The Best Places to Dine Al Fresco in Shanghai
Shanghai | © Carlos Adampol Galindo/flickr | Carlos Adampol Galindo
There are a few months out of the year in Shanghai
when the weather is blissful, and every moment outdoors should be enjoyed to the fullest. Here are eleven places where you can take advantage of the lovely temperatures while sipping and supping to your heart’s content.
Ginger by the Park
Restaurant, Fusion, Asian
A gem of a find, this cozy spot features a pretty outdoor patio that makes fair weather that much more delightful. On the menu, you’ll find an East-meets-West affair of pretty, flavorful dishes in which the Asian offerings often win out. Try the laksa and the tofu salad.
Restaurant, Wine Bar, Spanish
There’s no better place to sit in the sunshine with a glass of Spanish wine in one hand and a range of elegant tapas on the table. This patio is cloistered from the busy Donghu Road, perfect for a long, lazy lunch or weekend apéritif. If you’re going for brunch, be sure to make a reservation well in advance.
Pop American Brasserie
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, North American
Enjoy beautiful, expansive views of Shanghai’s iconic skyline on the roomy outdoor balcony of Pop American Brasserie. Paying tribute to a retro 1970s American vibe, you’ll find comforting fare on the menu, fused with distinctly French sensibilities. On the weekends, reserve an outdoor spot ahead of time to try and get close to the railing for the absolute most perfect of views.
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
This is a long-standing favorite drinking place, presided over by the the illustrious Cotton Ding. Their covered patio is an ideal place to throw back a few beers while listening to live music and perhaps munching on some decent American-style dishes.
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, Fusion, Tapas
A project by famed chef Jason Atherton, Scott Melvin helms the kitchen at this pretty, laid-back spot. Here, you’ll find elegant, clever small plates that fuse influences from both the Asian and Western world, to much success. Their pretty central courtyard is an ideal spot to share food and drink with some good friends. No reservations are taken, it’s first come, first serve – so get there early on weekends.
Light & Salt on the Bund
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary
Experience the sparkling city lights and views of both sides of the Huangpu River with a well-appointed cocktail in hand. Light & Salt’s small outdoor balcony at the bar is the perfect place for a stunning evening drink before heading downstairs for dinner in the stunning 1920s-themed restaurant.
Table No. 1
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary
Another spot by the mind of Chef Jason Atherton, Table No. 1 is set in the stunning boutique hotel, The Waterhouse at South Bund. The chic, minimalist design extends to the dining room, where you’ll find an outdoor patio perfect for nibbling on smoked pork ravioli and some of the best creamed corn you’ll ever have in your life.
Hai by Goga
Restaurant, Contemporary, American
Set in the heart of the former French Concession, Shanghai restaurant veteran Brad Turley serves up a beloved menu of California-style cuisine, a fusion of American brashness and Asian subtlety. This spot is mostly open-air, so when the weather is fair, this is the perfect spot for brunch and lovely views of the leafy old city.
Tops the Banyan Tree
For an exclusive rooftop experience, head to the rooftop of the luxurious Banyan Tree Hotel. Set at the very northern tip of the Bund, here you’ll be treated to posh surroundings and sweeping views all the way down the Bund. Head here at sunset – and call ahead for a good seat.
M on the Bund
Restaurant, European, Contemporary, $$$
M on the Bund is one of the most iconic restaurants on the Bund, and perhaps all of Shanghai. Set in the Art Deco interior of the old Nissin Shipping Building, founder Michelle Garnaut founded this spot in 1999 and it has been a favorite ever since. Do as the residents do and flock here for their famous brunch – or just pop in later in the evening for a drink. Reservations on weekends suggested.
Bar, Restaurant, Mediterranean
Designer by the famed architect Shigeru Ban, the upstairs lounge is the perfect spot for drinking and dining under the open sky – whether the weather is cold or clement, as the roof is made of glass that retracts when the weather is good. Dine on pizzas that feature excellent, blistered crusts and glasses of wine beneath the clouds. In the wintertime (December to February), the hours shorten to 2.30pm – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 2.30pm – midnight (Fri & Sat), and 12noon – 11pm (Sun).