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.
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.
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.
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.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is one of the concepts of the Crystal Jade group of restaurants which has outlets spread across several countries. The restaurant is known for its delicious ramen preparations and its variety of dim sum. The handmade noodles and flavorful combinations make it a perfect spot for ramen-lovers. While shopping at the Hong Kong Plaza, this is a great place to grab a bite.
This branch (at the Parkson Department Store) is one of many in the city, notable for its catchy brown signs and yellow writing. The Gino's Cafe branches are reasonably cheap places to eat for a quick lunch or casual dinner.The interior is modern and comfortable with high stools and coffee tables. More standard table seating is also available, and the service is efficient and polite. Hop in to try a wide selection of tasty pastas and pizzas, as well as sandwiches and desserts.
Wagas offers a combination of modern European and Asian comfort food such as pastas, sandwiches, cakes and smoothies. Whether you are looking for a quick working lunch or a leisurely gourmet meal, this cafe has you covered. Try the fusilli pasta that features cherry tomatoes and crab meat in tomato cream sauce, or the smoked salmon sandwich with cream cheese. The fresh juices such as Detox Day and Tropical Love feature unique blends of celery, apple, mango, melon, passion fruit and cucumber among other health fruits and veggies. This eatery contributes 50 percent of its profit towards social causes.
Tucked away in Hong Kong Plaza, this branch of Ajisen Ramen is one of the many in the city. It is a nice spot to satisfy your ramen cravings in the neighborhood. Slurp on their simmering soupy noodle delights that come in different varieties. These include ramen soups like chili beef, spicy sour, BBQ duck and mushroom. Their menu also includes stone pot rice.
Banana Leaf in Hong Kong Plaza is a popular place among Thai food lovers. Its dark interiors are accentuated by lovely light fixtures. Their attentive staff will ensure you have a pleasant dining experience. Savor their delicious food that is appealing to the eye as well with their beautiful presentation. Freshly prepared, their dishes are piquant and delightful to the palate. Round it off with a decadent dessert.
A part of the world-wide coffee-shop chain, Gloria Jean's Coffee serves you delightful coffee variations in a casual ambiance. In case you feel hungry, this place entices your taste buds with a delectable small-plate menu ideal for a quick snack. Gloria Jean's Coffee pampers your palate with a range of sugary delights from their dessert menu. Their friendly staff is known for their warm hospitality and makes you feel at home. Its cozy furnishings complemented with its casual ambiance, make this a great spot for those long conversations with your loved ones.