The weary, jet-lagged travelers that can't yet rise with China's early sun will be glad to read that Shanghai has an abundance of brunch eateries to start your dislocated morning healthily and in style.
From a broad selection of international cafe's offering great deals on the Anglo-Saxon classic of brunch, to its Cantonese cousin, dim sum, there is no reason not to roll out of bed and explore. Eggs, Baozi, Austrian pie, and a glass of champagne... Here are four savory recommendations to ease you into the weekend — the top eateries under 130 RMB for late starters.
On the cafe studded Anfu Road is this locally famous winery and restaurant offering three varieties of brunch, appearing on the menu as French, Healthy and American. All three exquisite and ranging from 100 RMB to 120 RMB, presenting classic brunch dishes in a specialized, health conscious menu designed by Michelin Guide's advisor chef Pierre Cebeillac-Goyac.
High quality deli, toast, croissant, baguette with butter and jam, salad and eggs, equipped with a variety of coffees and juices squeezed from local seasonal fruits. Add an inviting option of Prosecco Brut free flow for 80 RMB, and Enoterra sure sounds like a good option. Relaxed atmosphere, lots of natural light, and plenty of nearby boutique, book and nostalgia shops nearby to peruse.
One of Shanghai's hidden treasures is this lounge bar inside a renovated old house on Yongjia Road, offering cheap but good glasses of red and white (20 RMB), top quality bar-style food, and brunch from 10am to 3pm.
The brunch menu keeps it simple but right, with options ranging in price from 45RMB to 60 RMB, such as egg benedict with salmon, tuna melt sandwich, banana pancakes with walnuts, accompanied by two cups of coffee, or 4 glasses of juice.
The owner/bartender, Dennis, is one of the friendliest in town. The place is relaxed, with soft lights, and even if the low to the floor accommodations are simply too cozy for those looking to work over brunch, it is perfect for spending an afternoon relaxing with friends.
Almost hidden in one of Shanghai's prettiest, but most unassuming streets, Shaoxing Road, is the Austrian operated Vienna Cafè. Superlative home made pies following classic Austrian recipes, mouth watering breakfast and lunch served by friendly owners and staff easily makes this spot one of Shanghai's top brunch spots.
The Sunday Brunch, priced at 130 RMB, includes both the items in the menu; a variety of exquisitely cooked usual suspects; and a European style open buffet including Austrian signature breads, dips, warm sweet dishes, home made cereal and yoghurt, coffee and apple juice among other things. The atmosphere here is elegant but rustic, blending the Austrian cabin with a bit of Feng Shui. The place on Sunday Brunch quickly gets packed with an older German and Chinese speaking crowd, so make sure to call in advance for reservations.
The Cantonese in-between meal is a cultural, historic topic in its own right, considered by some culinary experts as the predecessor of the western brunch. Replace the ham and toast with dumplings, the pie with durian pastries, and the coffee with milk tea, and you've successfully started your day in China like Marco Polo. Dim Sum (touch the heart), or Yum Cha (tea time), has existed in China since the days of the merchants of the Silk Road, where various tea-houses along the road provided tired, hungry travelers a place to drink tea and eat various snacks.
At Dao Xiang, light, nutritious yum cha eats are ordered from a card that you check off with a pencil, later materializing into classic mouth watering dishes such as (but far from limited to); shrimp rice dumplings, curry fish balls, congee, egg tarts and pineapple buns, to be washed down with a tall glass of tea. Prices vary, as dishes are ordered separately, but you should be satisfied before hitting the 80/90 RMB mark. The traveling purist's brunch of choice.
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