What's better than a terrific meal? A terrific meal enjoyed in the open. Here are our top picks for Shanghai's best Al Fresco dining spots.
This subterranean lifestyle hub has fast become the expat pit - or expit, zing! - of choice. The 'new Yongkang Lu' is complete with central catwalk to see and be seen on (but with the added bonus of having shed the risk of getting run over). Formerly Datong Mill, Found 158 is home to a varied array of restaurants, bars and performance spaces, and retains its quaint open air charm and quirky positioning in the heart of a local park. Enjoy the afternoon and evenings in restaurants including Hooked, El Santo, Mito, Cyclo, Pera and more.
See listing for Found 158.
This restaurant and lounge bar within the Ascott Hotel has a spacious patio overlooking the Xintiandi neighborhood, and sexy interiors that lend themselves to nights out and formal occasions alike. Highline serves a menu of contemporary Western food designed to be shared, alongside a craft cocktail program.
Open daily from 6.30-1am. See listing for Highline.
Image via elEfante on Facebook
Local chef célèbre Willy Trullas’ Donghu Lu restaurant elEfante is a mainstay of rich, great quality Spanish food in Shanghai. Set in a Concession-era villa, the parasol-dotted patio is a great spot to drink their house sangria.
Tue-Sun 11am-2pm, 6-10.30pm, Weekend Brunch: 11am-3pm. See listing for elEfante.
Calix is a contemporary Western restaurant and bar in Xintiandi, serving burgers, steak, salads, seafood and diner-inspired fare, alongside a cocktail menu and wine list. The expansive outdoor patio makes for a particularly nice vista in warmer weather, while inside plays host to live music in the evenings.
Open daily from 10.30-2am. See listing for Calix.
The Cathay Room
The Cathay Room terrace of the Fairmont Peace Hotel is nothing short of luxurious with its own private butler and sommelier. All that, and a stunning view of the Bund to boot.The afternoon tea here is the main attraction, with morsels such as Tempura Baby Calamari, Wagyu Beef Sliders, Lemon Tiger Prawns, Milk Chocolate Praline Truffle and Banana Split.
Open daily from 12-10.30pm. See listing for The Cathay Room.
The Calypso Terrace Lounge was made for al fresco dining. The modern, two-storey structure retracts its tall glass in the warmer months, and the manicured greenery gives out a fresh vibe in the heart of the city. It’s a Mediterranean fare here—authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, Italian burrata and house-made pastas that can be paired with wine, 24 of which are open for tasting.
Terrace Lounge opening hours: Non-winter season (Mar-Nov) Mon-Thurs 2.30pm-1am, Fri-Sat 2.30pm-1.30am, Sun 12pm-1am. Winter season (Dec-Feb) Mon-Thurs 2.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 2.30pm-12am, Sun 12pm-11pm. See listing for Calypso.
TOPS at Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund
Located on the rooftop of Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund, TOPS does birdcage afternoon tea and cocktails best while overlooking a breath-taking panoramic view of the Bund and Pudong skyline. Modern lights and cozy decorum provide an elegant touch to getting, well, drunk outdoors. Plus, Wednesday is Ladies Night!
Open daily 11.30-12am. See a listing for TOPS.
Breeze Garden is a uniquely designed outdoor terrace at the InterContinental Shanghai Puxi with a lovely glass house open air dining concept. Afternoon tea sets are available as well. Drinks with friends, outdoors-but-not-really? Don't mind if we do!
Happy Hour Mon-Fri 5-7pm. See a listing for Breeze Garden.
The Terrace at the Grand Kempinski Hotel
This guide would not be complete without The Terrace at the Grand Kempinski Hotel, with delectable offerings like a seafood tower — need we say more? — and BBQ pork ribs. (Menu subject to change). You might find us there on the next warm day stuffing our faces in the sunshine...
Open daily, 7-10pm. See listing for The Terrace at the Grand Kempinski Hotel.
Coconut Paradise (Fumin Location)
Another Shanghai mainstay in a renovated villa, the gorgeous tree-lined garden at Coconut Paradise feels truly tropical in the evening and compliments a menu of classic Thai dishes.
Open daily 11.30am-2pm, 5.30-10.30pm. See listing for Coconut Paradise.
This so-called ‘American brasserie’ is headed by David Chaveau, previously of The Peninsula. He damn well knows what’s up when it comes to the kitchen, and serves contemporary dishes alongside a spectacular Lujiazui skyline.
Open daily, 11am-2pm, 5-11pm. See listing for POP.
Fifty 8° Grill
Serving premium steaks and delectable French food, The Mandarin Oriental Pudong’s flagship steakhouse Fifty 8° Grill is a consistently excellent choice for special occasions. Don’t expect it to be cheap, but do wear stretchy clothing.
Open daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm. See listing for Fifty 8° Grill.
Light & Salt
Chic Light & Salt bistro at Rockbund benefits from a charming rooftop terrace with some fantastic views. Go for cocktails at their hidden bar in the evening, or the excellent weekend brunch.
Open daily, 6-10.30pm. See listing for Light & Salt.
Located on the top two floors of Hyatt on the Bund, the main draw here is the view of Puxi and Lujiazui skyline from its open-air terrace. This upscale bar offers premium beverages and a comprehensive selection of refined champagnes; this summer sees Vue Bar launching a series of cooling 'sparkling and sorbet' cocktails.Try a blend of Prosecco with either pineapple-basil, elderflower-mint, or mango-passion fruit sorbet.
