As we head into the New Year, we take a look at some of the top Shanghai restaurants that opened this year. Here we feature our favorite restaurant openings on the year, from fast-casual concepts to high-end restaurants on the Bund and big-name chefs, and why it made the list.
Address: 6/F, The Ascott, 282 Huaihai Zhong Lu (near Huangpi Nan Lu) 淮海中路282号雅诗阁公寓6楼 (近黄陂南路)
Highline opened late 2016, but it didn't really shine until dynamic chef duo Anna Bautista and Sean Jorgensen spruced up the menu. We went in early 2017, and since then, we couldn't get enough of it. Highline is the culinary equivalent of a rock n' roll supergroup, with the following names backing it: John Liu (Scarpetta, Coquille), Cody Allen (Le Baron) and Michael Sun (Muse Group). It's heavy hitting contemporary American food that's consistently good. It also scores high marks for brunch, a favorite in the category for us. Must orders include BBQ Back Back Pork Ribs, Fried Chicken & Waffles, anything with the word brisket, and all the desserts. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 2/F, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu (near Guangdong Lu) 中山东一路3号外滩三号2楼 (近广东路)
Was it only this year? Paul Pairet's Chop Chop Club opened to much fanfare with a great debate about the concept and rave reviews about the food. Seeing as we've tried most of the menu, we can attest that it's all fantasic. The side dishes could carry the meal themselves. Plus, there's that uniquely Paul Pairet aesthetic that really excites. Go with a group and order everything, especially the beef tongue, charred cabbage, and the char roasted chicken. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 1095 Yuyuan Lu (near Jiangsu Lu) 愚园路1095号 (近江苏路)
Jeju Izakaya is a late entry but we can say with certainty that it's up there as one of our all time favorite restaurants in Shanghai. The restaurant is only big enough for eight diners, seated around the open kitchen. A five-man team led by Chef Chan then whips up contemporary Korean fare with a heavy focus on fresh seafood. The atmosphere is intimate yet lively, and the food unforgettable and comforting. Order the Jeju Seafood Ramen with Octopus, Kimchi Tofu, and the Dried Pollack. We've heard they're booked up four weeks in advance. You'll have to plan ahead, but it'll be worth it. Click here to read our full review.
Address: Rm. 5137, Found 158, 158 Julu Lu (near Ruijin Yi Lu) 巨鹿路158号5137室 (近瑞金一路)
It's fish and chips brought to you by The Camel Group. Shanghai has long been hurting for a good fish and chips joint and Hooked delivers solid, beer-battered fish alongside addictive thick-cut fries. Hooked is possibly the best performing restaurant in Found 158, too. Get the battered Icelandic cod and a couple Bloody Marys. Click here to read our full review.
Address: Found 158, 158 Julu Lu (near Ruijin Yi Lu) 巨鹿路158号 (近瑞金一路)
Homeslice is by far our favorite venue in Found 158. It’s a New York-style pizzeria that sells pizzas by the slice, operated by chef/restaurateur Nat Alexander. You can always count on Homeslice—open late enough to sate your drunken munchies and they also deliver. We always go for the spicy sausage, but on the weekend, we indulge in the breakfast pizza. Click here to find out what we mean by breakfast pizza.
Address: 5/F, iapm, 999 Huaihai Zhong Lu (near Xiangyang Nan Lu) 淮海中路999号5楼 (近襄阳南路)
2017 was the year of bowls, and Ban Ban broke the mold when it opened. It's an extension of Sproutworks, and it shares the same philosophy of offering a healthy and tasty variety of customizable combos. The fast casual restaurant may be in iapm, but it’s worth the trip, especially for those seeking vegan and vegetarian options. Plus, the sauce bar is fantastic. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 145 Wuyuan Lu (near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu) 五原路145号(近乌鲁木齐中路)
Attach Austin Hu’s name to just about anything and it’ll most likely go viral, as we saw with Madison, and then Madison Kitchen. Diner is Hu’s latest, and serves the kind of breakfast food you wish you could have at 3am, as you're heading home from night of hard drinking. Think American classics like pancakes, French toast, and breakfast sandwiches, but of epic proportions with lots of bacon and foie. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 81 Changshu Lu (near Julu Lu) 常熟路81号 (近巨鹿路)
Of all the rotisseries to pop up this year, Dodu remains to be the standout. The birds at this fast casual restaurant are huge, the skin crisped and the dark meat juicy. The sides are equally commendable, including the rillettes. Click here to read our full review.
