As one of Shanghai’s most iconic tourist attractions, the Bund has a wealth of restaurants attractively perched along its banks. Whether you’re craving traditional Shanghainese fare or Michelin-star dining, here is Culture Trip’s guide to the best restaurants set against the Bund’s glittering backdrop.
WUJIE, Xizang Middle Rd
Restaurant, Asian, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Vegetarians and vegans will be thrilled to discover WUJIE: an upmarket, Michelin-star restaurant. Expect more than a dreary bowl of veggies, as this venue offers an inventive take on plant-based cuisine. Its specialities include baked mushroom roll with quinoa, Chinese yam mousse and plum-vinegar marinated beetroot. The staff are versed in catering for a range of allergies, including to those who are gluten free.
This chain of Yunnan folk-cuisine restaurants (the Bund being the location of its flagship) is incredibly popular, serving authentically spicy Yunnan dishes in sleek and stylish settings. Take in awe-inspiring views whilst chowing down on wholesome dishes such as spicy cod steamed in banana leaves and fried pork ribs. When filled to the brim, head to the terrace for refreshing post-dinner cocktails and to soak in the view.
This modern french eatery is one of the most famous on The Bund strip. Housed in a restored 1920s colonial building, everything about Mr and Mrs Bund is incredibly grand. Its giant glass windows (as well as outside terrace) offer spectacular views of The Oriental Pearl Tower and beyond. It’s menu is extensive, but those battling jetlag will love their late-night dinner deal (available until 2am) which offers two courses for 250 yuan. Where else in Shanghai can you chow down on foie gras or frogs legs in the early hours of the morning?
Situated on the rooftop of the no-frills, budget hostel that it is part of, The Captain is famous for offering a premium Bund view without the premium price tag. The outdoor terrace (which was named Best Bar with a View at Shanghai’s 2017 WOW awards) is the perfect place to indulge in reasonably priced cocktails (around 65 yuan – arguably the cheapest on the strip) and tuck into simple grub such as pizza and quesadillas.
5 on The Bund is a Shanghai dining staple, housing several upmarket eateries including Italian Restaurant Alto Primo, which you’ll find on the second floor. The stylish, expansive loft space and rustic-chic decor ensure the vast, floor-to-ceiling windows are the star attraction, making you feel as if you are truly surrounded by the Huangpu River. Despite its fancy location, both the staff and menu lack any pretension. Service is excellent and they specialise in hearty Italian cuisine (such as the famous wood-fired pizzas).
M on the Bund is a Shanghai institution, being one of the first fine-dining restaurants to open in the area. Its sweeping, open-air terrace seems to stretch endlessly along the Huangpu River. Its high tea (a selection of sandwiches, pastries, tarts and cakes) makes for perfect afternoon dining and there’s also an extensive vegan menu.
Imagine if someone transported an American diner to the centre of The Bund and gave it a Japanese makeover. That’s Pop American Brasserie. The nods to the diner-era are subtle: Red leather booths nestle alongside surrounding floor-to-ceiling windows. Whilst fries and burgers are on the menu, so is pan-fried pigeon, angus tomahawk steak and a selection of oysters.
Five-star hotel The Peninsula Shanghai offers guests unrivalled luxury, an atmosphere which extends to Sir Elly’s, one of two Michelin-star restaurants on its premises. Everything about the venue is lavish. French chef Charles-Benoit Lacour offers a set seven-course menu for 1,488 yuan (£170) – with caviar as an optional extra – that includes pigeon, foie gras and blue lobster. A la carte choices include frogs legs with parsley cream sauce and wagyu beef with dauphinoise potato and mushroom custard; the epitome of fine dining. Sir Elly’s outdoor terrace is also the longest on The Bund.
Tucked just behind the Bund skyline is Shanghai Grandmother. What it lacks in views and a waterfront location, it makes up for with its menu of authentic, home-style Chinese cooking. The signature dish is the mouthwatering braised pork belly, with other favourites including soy aubergine and garlic spinach. Be warned: since its Lonely Planet recommendation, Shanghai Grandmother has become very popular with tourists. Eat off-peak or be prepared to queue!