Xujiahui is famed for its fantastic range of restaurants and bars, but don’t fret if the options are too daunting. Whether you want handmade dumplings, pillowy-soft baos or a taste of British comfort food, this list has it all.
There’s something for everyone in Xujiahui – grab breakfast on the move from the bakeries, fill up on ramen or dumplings at lunchtime, or share a hearty evening hot pot with friends.
This restaurant is a Taiwanese chain serving Shanghai specialities – watch chefs deftly fold all 18 pleats required on every xiao long bao through a large window while you eat. Their speed is astonishing as they stuff these small parcels with various fillings. Pork or crab are the go-to options, but there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a ‘bad dish’ here and there are plenty of offerings for vegetarian diners. Other favourites include pork-chop fried rice, steamed vegetarian dumplings and dessert dumplings filled with red bean paste. The service is always pleasant and friendly and English-speaking staff are more than willing to make recommendations for the less decisive.
A favourite of Shanghai’s Muslim and Uyghur communities, Tarhar Muslim Restarant at the Sun Moon Light Centre food court is one of the best places in the city to have halal food. Hailing from the Xinjiang region, this facet of Chinese regional cuisine is something you really shouldn’t miss. Lamb and mutton are the name of the game here, so make sure you order the famous barbecue skewers dusted in spices and herbs (three or four per person make a good snack or side dish). If you’re sitting in for a full meal, opt for a portion or two of delicious flavour-packed noodles and stir-fried veggies. The spice used in Xinjiang cuisine is similar to that Middle Eastern herb-based spices, which pair well with Tarhar’s silky-smooth fresh yoghurt.
With locations around the world, you’ll find multiple Haidilao outposts in most big cities in China. Famed for its outstanding service, your wait time is supplemented with snacks, juice and even manicures at some venues! Orders are placed through an iPad, with dishes upon dishes arriving at your table ready to be dipped into a broth of your choosing. Even if you’re new to hot pot, fear not – staff are more than willing to give you a helping hand with ordering. The hand-pulled noodles are highly recommended – pulled right at your table by a dedicated server.
This is the ideal spot if you’re after a classy, well-designed restaurant where you can feast on delicious, healthy dishes. Beautifully presented vegetarian dishes tempt the palate, without sacrificing quality or quantity. While certainly not the cheapest place to eat in the area, this restaurant is ideal for those seeking something a little more sophisticated. There is a good variety of options on the menu, even dedicated meat-eaters will thoroughly enjoy a delightful meal at Da Shu Wu Jie.
This traditional restaurant is located inside an old railroad station in the only remaining part of the Virgin Mary Convent building, which dates back to 1926. Dine in the spacious open room, filled with lush period furniture, or be seated in one of the vintage railroad carriages. Food here is based on classic Shanghainese cuisine, so expect flavourful dishes packed with aroma and an array of side dishes such as pickled veg, all served with precise presentation.
If you’re a Brit in Shanghai and need a little taste of home, then The Park Tavern is the place for you. Serving up traditional pub grub at decent prices (decent for Western cuisine, that is), The Park Tavern is decorated in the traditional British pub style, with dark wood furniture, handwritten chalkboard signs and old-school posters – there’s even a beer garden for when the weather is good. You can delve into all sorts of classic British food here, from cottage pie to generous helpings of roast dinner with yorkshire puddings.
This Xujiahui branch of Odelice! boasts an open, high-ceilinged dining room with clean furnishings. Serving up Western cuisine with a focus on French dishes, Odelice offers delicious meals at favourable prices and hosts some great weekend lunch deals. Come here for tasty galettes or mussels, but save room for a dessert of crepes and waffles served with a variety of toppings. Service is generally quick and always friendly, which makes for a very pleasant atmosphere paired with great food.