15 of Shanghai's Most Popular Pastries To Eat Right Now

By Sophie Steiner, June 6, 2024

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Shanghai’s got coffee shops. In fact, it has the most of any city in the world!

Trust us  we’ve done the legwork...

READ MORE: Shanghai Has More Coffee Shops Than Any Other City in the World

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

And – regardless of the time of day – nothing goes hand-in-hand better with a steaming cup of joe than a pastry for dunking. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Just as Shanghai’s got coffee covered, it also has pastries down pat – from French to Chinese, from traditional to whimsical, from bready to cakey, doughy to flakey, crumbly to creamy, icy to steamy, and… downright dreamy. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

That said, the path of excess is paved with mediocrity. So, we’ve taken on the bulk weight of this immense responsibility – both literally (around our tummies) and figuratively  fulfilling our sacred duty to uncover which wanghong indulgences are more hype than heft, and vice versa. 

Alimentari Mulino Caramel Amann (RMB18)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Found at the halfway point of a croissant supreme and a kouign-amann Venn diagram, the Caramel Amann (RMB18) at Alimentari Mulino (the Maoming Lu outpost of everyone's favorite fast-casual Italian brand) is a patisserie lover's wet dream – bigger, rounder, and fuller than any other on this list.

Copiously stuffed with a salted caramel cream that oozes with each crumbly bite, the contrast in consistency between the candied sugar crust and cushy center is what pushes this pastry into stardom status.

A piped salted caramel swirl studded with toasted nuts serves as a clever crown, adorning the head of this queen of desserts.

Alimentari Mulino, #4, Lane 245 Maoming Lu, by Nanjing Xi Lu, 茂名路245弄4号近南京西路.

BasdBan Croissant (RMB20)

We know BasdBan is packed at all hours of the day (and all days of the week) due to its inventive lineup of pastries – think chocolate mango sandwich, truffle ham croissant, and sea salt caramel cruffin – but we come time and again for the OG Croissant (RMB20).

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Why? Because, in a city obsessed with French confectionaries, it is hands-down one of the best 

Pleasantly airy with layers that flake apart in paper-thin pleats, the croissant is akin to biting into a cloud – a buttery, crackle-coated cloud that fills the air with a plume of its yeasty perfume. 

Large air pockets create space for sopping up a dunk of latte, a mouthful so universally comforting that it can transport just about anyone to a slow weekend morning along the Seine with one melting morsel. 

BasdBan, 546 Yuyuan Lu, by Zhenning Lu, 愚园路546号, 近镇宁路.

Boom Boom Bagels’ Raisin Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (RMB18)

Boom Boom Bagels’ Raisin Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (RMB18) isn’t your classic 'pastry' per se, but with the amount of cinnamon sugar crumble that coats the top of said bagel, it may as well be.

Please be clear, this is no average bagel with a simple swirl of cinnamon and a few raisin studs. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

No, this bagel is sheathed by a simultaneously crackly and sticky layer of saccharine goodness that has stood the test of time as one of our guilty pleasures in the city for near on a decade.

So, maybe it’s not the newest, flashiest dessert, but this bagel is still equally deserving of its spot on this list. 

The best – and really only – way to enjoy the Raisin Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is toasted and slathered with a thick layer of cream cheese for an extra RMB10.

And when we say thick, we mean triple-c-thiccc  a solid two finger daub of the good stuff that acts as a spreadable, salty contrast to the bread’s elastic stretch and sugary crunch. 

A crunch so worthy, it’s even in the damn name. 

Boom Boom Bagels, 39 Anfu Lu, by Changshu Lu, 安福路39号, 近常熟路.

Crave Black Sesame Roll (RMB30)

After opening its original Xinle Lu location in the spring of 2021, Crave has maintained quite the cult following, one that has even allowed it to expand with a second outpost on Xizang Zhong Lu.

In short, it’s a lot of carbs and a lot of cute. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

And our carbo-load purchase  without fail – involves the Black Sesame Roll (RMB30) with swirling whorls of sesame paste-coated dough forming the tightly spiraled pastry.

While the inner layers remain moist, the outer shell is crispy, sprinkled in sugared black sesame powder – the reason we suggest eating it with a fork and knife if you have plans after your visit.  

