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I was asked to put this together for an HR on-boarding, but I figured I would post here. These are not in any order of importance:

1.      Avocado lady

Cheap avocados, fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme) cheap smoked salmon and (domestic) mozzarella. She also knows all the names for veggies in fruits in English. WAY cheaper than any grocery store and overall better quality.

Address: 274 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Wuyuan Lu
Chinese Address: 乌鲁木齐中路274号, 近五原路

2.      Booking CNY trips/online travel booking

If you want options that won’t break the bank, start booking in October. I generally compare and and if you have someone to help you navigate Chinese travel sites compares all the online travel agencies for the lowest price.

3.      HiShanghai Iphone App and/or Guanxi SMS service

Comprehensive listings as well as a Yelp-like service to find what’s around you. Leverages Google maps to show you where things are. TOTALLY worth $5. If you don’t have an iPhone you can use the guanxi SMS service to get addresses – text the name of the restaurant/bar/store to 106695882929. Reply to the result that matches what you’re looking for with “C” to get the address in Chinese. is also a good venue search option for mobile.

4.      12593 cheap international calling service (China Mobile Users)

Call 10086 to activate this service. Add 12593 + 00 + country code to make cheap international calls from your mobile phone – IP cards be gone! Rates vary on the country you are calling but US/Canada rates are RMB .40/minute (USD$0.05).

5.      Online classifieds

I have always bought kitchen stuff, couches, etc from the online classifieds. Shanghai is a transient city – take advantage of people leaving who are trying to ditch their stuff.

6.      Street Map

Smartshanghai has the best streetmap – bit hard to find itty bitty side streets but overall very useful (you can also overlay the metro map or the Happy Hour map) –

7.      Online grocery shopping – this is the main grocer I use. Same day delivery if you order before 3:00, except on weekends, you have to order on Friday for Sat or Sun delivery – specialize in Italian/European stuff, weekend order/delivery  – City Super online groceries, same day delivery if you order early enough – organic veggies – organic veggies

8.      What’s going on?

These are the best places to check out what’s going on in Shanghai

Smart Shanghai –

City Weekend –

That’s Shanghai (urbanatomy) –

Shanghaiist –

CNN GO Shanghai Minisite –

China “ticketmaster” equivalent –

Second “ticketmaster” option –

9.      Books

“Classics” are only 15RMB in any Chinese book store, if that’s your thing. If it’s not you

Non-classics can be found at:

Garden Books – 325 Changle Road, near Shaanxi Nan Road. Tel: 021 5404 8729.

Shanghai Book Mall – 701 Huaihai Zhong Lu

Charter Books

Shop B1-K, Shanghai Times Square, 99 Huaihai Zhong Lu ,
near Pu’an Lu, Metro Line 1 Huangpi Nan Lu Station

Shop 104, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu ,
Nanjing Xi Lu
near Tongren Lu, Metro Line 2 Nanjing Xi Lu Station

10.     “2 for 1” massage

Almost every massage place (excluding the BIG chains like Dragonfly) have 2 for 1 massages if you walk in the door before 6PM. Butterfly massage has 100RMB for 1 hour foot and 1 hour body:

Lane88 Huichuan Lu,
Zhongshan Park
near Changning Lu

29 Wuxing Lu,
near Huaihai Lu

I was bemoaning the lack of a “yelp”-like iphone app for Shanghai that leverages GPS to make restaurant/shopping/etc recommendations based on my location. Turns out, there is one! HiShanghai has arrived on the scene and it’s pretty good! I compared it against my friend’s much more $$ Shanghai app and it had better features and more thorough listings. Totally worth $4.99. It regularly gets updated with new listings and events. – this is the main grocer I use. Same day delivery if you order before 3:00, except on weekends, you have to order on Friday for Sat or Sun delivery – specialize in Italian/European stuff, weekend order/delivery– City Super online groceries, same day delivery if you order early enough

Clubs: I preface this list by saying that I don’t really go to clubs much anymore, but my friends do and this is where they go. Just for context, we are in our early 30’s.:

 Shelter – in an old bomb shelter, mostly electronic music, can get v crowded, but fun

M1NT – big fancy club , long lines on Friday and Saturday after 9

Yuyingtang – live music, mostly chinese bands, younger crowd but fun

JZ – Great  live Jazz venue

Sin – may need to be on a list or reserve a table, depending on the night. Overall a good crowd.

Mao – used to be “the place”, then it fell off the radar and is now making a comeback. Also electronic/house music

Velvet Lounge – this is a bar and a club, gets packed from about 11 onwards. Can be a little seedy at times, but fun.

C’s – if seedy is your thing, this is as divvy as they come in Shanghai.


I will clean this up later, but this is the basic “Shanghai Email” I dole out on request.

I included addresses, but I suggest looking a place up on
Smartshanghai before you go and you can print the
address in Chinese to show the taxi driver. 
They also have a great interactive SH street map
Art Galleries
Moganshan Lu
Laris – The food here is great and the view is amazing, call in
advance and request a table by the window. It’s pricey, but worth it.
Generally considered best Western Food in Shanghai. Bar Rouge is around the corner at 8 on the Bund
in Shanghai.
6/F, 17 Guangdong Road, inside “3 on the Bund”
Zhongshan Dong Yi Road
6321 9922

Lao Beijing (great Beijing duck) – see earlier post

Viva/Azul – Tapas
18 Dongping Lu near Hengshan lu
Tel: +86 (21) 6433 1172

Brunch at M on the Bund is always great as well.

Coconut Grove – gorgeous colonial house with great garden for eating
outside. Best Thai food in Shanghai
38 Fumin Lu (near Yanan Lu)

1221 – Shaghainese food
1221 Yanan Xi Road
Panyu Road
6213 6585 6213 2441

Sacha’s – nice colonial house – indoor and outdoor seating
(around the corner from Viva/Azul)
9 Dong Ping Road
Hengshan Road

Face – A MUST. gorgeous old house with cool interior – indoor and
outdoo seating.
Address: Ruijin Guest House, 118 Ruijin Er Road
Phone: 6466 4328

Bar Rouge – Amazing view, – go early and have a drink on the deck and leave before the crowds hit around 10/11.

JZ bar – live Jazz, very relaxing
46 Fuxing Road
Yongfu Road
6431 0169

See and Do:

  • Go to the top of the Jin Mao
  • Walk around the Old area (Yu Gardens) and go into the garden
  • Walk through the antique market (on XiZang [Tibet] road 2 blocks south
    of Huaihai road across fromt the Pet market, which is also interesting
    to check out) 
  • Massage: Green Massage is my fav, they get full so book a day ahead
    (or in the morning). A few minutes walk from XinTianDi
    tel. 5386-0222
    58 Taicang Lu
    near Jinan Lu
    Open 10:30am-2am

FINALLY! A good reasonably-priced Japanese restaurant in Shanghai. Haiku has cool atmosphere and great food. We had an awesome meal, the spicy tuna roll rocked as did the jalapeno roll, which I might not have ordered myself but I’m glad someone did.

28B Taojiang Road
near Hengshan Road


Lao Beijing proves that a Beijing Duck restaurant in Shanghai can have good duck AND good side dishes.  A great place for families, colleagues and groups (really not the place for a group less than 4 people). Reservations are a good idea.

1 Henan Nan Lu, by Yanan Dong Lu.
tel: 6373 4515

Flickr Photos