Shanghai is all about wining & dining and the Dutch Fleur -living as an expat in Shanghai- has the very best tips to go around.
Which neighborhood is up and coming?
French Concession is and has always been the nicest neighborhood of Shanghai. Jing’an is a more upcoming area. More people are moving there and that is why you see lots of new restaurants and bars popping up. Especially Wuding Road and Shaanxi North Road are getting more and more popular.
Where did you have a great dinner recently?
At lots of places! For example Mercato, Sichuan Citizen, The Commune Social, Franck at Ferguson Lane, Xixi, Ginger and Mia’s Yunnan Kitchen belong to my all time favorites. If you are visiting Shanghai, download the Smartshanghai App or check their website for all the addresses (which are also mentioned in Chinese), special events, new hot spots and reviews.
Where do you go for drinks?
For drinks I prefer to go to the rooftop of Kartel or to Dr. Wine. Yongkang Road is also a great bar street with different kind of bars, especially Funkadeli is quiet nice! For cocktails always go to Constellation and try the East Side! Speak Low is also good for cocktails; try to get a spot on the third floor. Xixi just opened a hip cocktail lounge above their restaurant that is definitely worth checking out! (Try the Green Dragon, a cocktail mixed with wasabi, to spice things up!).
What is the best roof top of Shanghai and what is the best place to dance the night away?
Kartel has one of the best rooftops for drinks. Bar Rouge still is and has been the most famous club of Shanghai for years. They have a great rooftop, which is renewed every year prior to the summer season, so it has a different look and feel every time it opens up again.
Vue bar has a magnificent view and a Jacuzzi on the rooftop (they also sell bikinis and shorts, but most people just dip their feet in). Vue is great to have a drink and enjoy the views. My favorite disco bar to dance and a real hidden gem of the city is Craft. Le Baron is where the hip crowd hangs out these days and Lucca is a nice gay bar.
What would you do with friends from out of town who come over for a weekend to Shanghai?
I suggest everyone to bring a visit to the propaganda poster museum for a creative Chinese history update. Next to that make sure to visit the 100th floor of the World Financial Centre (the bottle opener) for the sweeping views of Shanghai. It is an impressive view but make sure you go up on a clear day. Cycle through French Concession, do a walking (photography) tour, or the Jewish walking tour. Visit the wet market, the cricket market and wander for a surprising and weird Saturday or Sunday morning through Fuxing Park. Not to miss is of course eating Chinese dumplings for example at Din Tai Fung and go at 18:00 for drinks to Vue bar, to see the lights go on at both sides of the Huangpu River.
Where would you recommend friends from another city to sleep?
Book a nice Airbnb apartment somewhere in French Concession.
Is there a shop where you often go to?
I go often to Kate Wood, Madame Mao’s dowry, the fake market at Nanjing West Road 580 and lots of boutiques spread over French Concession. But don’t get me wrong, the boutiques in Shanghai are much more expensive then you might think.
Where do you meet your friends for coffee?
It’s always changing but currently I go a lot to Piccolo at Anfu Road and Fumi Coffee at Fumin Road.
What would you miss if you were to leave Shanghai?
Lots! The Chinese restaurants that are open 24/7, actually all the food, the people, the small talk with the locals, the daily encounters with weird Chinese situations, swearing out loud in Dutch when I try to make my way on my bike through the crazy traffic, the bar scene, the 24/7 bowling hall, the fake market, the fake movie shop… Almost everything except for the smog, the stinking sewerages and spitting Chinese!