Cafe Review: The Press by Inno Coffee

By Betty Richardson, April 3, 2015

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The place

Are Shanghai’s cozy hole-in-the-wall craft cafes in Shanghai not your bag? Do you prefer a statelier abode in which to drink your cup of Joe? Look no further than The Press, a new, spacious and impressively renovated café off Nanjing Dong Lu.

The Press cafe Shanghai

Easily the main draw of this place is the ornate double vaulted ceiling, the 19th century period details of which have miraculously survived to this day. Comfy sofas line the walls, big windows flood the space with natural light, and a cozy upper mezzanine (plus reasonably fast free Wi-Fi) make this spot perfect for working, studying or meeting people.

The Press cafe Shanghai

The food

The press consists of a surprisingly substantial menu of Italian food, including pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, salads and other specials. Perhaps to our fault we opted for an ambitious-sounding main of whole calamari squid stuffed with rice and vegetables (below, RMB108), which we’d probably have skipped in hindsight.

The Press cafe Shanghai

Best opt for more café appropriate options like the pumpkin pie with crème fraîche (below, RMB28). Our iced latte was pricey at RMB35, but The Press is an elegant space in a premium location, so fair enough (consider that Sumerian’s iced coffee is RMB36).

The Press cafe Shanghai

The vibe

Service, while being nothing to write home about is pleasant and efficient enough; helpful English-speaking manager Thomas is on-hand to help out. The team tells us that a further space upstairs is being turned into a bar, and having seen it, we agree that it’s a great idea. An enormous four-story atrium rises up from a tile brick floor to create an impressive open space that almost rivals the main room out front.

The Press cafe Shanghai

The Press cafe Shanghai

Value for money

This beautiful and serene café wouldn’t look amiss in London, and it’s a real pleasure to see sympathetic restoration of period architectural features in Shanghai, a city where modernity often trumps the classical.

We could easily while away several hours reading, working, or hanging out in The Press, and as such, it gets a spot on our new favorite cafés list.

The Press cafe Shanghai

Price: RMB25-150 (depending on consumption).

Who’s going: local bookworms, expats, creative types.

Good for: meetings, coffee dates, Wi-Fi, working, studying.

> See a listing for The Press by Inno Coffee

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