Sun-Wed 5.30pm-1.30am, Thurs-Fri & public holidays 5.30pm-2.30am. Opens at 2.30pm on weekends. See listing for Vue Bar.
XTD Elevated at The Langham
Enjoy a terrace BBQ at XTD Elevated at The Langham. They now offer a selection of premium meat cuts, with Killara Wagyu as the highlight of the menu. Oysters are on offer too, and Saturdays feature whole roasted chicken. Wash the grill down with selections of wine, beer or cocktails. The terrace features five cabanas, wooden dining tables, and a bar counter relishing in the outdoor breeze of Xintiandi.
Open daily, 6pm-12am. See listing for XTD Elevated at The Langham.
Shanghai’s resident ‘one percenter’ restaurant has a magnificent terrace with unparalleled views of the Bund and Pudong. Impress hot dates, out of town guests and clients with the fabulously old school cocktails.
Terrace open Sun-Thurs, 5pm-12am and Fri-Sat 5pm-1am. See listing for Sir Elly's.
One of the city’s best loved happy hours (RMB45 martinis, anyone?) Morton’s IFC branch has, well, branched out to the roof and recently opened a Sky Bar; which has its own cocktail and bar snack menu.
Sun-Thurs 11.30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11.30am-11pm. See listing for Morton’s.
Sasha’s is an award-winning restaurant and bar situated in the center of the former French Concession, Shanghai. Occupying the old Soong family mansion, they offer various settings for customers to enjoy their food and drinks. Sasha’s also boasts the city's biggest beer garden and a popular bar on the first floor.
Open daily 11am-2am. See listing for Sasha’s.
Slightly out of the way but well worth the trip, Jason Atherton’s other Shanghai concept Table No.1 is similarly consistent in quality, headed up by Tennessee-born chef Christopher Pitts. Try the crispy pig’s ears and beef brisket.
Open daily 12-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. See listing for Table No.1.
M on the Bund
No list of the city’s best terraces would be complete without a mention of the oldest Bund restaurant, M on the Bund. Classy but not overpriced, M on the Bund is the full package. Make sure you try the pavlova.
Lunch, Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-3pm. Afternoon tea, Sun 3.30-5.30pm. Dinner, daily 6.15-10.30pm. See listing for M on the Bund.
Formerly Le Refuge, owners at Kartel (the French bar right below) decided to simply call it Kartel Rooftop. They focus on French food and wine, but the beer and cocktail selections are as enjoyable as the view of the Jing'an skyline. Wooden floors and exposed bricks create a warm atmosphere perfect for a date night or an outing with friends.
Open daily, 5.30-11pm.See listing for Kartel.
Hai by GoGa
Image via Hai by Goga on Facebook
Veteran Shanghai chef Brad Turley’s sophomore restaurant benefits from both indoor and outdoor tables. Excellent choice for contemporary Californian cuisine.
Mon-Sat 5pm-12am. See listing for Hai by GoGa.
Ginger by the Park
A favorite of weekend brunch seekers, Ginger by the Park has a beautifully serene terrace overlooking a quaint park. An eclectic menu of Southeast Asian dishes and Western brunch classics awaits.
Mon-Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm. See listing for Ginger by the Park.
Café Ming Qian
This airy little cafe has a sun-drenched terrace lined with seats, perfect for alone time with a book or a secluded catch-up with friends.
Open daily 8am-10.30pm. See listing for Café Ming Qian.
Serving owner Craig Willis’ popular brand of Mediterranean-meets-Australian dishes, Henkes is a particularly popular choice for brunch on weekends.
Open daily, Cafe 10am-10pm, restaurant 11am-11pm. See listing for Henkes.
Consistency is our favorite word when it comes to restaurants, and Jason Atherton’s casual Jing’an restaurant delivers every time with contemporary, delicious food that won’t destroy your budget. Open for drinks, lunch, dinner and brunch.
Open for lunch, Tues-Fri 12-2.30pm, Sat-Sun 12-3pm. Open for dinner Tues-Sat 6-10.30pm. See listing for Commune Social.
Hands down our favorite non-omakase mid-range sushi spot, Tsukiji Aosora’s Shaanxi Lu branch has a stunning terrace and landscaped garden out back, complete with babbling brook, shaded pavilions and manicured lawn. A must try – make sure you get the uni and ikura rice bowl!
Open daily 11.30am-2pm, 5.30-10pm. See listing for Tsukiji Aosora.
The Beast Café
One of the hipper coffee and cake spots in the tourist-central that is Xintiandi, Beast has several secluded tables surrounded by succulent plants and cacti, presumably acting as a buffer to passersby.
Mon-Fri 10am-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-midnight. See listing for The Beast Café.
The Fellas Terrace
Since being taken over by the Goodfellas family, this terrace formerly known as Shen remains pretty much the same as far as the drinks menu go—beer, cocktails and wine. However, you can now enjoy the spectacular view of the Huangpu skyline with pizzas.
Open daily, 5.30pm-2am. See listing for The Fellas Terrace.
Having kept the city suitably inebriated at their locations in Hengshan Mansions and Hongmei Lu, Shanghai Brewery has extended the courtesy to patrons of Donghu Lu too. Serving a menu of food and beer, this place is consistently packed when the weather is nice, making it a great after-work or pre-gaming spot before you mosey on down to Le Baron.
Open daily, Mon-Thurs: 11.30am-1am, Friday: 11.30pm-2pm, Saturday: 11am-2am Sunday: 11am-1am. See listing for Shanghai Brewery (Donghu Lu)
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