Overall, we appreciate the use of both sesame sauce and crumble, but the paste portion feels scarce; the RMB3 black sesame baozi sold down the road delivers more of that nutty sesame satisfaction that here we are left still craving. 

Crave, 218 Xinle Lu, by Donghu Lu, 新乐路218号, 近东湖路.

FOTY Kouign-Amann (RMB28) 

Standing for 'From Oven to You,' FOTY is a bakery backed by Luneurs dishing out one thing and one thing only: Kouign-Amann (RMB28) – the croissant’s buttery cousin.

So, while the display counter may not be stacked tall with frosted cakes, tarts, iced buns and the like, the warming aroma of freshly-baking pastries mingles with the smell of treacly glazes wafting from the tiered oven in the kitchen.

And said oven is pumping out a new round of kouign-amann in 20-minute intervals, ensuring patrons receive only the warmest, freshest baked treat. 

DSC02038.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

The kouign-amann at FOTY is notably brittle compared to its breadier counterparts (for example, the TonTon rendition), with the slow-melted sugar and butter concoction hardening quickly into a glass-like glaze.

Using a ratio of 1,000 grams of French imported butter for every 30 kouign-amann (also only made with French-imported Moulins Bourgeois Flour La Millésime and Korean-imported refined sugar), the resulting pastry is delicately flaky, hugging the line of charred on the outer edges to lush on the innermost concentric circle.

A final spritz of sugar water in the last 15 seconds of baking ensures the crackliest veneer-like glaze.

The kouign-amann can be purchased in four flavor combos – original, sea salt, cinnamon, or a mix of the latter two, plus some imaginative seasonal releases for RMB32 a pop. Think potato and cheese, chai tea, or chestnut. 

FOTY, #A103, 1107 Yuyuan Lu, by Fenggang Lu, 愚园路1107号A103, 近凤冈路.

Korner Bakery Cardamom Bun (RMB25)

Known first and foremost for its ciabatta offerings – ones that span edamame with Sichuan sausage to kale broccoli with cheese – Korner Bakery is one pastry shop that doesn’t shy away from the unconventional.

(Mango cactus scone anyone?)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Yet, some of their less flashy items are actually what stole our hearts, namely the Cardamom Bun (RMB25) – similar in style to a Swedish kardemummabullar.

Like a cross between a pull-apart bread and a cinnamon roll, the plush brioche base is dusted in cinnamon, spice and everything nice, before being twisted and doubled over onto itself, like a folded pretzel of sorts.

Albeit a bit dryer than the gooey sugar bomb of a mess that is the American cinnamon roll (a delicious, delicious mess), we are all for the added pearl sugar crunch that dusts the top. 

Korner Bakery, 1220 Fuxing Zhong Lu, by Shaanxi Nan Lu, 复兴中路1220号, 近陕西南路.

M Stand Crunchy Choc Cookie Latte (RMB48)

We arrived with apprehension to taste colossal café chain M Stand’s Crunchy Choc Cookie Latte (RMB48)  purely because this gimmicky edible cup latte epitomizes everything we despise about wanghong Dianping cult favorites. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

And sadly, it fell prey to our wildest doubts within our first sip (errr…bite?) 

Why pay extra for a mediocre coffee in a cup made to taste like a flavorless, dry butter cookie?

(No shade thrown on butter cookies. There’s a time and a place for them. This just isn’t it.)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Instead, give us a fresh-baked cookie separate from a coffee for the same price.

Together, both components suffer, resulting in a whole that is definitely not greater than the sum of its parts.

M Stand,  338 Jianguo Xi Lu, by Xiangyang Nan Lu, 建国西路338号2号, 近襄阳南路 (and numerous other locations around Shanghai).

Micang Pop Walking on the Cloud Soufflé Pancakes (RMB68)

Micang Pop (米仓pop) is a Dianping power user’s wet dream.

