5 Trendy Restaurants Shanghai Lined Up for in 2017

By Betty Richardson, December 27, 2017

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201712/year-in-review-logo.jpgThose of us living in China might have been spared the tumultuous drama that our US counterparts have experienced in 2017, but like always, the Middle Kingdom has had its own fair share of attention-grabbing headlines. From the boom of shared bikes to a presidential visit from The Donald, our team has put together a list of 2017’s most unforgettable viral stories, recounting major events that defined the worlds of sports, tech, arts, fashion and food. Here’s to another year of eclectic, weird and wonderful life in China, we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

For more, follow our full 2017 Year in Review coverage. 

If there’s one thing Shanghai takes as a signifier of value, it’s a line of people - the longer the better. Otherwise ordinary bakeries, noodle shops and mooncake vendors have reached coveted wanghong (网红, internet famous) status on the length of their waiting time, and 2017 has seen several new stars. Here they are, in ascending order. 

5. Coco Cafe: 1-2 Hours

Coco Cafe Shanghai
Following the success of similar concepts in Tokyo, London and Singapore, Chanel took over Aunn Cafe & Co. (near Jing'an Temple) for a twelve-day pop-up in April. Eager fashionistas lined up to take selfies with trendy Coco-branded coffee cups and buy Chanel products.

4. Starbucks Reserve Roastery: 1.5 Hours

Starbucks Shanghai
Out with the Frappuccino blenders, and in with the nitro cold brew. The largest Starbucks in China, and the second Reserve Roastery concept ever, officially opened to the public in December, and hoards of people lined up for hours to try and get in. On opening day, barricades were set up as hundreds of people were spotted in an insanely long queue that snaked outside the new Taikoo Hui location. Starbucks employees at main entrance estimated that people were waiting in line for approximately one to two hours, and visitors were let into the shop in groups every 10 minutes. 

3. Bao Shifu: 2-4 hours

Bao Shifu Bakery Shanghai
Beijing-born bakery Bao Shifu has a uniquely bizarre product to thank for its popularity: soft, cakey buns adorned with pork of beef floss or seaweed and filled with mayonnaise. Sold at RMB19-29 per jin (half-kilo), a single piece will cost you around RMB5-6.

2. Hey Tea: 4 hours 

Hey Tea
Originating in Guangdong, what was once an ordinary beverage shop with an unusual product, ‘cheese tea,’spawned a craze over the cream-capped tea drink. When the brand Hey Tea spread to Shanghai, customers were willing to wait for up to 4 hours to get their fix, or, more practically, pay somebody else to line up for them.

1. Lady M: 6 hours

Lady M Shanghai
New York bakery Lady M achieved fame and a degree of notoriety when they opened in Hong Kong, where the wait for one of their mille crêpe cakes was north of two hours. The effect was amplified three-fold when the first Shanghai store opened, so much so that police ordered a temporary shutdown before additional security measures were put in place. Later, Shanghai customs warned people to stop smuggling in Lady M cake from overseas.

For more 2017 Year in Review coverage, click here

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