The 9 hottest bars, restaurants and cafés in Shanghai this month

Here's what we're craving from December's hottest tables

The holidays are creeping up and 2018's just around the corner, and that means seasonal menus galore with gut-busting plates of warming comfort foods. From autumn-inspired pizzas and rich fusion dishes to hearty steaks and cocktails fit for the King in the North, here's what we're craving from Shanghai's hottest tables.

The Nest

Winter is coming to The Nest, where chef Freddy Raoul has rolled out a whole new seasonal menu of comforting and unique Nordic-inclined fare that's hands down fantastic. The standouts include an unexpected venison heart 'as it is' (aka, raw), a brilliant salmon chowder, an apple tart with homemade applewood smoked ice cream, and the Winter is Coming cocktail – served in a taloned goblet fit for the King in the North.

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130 Beijing Dong LuOnline booking

The Rice Garden (Mi Xiang Yuan)

From the Holy Cow hotpot family, this popular rice-focused, fast casual eatery of days gone has reopened with recipes new and old. Particularly focused on providing the best quality rice around, the team tried dozens before settling on an organic Wuchang rice, known as one of the best varieties in China. Head in for cheap, filling lunch sets with great dishes like hongshao rou, teriyaki chicken with sous vide egg, spicy frog and Chef Anthony's signature lurou fan. 

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757 Mengzi Lu

Homeslice Pizza

Home to some of the best NYC-style slices in town, this Found 158 pizza joint has got an autumn/winter menu worth getting gooey about with five new pizzas for your pleasure. First, there's the stand-up BBQ Chicken, a collaboration with chef Christopher Pitts of Table No. 1. Then there's the Forest loaded up with earthy mushrooms, the Calabrese with smoked sausage, the Pumpkin with pumpkin cream and tahini, and the sausage and broccoli rabe. Homeslice has also rolled out a carafe programme with pitchers of housemade cocktails to pair with slices.

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158 Julu Lu

Club 3 1/3

This swanky bar located on the first floor of Three on the Bund says it’s not exclusive, despite having a bouncer and a dress code (no sandals, no shorts). Once inside, though, the bougey vibe is toned down a bit by plush jewel-toned couches and a house-heavy soundtrack from nightly live DJs who up the BPM as the midnight hour approaches, altogether making for a solid lounge atmosphere. Well-executed signature drinks match the standards of a cocktail-focused bar, and don’t skip the elevated snacks like Sichuan beef nachos and Vietnamese-spiced pork ribs.

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3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu

Xime Japanese Restaurant

From English-Japanese duo Sam Norris (chef of now closed but reopening soon Wishbone) and Jun Nishio (chef and DJ), Xime offers Japanese fare in modern apparel: DIY sushi platters, shochu infusions, udon and Buddha bowls. A popular lunch spot for its sets by day, a cool izakaya by night. 

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989 Changle Lu

Fresh Catch

The latest food concept to drop anchor at Pudong’s newly opened Lilacs Shopping Centre, this nautical-themed surf n' turf restaurant serves up huge Australian steaks, steaming Canadian lobsters and other maritime fare. It's a great excuse to venture east of the river (if you don't already).

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858 Dingxiang Lu

Sober Company

There's a new chef at Sober Kitchen serving up an eclectic mix of globally inspired-and-fused Chinese fare that makes fusion look good. The foie gras 'Sn*ckers' is out of this world – crispy wafers with a spread of smooth foie gras and a sticky sauce of coffee, huangjiu and black vinegar that adds a rich, chocolatey counterpoint to the savoury shell and filling. And don't skip the cave salt lamb chops, duck egg asparagus or the curry beef ramen.

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99 Yandang Lu

Peet's Coffee

Making its way across the lake from its hometown of San Francisco, Peet's Coffee joins the Shanghai bean scene with a big, bright space on Donghu Lu. The nitro cold brew is the thing to order – served foamy from a frosty tap. 

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9 Donghu Lu

Cinker Pictures

The restaurant and cinema concept comes down from Beijing and lands in the new Taikoo Hui shopping centre. The dishes are hit or miss, but the cocktails are worthy, and best of all, you can enjoy them inside the venue's private cinema alongside the film screening of the night.

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789 Nanjing Xi Lu

More things we're craving...