New Shanghai Bars and Restaurants: December 2019

By That's Shanghai, December 5, 2019

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Here are all the restaurant and bar openings we featured in our December 2019 magazine issue.



Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Mark Klingspon has a reputation for generous hospitality, and this time the mastermind behind The Nest, The Cannery and Rye & Co has brought a bit of Seoul to Three on the Bund. As JUJU, the house that Neri + Hu built for Jean-Georges and Marja Vongerichten’s elegant Chi-Q is nearly unrecognizable. While keeping the Korean barbecue, Klingspon has done away with fine dining trappings, dropping the price point and having Korean and Chinese street artists throw up brightly colored murals on the wall.

Total Verdict: 4/5

Price: RMB300-1000 per person
Who’s going: literally everyone
Good for: voracious appetites, professional drinkers, parties

Read the full review here. See listing for JUJU.

Head in the Clouds

Image courtesy of Head in the Clouds

If you’ve passed the corner of Zhenning and Dongzhu’anbang Lu on a sunny day recently, you’ll have noticed Head in the Cloud’s huge daytime crowd. The cafe and bistro has been a huge hit on Chinese social media thanks to its photogenic brunch menu and its large terrace, bolstered by a welcoming, modern, high-ceilinged design. Aside from its wanghong brunch offerings, Head in the Clouds also serves a full dinner menu, which was the focus of our recent visit.

A rotating menu of Western bistro-style fare with a general focus on Mediterranean flavors has enough flourishes to remind you that you’re still in Asia. Though pretty lengthy, the diverse menu packs more hits than misses. For drinks, there is a limited selection of wine and beers, with a cocktail menu promising classics with Asian twists rolling out soon.

Total Verdict: 4/5

Price: RMB200-400 per person
Who’s going: local couples, food bloggers
Good for: small group dinners, dates, WeChat moments

Read the full review here. See listing for Head in the Clouds.


Image by Cristina Ng/That's

There’s something to be said for sticking to what you know, and the BIBIMI Group of Bites & Brews, Barbarian and Hot Chick fame have their formula down to a science. With well-worn rustic charm, customizable drinks and bang-for-value food that defines their other venues, they’ve headed south of the Rio Grande for inspiration. Solana's rough stonework, multicolored textiles on the walls and a bar fashioned from logs make you feel like you’ve just stumbled in from the desert seeking refreshment.

That refreshment takes the form of tacos, tamals, raw bar starters, queso fundido and customized margaritas. Like their other restaurants, nothing is overly complex, but there’s plenty to like on this menu.

Total Verdict: 3/5

Price: RMB100-250 per person
Who’s going: lots of expats, some locals
Good for: customized drinks and tasty bites

Read the full review here. See listing for Solana.

Pho To Shop

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Wuding Lu is a hub of international dining options. Within a one-block radius, there’s Spanish, American, Italian, French and now Vietnamese cuisines. They’re all geared towards those looking for a cheap and cheerful meal, so new addition Pho To Shop fits in nicely. At this fast-casual diner, the menu is a pared-down list of popular dishes with an emphasis on authenticity, reasonable prices and speed.

Total Verdict: 4/5

Price: RMB90-130 per person
Who’s going: hungry expats, Wuding Lu dwellers
Good for: Vietnamese food cravings, friend dates, quick nibbles

Read the full review here. See listing for Pho To Shop.


Dead Poet

Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

If you’ve been to Bar No. 3, you might experience a sense of deja vu at this hip addition to the Oha empire. The design firm turned food and beverage group has installed a bar at Dead Poet that resembles its predecessor Bar No. 3 with the notable exception of a very fancy looking sound system on the well-stocked shelves.

Walk towards the back, and you’ll find some nice private tables, as well as a charming outdoor seating area. They’ve done an excellent job of creating a sense of intimacy while allowing plenty of elbow room – even on a busy Saturday.

Named for a deceased poet that resided upstairs, the bar’s menu is presented on an intentionally beat-up booklet of tissue paper, with descriptions broken up by verse. Our favorite line of poetry… “Vibration is a form of trembling without fear.” After pondering that for a while, we needed a stiff drink.

Read the full review here. See listing for Dead Poet.

Leave Your Review

Have you been to any of these venues? Post your reviews on their listings for a chance to win a Saucepan voucher.

Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews & Shanghai Bar Reviews

[Cover image courtesy of Head in the Clouds]

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