Cloud-like pancakes with assorted colorful and indulgent toppings, caffeinated beverages brimming with unexpected ingredients like roasted nuts, coconut and rice wine, and adorable animal-shaped edible delights fill the menu – and diners’ social media accounts. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Hoping to satisfy a craving for s’mores, the Walking on the Cloud Soufflé Pancakes (RMB68) at Micang Pop seemed to fit the bill – fluffy, whipped cakes topped with melted marshmallow, served with a side of melted chocolate and ice cream. 

Sounds delish, right?

This is some freak show, dark arts wizardry to take such a bunch of yummy sounding pieces, assemble them together like a puzzle, and have it taste like the worst dessert disaster Huaihai Lu has ever known. 

Yett we applaud you Micang Pop, because you’ve somehow mastered this magical feat. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Although definitely poofy, the pancakes taste like sugary scrambled eggs – two ingredients that never belong together.

The chocolate is bitter.

And the ice cream is… pineapple? 


Just why?!

All the makings of a s’more with zero delivery. We ate the marshmallows and called it a day.

It’s no surprise that the slew of internet-famous drink offerings place a stronger emphasis on filtered photos rather than filtered coffee.

Micang Pop, 136 Ruijin Er Lu, by Huaihai Lu, 瑞金二路136号, 近淮海路.

Mikaku Tiramisu Soufflé (RMB58)

Perhaps the best damn combination of desserts available to mankind, Mikaku throws together the wanghong favorite Japanese soufflé pancakes with Italian tiramisu as the Tiramisu Soufflé (RMB58)

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

We’re talking a triple stack of quite possibly the best rendition of these cloud-like cakes found in the entire city, smothered in a velvety layer of whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa, plus a side of honeycomb candy, for just 58 flipping kuai.

Take my money. 

But you wait for it. At least 30 minutes for an order, and that’s assuming there’s a seat, which there usually isn’t. 

Just quit your job and spend your first day off here. 

Problem solved. 

Mikaku, 20 Yunnan Bei Lu, near Fengyang Lu, 云南北路20号, 近凤阳路.

Moofin Cinnamon Roll (RMB25)

Sitting in a world between a croissant, a cinnamon roll, and a muffin, Moofin’s Cinnamon Roll (RMB25) is fondly referred to as a cruffin.

This muffin-shaped, peelable delight features layers that pull away easily, folds of cinnamon hidden in each crispy crevice. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A flakey exterior is complimented by a pillowy center, all topped with a thick dollop of cream cheese frosting, speckled with cinnamon. 

The portable shape makes it the ideal on-the-go snack, one that is also available in dark chocolate and twice-baked almond. 

Moofin, 699 Jiangning Lu, by Haifang Lu, 江宁路699号, 近海防路.

Money Shops Pudding Français (RMB42)

Money Shops’ extensive pastry counter spans homemade French breads, sweets, tarts, cakes, croissants, pain au chocolat, cinnamon rolls, and the like. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

But what put them on the map is a behemoth size Hong Kong style egg tart – known as the Pudding Français (RMB42) – that could easily satisfy the sweet tooth of a family of four.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A crimped filo crust encircles a dense blob of baked egg custard, torched to finish.

Custardy like – well – pudding (hence the name), the tart is baked fresh daily, a delectable dessert of which even the Portuguese would approve. 

Money Shops, 1381-2, Yuyuan Lu, by Fenggang Lu, 愚园路1381-2号, 近凤冈路.

Shanghailander Salted Egg Yolk Mille Crepe (RMB39)

More than just your average coffee shop, Shanghailander is about bridging the gap between European style pastries and Asian flavor profiles.

Think black sticky rice mille crepe, meigancai (梅干菜) – or pickled mustard tubers – croissants, brown sugar pearl lattes, and some pretty standout salted egg yolk desserts. 

READ MORE: Shanghai's Best (& Worst) Salted Egg Yolk Creations

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A bite of contrasts, the Salted Egg Yolk Mille Crepe (RMB39) is an ode to morning congee, with the silky, sweet stratum acting as the porridged rice, flecked with grainy tidbits of salted yolk cream that find their into every inch. 

Salty Egg Cheesecake (RMB39), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Working directly with a boutique farmer in Yangzhou – a region of China famous for producing salted egg yolk – the team uses 45-day marinated eggs specifically for Shanghailander, resulting in excessively xian – or savory – notes and a slick mouthfeel. 

