A round-up of my favorite new openings in Shanghai from the past year, plus a shortlist of notable mentions. It’s not an exhaustive list of new openings—it’s only the places I’ve managed to try in the last year—but it’s a good recap for 2021.


Favorite New Openings From 2021

Suzie

Address: 464 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Yueyang Lu 建国西路464号, 近岳阳路
Tel: 54489799, 18964036698
Hours: Tue-Sun, 5:30pm-midnight

Suzie, a fine French bistro in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Suzie is a fine French bistro on Jianguo Xi Lu operated by the same people behind SOiF, Ottimo, and theWarehouse. It’s a splurge-worthy special occasion dinner destination to indulge in buttery, classic French food and excellent wines.

Suzie, a fine French restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Baked Oysters, T-Bone, Sea Bass Quenelle, and wine.

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Klay

Address: 1124 Beijing Xi Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu 北京西路1124号, 近陕西北路
Tel: 52788175
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 6-10pm; Sat-Sun 11am-2pm, 6-10pm

Klay, a modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Klay is a modern Indian restaurant led by Chef Hardeep Somal, located in Jing’an. It’s built up a reputation over the year and has become exceedingly popular. The food is contemporary Indian, and is similar to what you’d find at upmarket Indian restaurants in the London or LA—traditional roots with global influences.

Klay, a modern Indian restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Spicy Crab Curry, Lamb Gosht Curry, Saag Paneer, Lamb Sliders.

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The Smokehouse

Address: 97 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Xinle Lu 襄阳北路97号, 近新乐路
Tel: 64379446
Hours: 10:30am-2am

The Smokehouse, an American barbecue restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

The Smokehouse is a restaurant/bar serving Kansas-style barbecue brought to you by Matty Waters, founder of Smoke KCQ and The Camel Group. Meats of all kinds from USDA brisket to house-cased sausages, and ribs smoked on-site, plus smash burgers.

The Smokehouse, an American barbecue restaurant and bar in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: The Classic American double smash burger, brisket, sausages, and wash it down with beer.

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Bonica

Address: No. 60, Building 5, 273 Jiaozhou Lu, near Xinzha Lu 胶州路273弄60号1楼, 近新闸路
Tel: 62737007
Hours: 12pm-2pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm

Bonica, a Mediterranean restaurant and bar  in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Bonica is a Mediterranean grill and bar in Jing’an housed in a gorgeous, design-forward space. It’s one of five concepts by Armada Group, who also have Loggia, La Barra, La Mezcaleria, and Tacos El Paisa within the same building. It’s quite upscale and brings a new crowd to the neighborhood. Good for dates and special occasions.

Bonica, a Mediterranean restaurant and bar  in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Foie Gras Terrine, Escalivada, Grilled Octopus Legs, Beef Tongue.

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Chihuahua

Address: 2/F, 1788 Xinzha Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu 新闸路1788号2楼, 近胶州路
Tel: 13761346347
Hours: Tue-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, 11am-10pm

Chihuahua, a Mexican restaurant and taco-fonda in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Chihuahua is a casual Mexican taco-fonda in Jing’an. It’s cheap and cheerful, an alternative for Mexican food (especially the tacos) if you’re in this part of town. They have the best fresh corn tortilla tacos in town.

Chihuahua, a Mexican restaurant and taco-fonda in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: All the tacos + frozen margaritas.

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Le Daily

Address: Rm. 106, 550 Wuding Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu 武定路550号106室, 近陕西北路
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-11:30pm; Sun, 10am-6pm

Le Daily, a sandwichery and bar in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Le Daily is a sandwichery and bar in Jing’an. It’s a go-to canteen for many regulars seeking a tasty no-frills sandwich and a cheeky mid-day drink. It’s a cozy little spot, but the vibe is great, almost like a neighborhood diner.

Le Daily, a sandwichery and bar in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Shanghai Reuben, Continental Roll, and a pint of cider.

