After over 2 years of vegetarian lifestyle in Shanghai I know my way around the green, the greener & the greenest spots! Though, as it often goes: I've found my favorite spots, my favorite dishes and forget to get out of my comfort zone (God forbid I risk ordering a dish I don't love)! This month I've been exploring a bit more and is here sharing new as well as old vegetarian favorites in Shanghai.
If you know of any vegetarian or vegan restaurants please get in touch! =)
Lucky Zen (Ji Xiang Cao) - The Buddhist Favorite
While part of me wants to say that the Buddhist vibe at Lucky Zen is very authentic, the restaurant is almost too sophisticated and nicely decorated compared to for example many Buddhist temple eateries. Still, the vibe is so calm and pleasant not least due to the nice staff and great layout of this spot. Food is pure vegetarian without a big effort to offer "meat" dishes in weird vegetarian manner (tofu duck anyone...). Instead, Lucky Zen seem to focus on a great selection of good quality greens, healthier choices like brown rice and tasty vegetarian creations.
The menu is in English and quite big but prices allow you to order too much and bring home for a vegetarian snack the following day (best snack ever). Don't get here late as they close at 9pm.
2F, 428 Madang Lu, 3 minutes walk from Xintiandi line 10 (walk away from the Xintiandi area)
Pure & Whole - The Western Favorite
As I wrote in my previous review of Pure & Whole: "Living Proof that Vegetarian & Vegan doesn't have to rime with BORING"! This spot is a haven for vegans and any healthy conscious green soul in Shanghai. Biggest issue? Choosing what to eat today, their menu is amazing!
Read my other review of Pure & Whole here.
- Shanghai Center: suite 104, 1376 Nanjing Xi lu
- Kerry Center Pudong B/F
- Jing'an 98 Yanping lu
- Gubei: 179 Maotai lu
Green Vege Cafe - The Secret Favorite
The Green Vege Cafe is a hidden gem in Shanghai. Unfortunately a bit too well hidden as it's located in a not very known shopping mall on 679 Zhongshan Nan Er Road (close to Long Hua Xi Road Station on Line 7). Still it's worth the search, I PROMISE!
Opened by an enthusiastic Buddhist couple who have put their personal touch on this vintage "diner" style restaurant: The husband is a frequent traveler who loves to collect vintage items and he exhibits them everywhere in the restaurant. The wife is a lacto-vegetarian with a passion for health. Result: This incredible restaurant serving both Western & Asian favorite in vegetarian and vegan versions and served among vintage items that takes you back to an old-scool America! Read my full review here.
3 Floor, 301, 679 Zhoongshan Nan er Road, Xuhui District
Sproutworks - The One For All
Though Sproutworks is not purely vegetarian or vegan this popular spot deserves to get on the list as well! Why? Because with their green, rotating "sides" and guiding signage, Sproutworks makes it so easy to make new interesting vegetarian choices every day. PLUS if you are going for lunch with a meat-craving colleague or friend this is no problem: just add protein at the end of the order!
- Xintiandi - 185 Madang lu, near Zizhong lu
- Lujiazui - B2/F, 168 Lujiazui Xi Lu in Superbrand Mall
- French Concession: 301 Huashan Lu, near Julu Lu
Wuguangtang Vegetarian Restaurant - the Chinese Favorite
I just recently discovered Wuguangtang when a Chinese colleague introduced me to this place. He absolutely loves it, comes here every week and orders the same 4-5 dishes every time. According to him the spot was opened by a Buddhist and environmental friendly soul. This have resulted in many environmental friendly practices including a rooftop garden growing many of the green offerings on the menu.
In many ways, Wuguangtang reminds me of Lucky Zen with a fantastic calm and pleasant vibe. The service doesn't come near to the one I always get at Lucky Zen which affects the overall impression of the restaurant but this is probably because this spot is a bit more Chinese than Lucky Zen (you will most like not run into other foreigners at Wuguangtang). Their menu (English available) includes several things unknown to me and I kind of just order a suitable amount and keep my fingers crossed. When I went back last weekend to introduce my boyfriend to this spot, I didn't manage to find a single of the items my colleague ordered for us.. We had the "daily specials" (new choice available every day of the week for all Chinese stable food such as diary free milk, rice and soup) and a selection of dumplings, greens & veggie curry.
Jen Dow - The Simple Favorite
This cafeteria styled Buddhist restaurants right next to Jing'an Temple is a very simple, cheap & easy vegetarian choice. Their menu is limited and prices allows you to try everything. I can't wait to come back on a cold day and try their fully vegetarian Hot-Pot!
151 Yuyuan Lu, near Wanhangdu Lu, Jing'an (Jing'an Temple)
Other Favorite Picks
Hunter Gatherer - I can't wait to go back to this great all-natural-place. Concept a bit like Sproutworks with sides, but HG offers less choices and quality seems better and less "bulky" (prices a bit higher as well). Also not fully vegetarian but very suitable! 308 Anfu L, near Wukang Lu
Sprout Lifestyle - Their new cafe on Shaanxi Road has opened! Whole food, real food and all vegetarian and made with a super mindful touch! 388 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Fuxing lu
Green & Safe - Though not fully vegetarian G&S has great choices for vegetarians. Read my other review here. 6 Dongping Lu, near Hengshan Lu