Shanghailander, 92 Wuyuan Lu, by Wulumuqi Lu, 五原路92号, 近乌鲁木齐路.

SCROLL Original Scone (RMB9)

Situated right under the elevator of the B2 Level of Reel Mall, as one of the first scone shops to open in the city a few years back, SCROLL is a mecca for scone enthusiasts.

Sporting nearly a dozen flavors, the textures range from dense and crumbly to cakey, always served warm. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

These baked goods range from Original (RMB9) – akin to an American South biscuit in its overt butteriness and hint a salt – to the fluffy Chocolate (RMB9) – like a freshly-baked brownie with small nibs of chocolate scattered throughout  and nearly a dozen more flavors. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The scones here are noticeably smaller – which is reflected in the pocket-friendly price point – making it all the more conducive to working your way around the menu.

SCROLL, #B247, 1601 Nanjing Xi Lu, by Changde Lu, 南京西路1601号地下二层B247, 近常德路.

Sloppy Gin Pistachio Black Currant Donut (RMB28)

Arguably Shanghai’s most wanghong hipster donut shop – Sloppy Gin – opened along Nanchang Lu at the beginning of the year, and has systematically risen up the ranks since then.

READ MORE: 12 Droolworthy Donuts for a Guaranteed Dopamine Dump

With a name that belongs more to a dive bar, we arrived with low expectations, and left with a sugar high… plus a few extra kilos around our midsection. 

Pistachio and Black Currant Donut, Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Albeit on the treacly side, these donuts are ambrosial, served up in inventive flavors like Pina Colada (RMB26), Lemon n’ Sage (RMB26), Chocolate Truffle (RMB24) and Lime Cheesecake (RMB26), to name a few. 

And the flavor results are beyond successfully achieved; the pina colada center being the milky incarnation of the famed getting-caught-in-the-rain-cocktail, while the pistachio black currant combo is reminiscent of nostalgic PB&J.

But better.

And in donut form.

WechatIMG1620.jpegPina Colada Donut, Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Our only gripe is that they are actually too big...

Wait, hear us out!

Not necessarily too big to be a donut, but too big for their accoutrement or filling, resulting in the last few bites being more unflavored fried bread than donut.

While flavor and execution are on point, the filling-to-dough ratio still needs that final tweak. 

Sloppy Gin, 172 Nanchang Lu, by Sinan Lu, 南昌路172号, 近思南路.

TonTon Cinnamon Roll (RMB36)

Cinnamon Rolls are having a moment right now in Shanghai, and we’re all for it.

(Here’s to hoping old fashioned cake donuts will get a share of the limelight soon enough.)

One of the hottest new bakeries, TonTon swung open its doors to hordes of Dianping power users, Xiaohongshu KOLs and foodie trendsetters in mid-September along the cafe-lined street of Yongkang Lu.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The usual suspects line the bakery display cabinet – croissants, pain au chocolat, kouign-amann, cakes and donuts – but what stole our attention (and nearly broke the internet) is the Cinnamon Roll (RMB36)

Standing true to its name, with cinnamon and cardamom spice adorning every possible millimeter of the swirled loaf’s surface area, the roll is more bready  baked on massive sheet pans and sliced to serve.

As a result, diners won’t find that gooey center, but the mid-sections folds are still softer, brioche-like, a result of the 32% imported butter content dough.

An unexpected but welcome addition to the customary cinnamon roll finish, toasted walnuts, crushed hazelnuts and chocolate ganache amplify its winter warming wherewithal. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

For a fusion take on a cinnamon roll, the same bready treat is available with the cinnamon and spices swapped for a thick slathering of richly nutty black sesame paste and dried persimmon as the Sesame Roll (RMB38)

TonTon, 178 Yongkang Lu, by Xiangyang Lu, 永康路178号近襄阳路.

Stay Tuned!

Other equally noteworthy bakeries that we are saving for Round II: 28aoutBake No Title, BREAdFAST,  Butter%, Butterful & Creamorous, Gentle Monster, The Merchants, Pain Chaud, Paopao, Roodoodoo, Todos Los Dias, and so, so many more…

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