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7 places at Columbia Circle that you should check out right now

From tomahawk steaks to turnt up pizzas, here's all the good stuff that the city's hottest food and drink hub has to offer

Photograph: courtesy The Parlour
Once a watering hole for Shanghai’s American community back in the 1920s, Columbia Circle is the newest fancy collection of food and drink venues all in one place. So a food court, but not a mall… Think of it as an adult Found 158. Here are five of the most happening spots for your hit list.

By Annie Lin and Cat Nelson
The Parlour
Photographs: courtesy The Parlour

The Parlour

A disco ball pizza oven. Let’s start there. Off-the-wall and totally fun, The Parlour comes from the playful mind of Sam Norris of modern Japanese spot Xime and the now-shuttered rotisserie chicken joint Wishbone.

Here, things are classed up – fancy pizzas and even fancier mains, like grilled pigeon with blackcurrant sauce and a Himalayan king salmon with beetroot sauce and lemon curd – and there’s a heavy focus on cocktails, even with a delightful piña colada-inspired dessert.

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1262 Yanan Xi Lu
Blackbird/Table Black
Photographs: courtesy Blackbird

Blackbird/Table Black

Spread out across three floors, the sleek bar and lounge Blackbird sits downstairs with a relaxed outdoor terrace, upscale modern Chinese concept Table Black and Bar Black is one floor up (opening date tba), and the rooftop is decked out with lounge chairs and a DJ booth for chilling into the early hours.

The inventive food (smoked eel with whipped duck liver and soy mint caramel, anyone?) alongside excellent cocktails, like the Creek Cress with pine needle-infused gin, will keep you coming back for more.

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1262 Yanan Xi Lu
Inkwood Restaurant & Bar
Photographs: Annie Lin

Inkwood Restaurant & Bar

Inkwood is the project of reality show chef Yang Beichuan, who’s worked his way around restaurants in Canada including Joe’s Beef and Liverpool House. While the casual dining with sharing plates concept is nothing new, Yang is doing some interesting stuff with traditionally Asian ingredients – think foie gras parfait with guava jam, confit duck tortellini with water chestnuts and clams with Chinese sausage.

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1262 Yanan Xi LuOnline booking
Latin Woo, Pirata, Hulu Sushi
Photographs: Yang Xiaozhe

Latin Woo, Pirata, Hulu Sushi

A three-in-one doozy of side-by-side venues from Ling Huang of Pirata. There’s a second branch of the casual Spanish restaurant alongside two newer concepts: Cuban-style sandwich bar Latin Woo, where you’ll find sandwiches you might get at a food truck – like a juicy torta ahogada or Cubano – and small six-seater omakase concept Hulu Sushi from Huang’s husband Liu-san who worked at Sushi Oyama for years.

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1262 Yanan Xi Lu
Seesaw Coffee
Photographs: Annie Lin

Seesaw Coffee

Seesaw continues the grind with its newest store in the city. Instagrammable as ever, this time you’ll feel you’ve walked inside a tunnel of the future that’ll be shooting you out the other end more awake and caffeinated.

Expect the coffee purveyor’s usual range of top-tier beans from Ethiopia, Kenya, Costa Rica and Yunnan. The signature pour is a double espresso with tonic water, and for the adventurous, take the ‘flight mode’ on a test spin with three coffees of your choice.

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1262 Yanan Xi Lu

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