Life in Shanghai

A Taste of Home

WRITTEN BY Lindelwa Msimang ・ 18 June, 2020

In preparation for my venture to Shanghai, I did a lot of research. I read as many blogs and stories on other’s past experiences as I could find. I wanted as much of a picture as I could build, as an effort to curb or ease the anxiety of stepping into the unknown. One of the things I was concerned about was whether I would enjoy the food. I am someone who enjoys food, open to trying new things but also relishes the taste of familiarity.

To my surprise I found a few places with a touch of home in their meals. Honourable mentions, in no particular order:

Wings at The Shed:
There is an Australian owned sports bar in Changping which is known for having it’s friendly and welcoming vibe. It’s a great place to meet people from your home country, especially if there are exciting games such as the rugby world cup. I was fortunate enough to be with my fellow South Africans, while we watched the Bokke win the World Cup last year. And the best part about the whole experience were the wings! They are amazingly tasty on any day of the week and are half price on Wednesdays.

Burgers at Shanghai Brewery:
With an outdoor terrace, Shanghai Brewery in South Shaanxi is a great place for a solo trip or for hanging out with friends. This venue has a great combination of value for money, great music, and most importantly amazing burgers. Be sure to check it out on a Tuesday, for buy one get one free burgers.

Italian at Liquid Laundry:
With just a short walk from Shanghai Brewery, Liquid Laundry is a great alternative if you love Italian cuisine. If you’re a pizza lover you will enjoy their wood-fired pizzas, especially on Thursdays as they have Salsa dancing as well as half-priced pizzas. Coupled with its great street view through their floor to ceiling windows, and lounge chairs, this makes for a great place to relax and unwind.

Indian at Vedas:
I’m from Durban, which is a city known for its spicy Indian food, among others. Authentic Indian food is hard to come by but luckily there are a few places you can find in Shanghai. Although I haven’t tried all of them, a place that has stood out for me is a restaurant called Vedas. This restaurant is located in Changshu with a calm and rustic feel it’s perfect for a romantic evening or an evening out with friends, my favorite part about this restaurant was the amazing and kind customer service.

Grilled chicken at Fogo:
If you are looking for a place with great alternative music, muted lighting, and a quiet evening coupled with a great terrace view overlooking the city; then Fogo is the perfect place for you. I stumbled across this gem after a night of Jazz at the Lincoln Center. Though the menu doesn’t have many items, they have some great dishes which look so artistic it is worth taking a picture. Coupled with a picturesque view, this venue makes for a great evening. Their grilled chicken was the best I have had since moving to Shanghai, and their customer service is both kind and memorable.

Vegetarian at Lakeside Veggie:
Located at The Bund, this restaurant serves lovely Chinese food which also happens to be vegetarian. The great thing about Shanghai is that you don’t have to go to a completely vegetarian restaurant to get a vegetarian option. You can find vegetarian options at most western restaurants and some Chinese restaurants.

Vegan at Green Friday:
Green Friday is a vegan-friendly restaurant with a good variety to their menu. They provide meat alternative dishes that can be enjoyed by both meat lovers and vegans. This allows you the opportunity to introduce your friends to something new, even if they are unfamiliar with vegan food.

There are probably many gems I haven’t mentioned, and that’s the beauty of this city. There are many things to explore and discover. Finding unpopular hidden gems that feel like your own is one of my favourite things to do, and something I highly recommend.

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