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Top Rated Restaurants & Cafes in Shanghai

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House of Blues & Jazz

A prominent name in Shanghai's growing and prospering jazz scene, the House of Blues & Jazz is a great place to be if you like to spend your evenings listening to soft music in a brilliantly mellow environment. The smiling pictures of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other legends look down every night, with live 'jazzicians' sharing their tunes with an ever-eager audience. The wooden, dim interiors definitely help set the mood for a blues evening, which you can either share with fellow enthusiasts while drinking the house spirits, or sit by yourself and take in the atmosphere of this lovely jazz and blues space.

The Grape

Back in the mid-1980s when The Grape was just a hole in the wall, it became a regular gathering place for Shanghai's small expatriate community. Today, it remains a favorite among tourists and expats and the service is always consistently good. The Grape does not serve the most authentic of Chinese food, but loyal customers agree it is delicious nevertheless. House specialties include sweet and sour deep fried fish, gongbao jiding (kung pao chicken) and tieban niurou (sizzling skillet beef with onions).


Consistently named as one of Shanghai's best restaurants, the chic 1221 offers modern takes on Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. To its fashionable Chinese and foreign clientèle, it is a stylish change from the utilitarian ambiance of other Shanghainese restaurants, and the bilingual menu is an added bonus. Situated inside a toy factory, the restaurant features maple furnishings complemented by subtle lighting. Recommended dishes include vegetable Bao Zi (dumplings), crispy tofu, crispy duck and shredded pork served with scallions and pancakes and a fine selection of appetizers.

Kathleen's 5 Rooftop Restaurant

Located in "expatriate central," Kathleen's buzzes with foreigners homesick for Western food. Diners enjoy contemporary American fare and fine brunches. The casual and cheerful interior is California-trendy with a bar flanking one side of the room. The menu and staff are English-friendly. Come and dine on dishes such as pasta with feta cheese and tomatoes, burgers, burritos, Greek salad, milkshakes and desserts.


This is the most famous vegetarian restaurant in Shanghai and rightfully so. Meals are excellent and prices are reasonable. It is especially popular for its vegan menu, mock meats and seafood, all cleverly engineered from variations of bean curd. Decor here is on the functional side with standard seating. Private parties can be hosted upstairs on the second floor. Bring along the phrasebook to communicate with your server and decipher the menu. The food is well worth it! The mock shrimp and the mock duck entrées are menu highlights.

Paulaner Brauhaus Shanghai @ Fen Yang Road

This large bar is popular with the upwardly mobile expatriate and local set, and is generally busy all the time. Many people come here for Paulaner's excellent live band, not to mention the authentic German sauerkraut and sausage. Oktoberfest picnic tables on the main floor provide an authentic, if sturdy, feel. Fruhschoppen brunch is great value, served every Sunday. The beers made on location and stored in copper tanks are worth a try, as well as the canned Weissbier.

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