Address: No. 2, 49 Fuxing Xi Lu (near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu) 复兴西路49弄2号 (近乌鲁木齐中路)
This contemporary Asian restaurant and bar comes by way of Cotton Ding, proprietor of Cotton’s. Spread across a three-storey lane house, it’s home to a well-kept bar with a cocktail menu courtesy of Carson Xie (The Nest). The food is an ambitious menu of Asian fusion dishes like roast duck with lychee salad, skewers, and curry mussels. It’s a great date night spot, casual or otherwise. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 158 Julu Lu (near Ruijin Yi Lu) 巨鹿路158号 (近瑞金一路)
Cyclo tackles the lesser-seen cuisines of Cambodian and Laotian with aplomb, offering dry-seasoned meats and rich curries. It also has their staple Vietnamese signatures, including a killer pho. They’ve recently closed their original Cyclo location. Thankfully, we have this one to gravitate towards. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 199 Hengshan Lu (near Yongjia Lu) 衡山路199号 (近永嘉路)
Colca has everything you love and expect from an Eduardo Vargas helmed restaurant: good design with a dash of South American style, a creative mid-range menu and service with a smile. The menu is vast, and while we can’t say we love it all, we can vouch for the many authentically Peruvian dishes Vargas has at Colca. The highlights are the meats and seafood finished in the Josper oven. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 698 Yuyuan Lu (near Zhenning Lu) 愚园路698号 (近镇宁路)
In a happy partnership with F&B power duo Priscilla Young and Jun Wu, Brut Cake’s signature whimsy translates to a cozy cafe serving reimagined American classics with Asian influences. It’s a hotspot for casual brunch, and their chicken and waffles are among the best in town. Click here to read what we said about their chicken and waffles.
Address: 692 Yongjia Lu (near Hengshan Lu) 永嘉路692号 (近衡山路)
Who doesn’t like meat on a stick? STYX is a fast casual restaurant that takes on the challenge of casual dining in a city rife with over the top gimmicks and gives us instead a menu of simple, straightforward dishes, paired with thoughtful sides and robust sauces. The grilled pork belly is a crowd favorite. They also have an all-you-can-eat deal every Wednesday. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 294 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu (near Wuyuan Lu) 乌鲁木齐中路294号 (近五原路)
From Jiashan Market to brick-and-mortar, Eli Falafel has grown from a weekend market vendor to a restaurant with a loyal following. They do affordable comfort food like hummus, falafel, and kebabs. If there’s anything you should be ordering, it’s the mixed grill—a platter of lamb, chicken, and beef with pickles and fries. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 228 Wuding Lu (near Changhua Lu) 武定路228号 (近昌化路)
There are few Japanese restaurants of note in Shanghai, and the ones that matter are naturally compared to the standards found in Japan. Naturally, restaurants from the country of origin are always better. Machiya gives us a taste of Japanese hospitality and for less than half the price of Shanghai’s more well known omakase restaurants. The RMB698 set isn’t cheap, but it’s affordable luxury and damned good cuts of sashimi. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 2/F, 480 Jianguo Xi Lu (near Yueyang Lu) 建国西路480号2楼 (近岳阳路)
Joining the tide of renowned chefs opening outposts in Shanghai is chef Pierre Gagnaire, who has brought us Le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire at the Capella Hotel. It's higher end bistro fare with an atmosphere to match. The cooking is effortless and approachable, and the desserts reign supreme. Click here to read our full review.
Address: 1/F, 108 Wanping Nan Lu (near Zhaojiabang Lu) 宛平南路108号1楼 (近肇加浜路)
This farm-to-table Taiwanese restaurant does all the classics from san bei ji to street food favorites like radish cake omelettes. Purple Garlic has our stamp of approval for Taiwanese eats. It's also part-grocer, too, devoting a part of their space to retail. Click here to read our full review.
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