6 More Restaurants to Try in Shanghai

October 24, 2016
When I first got to Shanghai last year, one of my favorite things to do was to go out and explore the restaurant scene. I wrote a post titled 10 Restaurants to Try in Shanghai, and now that I've been in Shanghai for a bit longer, I wanted to go ahead and expand the list with five new places that I recommend. When I go out to eat at a nice restaurant in Shanghai, typically I do not go for Chinese food. Let me explain why... For lunch, I eat food prepared at the school cafeteria which is almost always Chinese food. Also, where I live isn't in the center of Shanghai--it is a 15 minute cab ride to parts of the French Concession, a much more happening area. I usually don't venture out there on a school night, and instead prefer to eat somewhere near where I live and work. Almost all the restaurants around us serve up local dishes of Chinese food. You might think, "Well of course all of the restaurants serve Chinese food. You're in China!" Actually, Shanghai has so many international food options! By the time the weekend rolls around, I'm usually craving something different, so only one restaurant on this list actually serves Chinese food.

1) Uo Kura- There are several locations of this upscale Japanese restaurant in Shanghai, but I have only tried (and highly recommend) the Sinan location. Afterwards, you can work off some of the meal you've had by going on a short walk and admiring the mansions! The restaurant itself has private rooms, which might be fun for a larger group or even for a date. The decorations inside were simple, as the idea is to focus more on the taste of the food. It serves up sushi rolls, oysters, sashimi, roasted steak with sesame sauce, miso soup, and steamed eggs with fish, just to name a few ideas of what to order. They usually have scallops as well, but the day I went they were out. There is a large selection of sake to choose from; over 200 different kinds are available! Apparently there are some decent set menus, too.

2) Chicken and Egg- As the name suggests, this restaurant's menu focuses on dishes made with chicken or eggs. There are several roast chicken options that come with two sides. Their side menu includes not only includes salads like orzo and spinach or spicy Asian coleslaw, but also has hot options like honey glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. Besides the side options, what I really love about this restaurant is their selection of sauces for the chicken! For example, they have roast garlic ranch, bourbon barbecue, honey mustard, cheese sauce, and ginger sweet chili. There are also chicken wraps and different options for sandwiches. Steven swears by the curry aioli and egg sandwich. The desserts have been decadent and similar to what I might get back in the States. However, the desserts on the menu are often not all available. I was pretty bummed that I couldn't get a slice of carrot cake, but then got over it as soon as I took a bite of the peanut butter cheesecake. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available, and many of my friends and acquaintances of mine do like to frequent this restaurant. In fact, Rachael even opted to have her birthday party here!

3) Fat Cow- My pal Scott says this is one of his favorite places to go to in Shanghai, mainly because he is obsessed with the lemongrass chicken and the sauce that comes with it. There are all sorts of gourmet burgers with a range of different toppings to choose from, which is what I usually go for. The burgers are SO good that a meal from Fat Cow was my first request from my friends when I got flown back to the hospital in Shanghai! When we go, we go to the Hongmei Lu location. Most of the staff knows a limited amount of English, so that's always a plus. The ice cream is just plain wonderful, too. There are all kinds of sundaes and milkshakes to choose from like chocolate mint and Ferrero Rocher. It's definitely a great place to go when I'm missing American food!

4) La Crêperie- If you're looking for authentic French crêpes in Shanghai, look no further. La Crêperie specializes in crêpes and galettes from Brittany. I tried out the Jing'an location last year with Scott and was quite pleased with the selection of both savory and sweet crêpes. There were also several kinds of cider available--it just pairs so well with crêpes! I ended up having my birthday dinner there last year, and every person that I invited remarked on the food and how much they enjoyed it. Rachael and I went to a different location in the French Concession last week, and had the pleasure of trying out a dessert crepe called Le Défi, which was voted one of the 10 best desserts in Shanghai. It's made with bananas, butter caramel sauce, and is topped with some caramel ice cream. Go hungry because if you like desserts, you aren't going to be able to resist. 

5) CH2 Whisk- This is a great restaurant to indulge at...Hello cheese and chocolate! Other common items on the menu are nachos, burgers, grilled cheese, and pasta, but their speciality is still definitely their chocolate desserts like their upside-down chocolate cake. I've been there twice and would not mind returning soon. I have heard positive feedback about their brunch, too.

6) Sichuan Citizen- Like I said, I'm not always in the mood for Chinese food when I go out on the weekend, but I would make an exception for Sichuan Citizen. As is customary in China, the set up is family style dining there, which is nice if you go with a large group because then you are able to sample so many different types of dishes. Apparently the basil cocktail is quite popular here. This restaurant was voted the best Sichuan restaurant in Shanghai in 2011 and 2012 by That's Shanghai, and it looked clean. If someone came and visited me from the States, this would be a restaurant I would definitely take visitors to, especially if I knew they liked spicy food.

Which restaurants do you like most in your city?
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