With people realizing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, an upsurge of vegan and vegetarian restaurants have bloomed in Shanghai. Meatless menus are no longer limited to flavored eggplants or vegetable stir-fries, but to gourmet dishes ranging from Mexican tortillas, mini burgers, and sashimi. Here we feature the eight best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Shanghai, all of which adopt fresh ingredients and grow their own produce.
There’s a new upmarket vegetarian restaurant in Shanghai. Opened in August 2011, Dashu Wujie was created by the founder of Vegetarian Lifestyle chain. It is an upmarket, 5 storey restaurant overlooking over Xujiahui Park, and walking distance from Xujiahui station (line 1 and 9, exit 14.)
Opening hours: from 11:00
Add: 392 Tianping Lu, near Zhaojiabang Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02134692857
The purple-painted door, lavenders and teddy bears in the interior reflect a warm dining ambience at this enduring health food spot, Veggie Dot. As a California-based vegetarian restaurant, Veggie Dot offers a perfect combination of healthy dining concepts and Western cuisine. Every main dish, side dish and fruit enzyme is made of pure natural plants without any food additives. Guilty dreaming of sumptuous falafel? Try the Mexican quesadilla with grilled eggplants, peppers, pumpkins and tortillas. From Italian paninis and the classic basil capellini, to Vietnamese spring rolls, guests will be captivated with the tantalizing tastes.
Watch out for: Mexican tortillas, lavender-themed environment
Add: 392 Tianping Rd, Xuhui, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02134692857
Green Vegan Café
Fuelled by her passion for a natural diet, Yoli, together with her husband Mr Meng, devises all the dishes on the meat-free menu of Green Vegan Café. Boasting a 1950s San Francisco’s Renaissance style, the couple invited visual merchandiser to decorate the area with American-imported antiques including a silver pot from Tiffany & Co, a salt cellar from Cartier, and a nostalgic gumball machine. To offer guess the best dining experience, Yoli even visited a city in Switzerland, Hiltl, the shrine of vegetarians, to try out palatable recipes.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11.30am-10pm
Watch out for: mini burgers and fries, and Thai-inspired roasts
Add: Room 301, Touch Mall, 699 Zhongshan South Road, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02160672555
Wu Jie Restaurant
Wu Jie Restaurant has received numerous thumb-ups from diners, foodies and critics, and this dining spot serving East-meets-West vegetarian cuisine has won undivided admiration. The six-storey dining hot spot is all wrapped up in floor-to-ceiling windows and open elevators that expose guests to the tranquil surroundings. All the floors are furnished according to the ‘five elements’ principle in traditional Chinese medicine. For those craving for Chinese-style dishes, bite-size yam mud and crispy mushroom topped with vinegar are good start. The stand-out imported alcohol-free red wines are recommended by the founder, Mr Song.
Watch out for: afternoon tea featuring multi-national dishes
Add: 4/F, Bund 22, Waitan, Zhongshan East 2nd Road, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02163752861
Three Flavors Vegan House
At this perennial go-to for vegetable enthusiasts, Three Flavors Vegan House, all the veggies are freshly selected and purchased every day. The refreshing and tranquil façade of Three Flavors is encircled by chlorophyte with tall and thick camphor trees, verdant foliage plants and vine twining around the trees. Among dozens of natural ingredients, the most extraordinary and eye-catching option is the freshly picked pollution-free seasonal vegetables. The meat analogue is just as nice a choice for carnivores as the vegetables. Japanese-inspired grilled eel, Orleans roast chicken wings, and braised pork balls in brown sauce are the chef’s specialities.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11pm-9.30pm
Watch out for: daily freshly-picked vegetables and meat analogue
Add: 20 Nan Quan Lu, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02158306077
As a pure vegan Chinese spot with quasi-meat dishes, Healthy Home boasts its meat-like delicacies that are good enough to pass for genuine. The signature circle-shape green tea cake topped with sesame has a soft texture that is like a mocha with mild sweetness, which is an ideal treat for dessert. All the vegan dishes are delicately cooked: the vegan spare ribs feature sweet yet sour flavors, and the renowned Sichuan twice cooked pork has the amazing texture of fatty pork belly and legs.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-9pm
Watch out for: sashimi, twice cooked pork
Add: 28 Guo He Lu, Wujiaochang, Yangpu Qu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 1370187329
Shanghai has no shortage of vegan restaurants, but the preservative-free gourmet dishes at Xiangji Attic are well appraised by locals. Outfitted with vintage and simple furnishings and decorated with brick walls that has the Zen spirit and a plaque written by old monk from Mount Emei, the waiters at Xiangji Attic are dressed in Han costumes, and wooden bookshelves are placed in the dining spot. Ingredients are freshly transported from Yunnan, and green vegetables and mushrooms are used to produce flavorful vegetarian broths.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am-2pm; 5pm-9pm
Watch out for: the interestingly decorated interior
Add: Room 410, Zhong Chuang Building, 819 Nanjing West Road, Jingan Qu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02152788123
Lucky Zen and Vegetarian Restaurant
Radiating the aroma of sandalwood, Lucky Zen and Vegetarian Restaurant, is a dining spot of some note, and features a spacious, comfy and quiet dining atmosphere with music played by Chinese ancient string-plucked instrument. Lucky Zen serves attractively presented healthy recipes that are of mild flavors. Leaf mustard and bean curd is wrapped up in the silk-like tofu skin bundled up with agrocybe aegerita and decorated with shredded radish in the dish named ‘Bodhi sachet’. With a wide selection of antipasti, Lucky Zen is a rendezvous for Buddhists.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am-4pm; 5pm-9pm
Watch out for: Dongpo Meat, Bodhi sachet and comfy dining environmen
Add: 2/F, 428 Ma Dang Lu, Lu Wan Qu, Shanghai
Tel: 86 02163730288