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Hundo

Address: 2/F, 20 Donghu Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu 东湖路20号2楼, 近淮海中路
Tel: 19512374026
Hours: Mon-Sun, 6pm-midnight

Hundo, a Japanese yakitori restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Hundo is a Japanese restaurant that serves yakiniku, yakitori, tempura and sushi, housed on the second floor of the villa on Donghu Lu. Hundo is the bigger, shinier sister restaurant of High Yaki, one of my favorite restaurants in Shanghai.

Hundo, a Japanese yakitori restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: A bunch of skewers, dry-aged rib-eye, and sake.

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Ottimo

Address: 4/F, Bldg 1, Surpass Court, 570 Yongjia Lu, near Yueyang Lu 永嘉路570号1号楼3楼, 近岳阳路
Tel: 15801849617
Hours: 5:30pm-1am

Ottimo, a wine bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Ottimo is a wine bar and restaurant backed by some of the people behind uber popular wine bar SOiF. The restaurant has a stimulating, electric ambiance, a stark contrast to it’s sleepy , quiet location within Surpass Court. The food is a mix of European and Asian flavors, and the wine selection is exceptional.

Ottimo, a wine bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Osso Buco, Tuna Rice Bowl, any steak, and wine.

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Sakaba Malabar

Address: 1081 Wuding Lu, near Jiaozhou Lu 武定路1081号, 近胶州路
Tel: 52373085
Hours: Sun-Thu, 5:30pm-1am, Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-2am

Sakaba Malabar, a Spanish restaurant with Japanese influences in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Sakaba Malabar is restaurant and bar on Wuding Lu that blends Spanish tapas with a touch of Japanese influence, also serving sake, cocktails and wines. It’s a reinvention of Malabar, a long-standing fixture in Jing’an. The change was a bold, gutsy decision, and the result is great.

Sakaba Malabar, a Spanish restaurant with Japanese influences in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Order This: Tuna Tartare, Croquettes, Baked Crab, Mini Paella, Horchata Milk Punch cocktail. Ask for sake recommendations.

Click here to read more.


Notable Mentions

Halu, a Korean bistro in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Halu
A Korean bistro on the first floor of cocktail bar Ars & Delecto.
Click here to read more.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant in Jing'an Shanghai that does yakitori and cocktails. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence

Atelier Izakaya
Japanese restaurant and bar from the Taste Buds group.
Click here to read more.

Caminetto, an Italian restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Caminetto
Chef-driven Italian restaurant serving fresh pastas and pizzas.
Click here to read more.

Crave, a bakery and cafe in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Crave
Cafe and wine bar with a gorgeous terrace and excellent pastries.
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Ember, a high-end Japanese yakiniku restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Ember
High-end Japanese yakiniku restaurant serving an all-beef set menu.
Click here to read more.

Azul Italiano is an Italian-inspired restaurant, brought to you by the people behind Azul and Colca, located in Sinar Mas Plaza, Hongkou, Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence

Azul Italiano
Italian comfort food by the Azul Group.
Click here to read more.

LatinLand, a Latin American restaurant serving Colombian food in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

LatinLand
Latin American, namely, Colombian food at Wheelock Square.
Click here to read more.

Pici, a pasta bar via Hong Kong, located in Jing'an Kerry Center. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Pici
Fresh pasta bar via Hong Kong.
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Mavis, a wine bar in Jing'an, Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Mavis
A natural wine bar and bistro serving French fare.
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ROZO, a wine bar and restaurant in Shanghai. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

ROZO
A cozy, unassuming wine bar serving Asian-inspired dishes in Jing’an.
Click here to read more.

Topgolf, an entertainment destination that serves a Pan-Asian inspired food menu. Best restaurants in Shanghai 2021. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Lounge by Topgolf
Entertainment destination with mini-golf, serving a Pan-Asian inspired food menu.
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