractive to the ordinary Shanghainese customer that they unconsciously open their hearts, and no longer remember losing weight or going on a diet! Everything is under the control of the taste buds.
On this street, some of the well-known restaurants have been Base (a Chinese and Western restaurant), MR COFFEE (where foreigners often have a cup of coffee in the open air), and Jiro (characterized by curry and coffee, as well as afternoon tea, a good place for leisure and relaxation).
Wujiang Road Snacks Street has been largely "relocated". Many patrons said they were reluctant to see its shops go. No matter how Wujiang Road changes, it is hard to shake its reputation as a paradise of snacks. For every visitor to Shanghai, Wujiang Road Snacks Street should not be missed. Read How to Eat Like a Local in Shanghai by Day for the latest on Wujiang Lu.
Getting there: Take the metro, or bus 20 or 37, to Nanjing West Road.
Jade on 36, on the 36th floor of a five-star hotel called Shangri-La Hotel, is located at No.33 Fu Cheng Road, Pudong New Area. The chief chef in this restaurant is a Frenchman. Ranging from the environment to dishes, Jade on 36 is a symbol of top grade. Inside the restaurant, there are decorations of emerald glass and purple-colored interior leather, making the restaurant looks gorgeous.
On one side of the restaurant, the view of the Bund will take you back to the 1930s, when Shanghai was known as the "Oriental Paris". On the other side of the restaurant, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the high-rises in Lujiazui financial business district, constantly remind you of the fact that the current Shanghai has opened a new chapter. Exquisite dishes, exceptional design and the breathtaking landscape, will leave you special feelings.
Especially at night, when enjoying the night view of the Bund from distance, you may feel that you are standing on the most prosperous land in the world. It can be said that tourists can experience an unusual visual and gustatory venture at Jade on 36.
M on the Bund continues to wow Shanghai with its delectable cuisine, stylish service and a sophisticated, yet comfortable ambience and it is the only restaurant in mainland China twice named to the Miele Guide Top 20 List (2008 and 2009).
M on the Bund is located on Shanghai's historic riverfront Bund, on the top floor of the seven-storey former Nissin Shipping building. The building is created with re-imagining the 1927 structure, an award-winning modernist interior blending 21st century touches with hints of Shanghai’s past. Both the Dining Room and the Crystal Room offer spectacular vistas overlooking the Bund, the Huangpu River and the skyscrapers of Pudong.
Besides European dishes, M on the Bund has introduced new flavors from the cuisines of the Middle East and North Africa, in response to increasingly sophisticated palates, while remaining true to its culinary roots: even the most unfamiliar dishes are filtered through the prism of classical European technique. The combination of cuisine, ambience and view has made it a modern Shanghai icon.
Note: If you can't get a table, enjoy the scene at the very cool Glamour Bar.
The restaurant mainly serves Shanghai style dishes, which feature exquisite, creative, fresh, fragrant and delicious. Besides its dishes, the restaurant is famous for its unique design and decoration, which shows you the typical and luxurious Shanghai lifestyle in 1930s. The unadorned floor, wooden tables, cane chairs, hollowed-out doors and windows, all of which create the in-store overwhelmed by a holiday atmosphere elegant with classic simplicity. The most unique is that there are performances of opera and Pingtan (storytelling and ballad singing in Suzhou dialect) in the evening.
818 Mall Rm 701, 818 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu
Heyuan is a buffet restaurant that mainly serves barbecue and hot pot. The prices are quite reasonable, and the hot pot is all you can eat within a period of two hours. You are strongly advised to order barbecue first and then enjoy the hot pot, as the house hot pot is a great palette cleanser after eating barbecue.
The hot pot, made of crucian carp with chrysanthemum (菊花鲫鱼锅), consists of several ingredients that can help to fend off sickness, including chrysanthemum, white fungus, wolfberry and rock candy. The dish is quite healthy. It has a fresh and sweet taste and can help remove the greasy feeling of the barbecue. The crucian carp and fish balls that are blended into the hot pot base are very nutritious as well.
Address: 2nd Floor, Changhang Building, 800 Zhangyang Road, Pudong New Area (浦东新区张杨路800号长航大厦2楼).
As a buffet restaurant that mainly offers barbecue and hot pot, this location provides you with several different buffet options at different prices.
Besides the buffet dishes, you can also order a special dish of fried rice that you can cook yourself at the table for a little extra entertainment. If you want to experience the fun of cooking by yourself — or to let your children do so without having to clean up afterward! — feel free to order this house specialty.
This buffet restaurant specializes in Japanese cuisine. When you enter, you will notice 12 food windows with different styles of food, including sushi, stretched noodles, izakaya (居酒屋), fried shrimp and many more Japanese specialties.
Even though this is a buffet, the dishes are cooked quite carefully. The boiled pumpkin with five vegetables (五金蔬菜南瓜煮), for example, though made up of five common vegetables, is specially dealt with beforehand. The shitake mushrooms are stewed with pork belly, while the bamboo shoots are boiled in chicken soup. The pumpkin is blended with fish and kelp to freshen the palate. Such cooking methods not only retain the individual taste of each vegetable, but they also add a layer of animal fat, making the nutrition more balanced. It is especially suitable for ladies and children.
Be sure to make a reservation here, as the restaurant fills up quickly.
Typical of colder-climate locales, the cuisine in the North is starch-heavy with a reliance on root vegetables and hearty meats. Notable for it's noodles, dumplings and rice dishes, Northern fare will fill you up and keep you warm long past meal-time. Read more on Northern Cuisine.
Typically braised, stewed or sautéed, Cantonese cuisine is a lighter fare compared to it's regional counterparts. Full of flavor and leaning more towards the sweet end of the spectrum, Cantonese is an easy entry point to sampling some of the South's fantastic fare. Read more about Cantonese Cuisine.
The food in Hunan is praised for it's balance between salty and sweet but is also distinct for it's use of chilis (but not the mouth-numbing peppercorns found in Sichuan) as well as it's emphases on seasonal produce. Read more about Hunan Cuisine.
Famous for it's spicy dishes, if you're looking for a meal with a kick, you'll want to find a Sichuanese restaurant to dine at while you're in town. Read more about Sichuan cuisine.
A muslim region, the cuisine from this Western province is lamb-heavy and famous for it's pulled noodles, dried fruits and full-flavor dishes.
As a southern province, it's no surprise that the cuisine here is slightly reminiscent of Thai cooking and holds a flavor profile quite different from the rest of the country. Largely rice-based, this cuisine is simple and hearty. Read more about Yunnan cuisine.
Still hungry? Good. There are plenty more Shanghai restaurants to try.
If you're strolling around the French Concession, here are a few lunching and munching options to chew on.
If you want to eat like a local, here's our pick for the best local daytime and nightime eats, and if street food is what you seek, here's a good list of where to search for road-side bites in Shanghai.
Want more help? Our expert travel advisors can help arrange your itinerary to make sure you catch all the best eateries while you explore the city. Or you can see our most popular Shanghai tours as follows: