Shanghai expat life: where to eat

by Alex
23. August 2015
Category:   living in Shanghai

Shanghai has not traditionally been known for its food, but in recent years the quality of restaurants has increased significantly. As in other major cities are cuisins from the whole world represented, but we think you should try Chinese food while you live in China. China’s various regions have their specialties, and you will find restaurants for all these specialties in Shanghai.

From an old expat perspective; I really did not like Chinese food until I did some research online and found out that there is a big variety of food represented in the Shanghainese kitchen – fish and “chicken & rice” is not everything.

1221 restaurant. Foto: Tripadvisor, screenshot

1221 restaurant. Foto: Tripadvisor, screenshot

A restaurant chain that offers Cantonese cuisine is Fuhao and found all over Shanghai. They offer cheap food at a high quality. If you want Shanghai specialties, you should try a restaurant called “1221”.

Examples of food from the local cuisine is crab, steamed beans, boiled pig and blood soup of chicken and duck. The soup is said to be very healthy and will strengthen your body. It tastes allright, but nothing more than that.

Chinese dishes

When you visit a Chinese restaurant, we recommend that you ask to be served different Chinese dishes. Then you can pick the one you like best and at the same time get an overview of different cuisines. China has an incredible number of different dishes, and most of them are very tasty.

Chinese wine is quite good, and we recommend that you try it out. One of the better Chinese wines are called Great Wall and is sold all over China. It might not be just like the ones you are used to drink at home, but it is a fun alternative and much cheaper than for example European wine. Chinese food and wine may not be the most common combination. Beer, however, can be a good option. Chinese beer is very good. It is generally not too strong (below 4%). The best marks (at least the most popular) is Tsingtao, Yanjing and Beijing Beer.

Special restaurants for expats


The restaurant is located in Taicang Lu. It is considered among the world’s 50 best restaurants. The kitchen serves Mediterranean cuisine with Asian influences.

Lulu Restaurant

It lies in the street Nanjing Xilu the 6th floor of Plaza 66 and has the reputation of being one of the best when it comes to Shanghai cuisine. Here you get everything!

M on the Bund

The restaurant M on the Bund recommended by all travel guides. It’s located on the 7th floor in the building of Huaxia Bank. The view from the terrace is great and the place is popular. It is necessary reservations well in advance.

IKEA can be helpful to buy furnitures for your new apartment in Shanghai. Or to eat some Swedish world-famous meatballs.

IKEA can be helpful to buy furnitures for your new apartment in Shanghai. Or to eat some Swedish world-famous meatballs.