International Restaurants New to Shanghai in 2018

By Cristina Ng, December 28, 2018

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201812/year-in-review-20181.jpgIt’s been one hell of a year to say the least, particularly for those of us based in China. We’ve seen ‘The Tweeter in Chief’ launch (and then halt) a trade war between the world’s two leading economic powers, Fan Bingbing disappear and then reappear (with a major fine to pay) and another record-breaking Singles’ Day haul for Alibaba. To wrap up 2018, our editorial team has put together a list of the year’s most unforgettable viral stories, recounting major occurrences 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. 

There was once a time when expats in Shanghai struggled to find their favorite foods from home, but every year that struggle becomes less real. Lately, it seems every restaurateur in the world dreams of entering the Chinese market. This year, many global players entered Shanghai with more (Shake Shack and Red Lobster) scheduled for early 2019.  


PF Chang's

Image courtesy PF Chang's 

The coolest Friday night date spot of suburban American kids hit People’s Square this April. Go forth and eat Mongolian beef and crispy honey chicken.

Red Lobster

Image courtesy Red Lobster

This classic American seafood chain opened its first China location on December 21, 2018. With a more upscale and modern design compared to its US counterpart, the Shanghai restaurant offers the famous Chedder Bay Biscuits, live North Americal lobster and other seafood delights.



Image courtesy Mas

This Barcelona-born street ham shop is now offering some of the world’s finest cured meats to the Shanghai masses. They focus on glorious jamón (of all grades) in a bocadillo with tomato and olive oil, paired with beer, wine or simply as is. 


Zaku Zaku

Image by Betty Richardson/That's

This Hokkaido dessert shop famous for their soft-serve and choux pastries rapidly became a wanghong favorite. The lines have since died down, and they have added Metro City and iapm mall locations.


Maison Lameloise

Image courtesy Maison Lameloise

The original restaurant in Chagny, Burgundy has 90 years of history and three Michelin stars. Setting up shop in the iconic Shanghai Tower, Maison Lameloise brings deliciousness such as delicate escargot and butter balls and yellow chicken with Comté-gratinéed pasta and artichoke.


Song Fa

Image courtesy Song Fa

The heritage Singaporean restaurant opened in Jing’an before rapidly adding two more locations. You’ll want to order their specialty bak kut teh, impossibly tender pork ribs stewed in a spiced herbal soup.

Sri Lanka

Ministry of Crab

Image courtesy Ministry of Crab

Ranked 29th on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, Sri Lanka’s famous and enormous chili-coated crustaceans have picked crab-loving Shanghai for their first overseas outpost. 

For more 2018 Year in Review coverage, click here.

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