Shanghai is a travellers’ paradise. It is the largest city in mainland China and there are quite a few areas to explore. Shanghai caters to your culinary interests too.
Since I am a vegan, I was a bit apprehensive about stopping over in Shanghai. I was going to spend only a couple of days in this famous city, but I was not exactly sure if I would be able to find restaurants offering good vegan food. Luckily, Shanghai proved me wrong. There are many good vegan restaurants in this town and some of them serve mouth-watering Chinese delicacies. During the three days and nights that I spent in Shanghai, I went to at least five restaurants and liked most of them. Here are some of the best.
1. Hui Yuan Vegan Restaurant
It is an affordable restaurant perfect for Chinese style non-fancy dining. The place is pretty crowded during evenings. This is actually a good sign because people only flock to good restaurants. The only thing that I didn’t like about this place is that it does not have English signs outside. If you can’t read Chinese, you will probably not be able to find out that this is a vegan restaurant. It is a nice restaurant with private rooms and round tables. It’s not a fancy restaurant and so I wouldn’t recommend it for hosting business dinners or the like. But it is perfect for having an affordable Chinese dinner with friends or family. They also have some tables outside.
The menu is available in English and Chinese. It shows a picture of the dishes. If you don’t have allergies, you could order any of the dishes. Most of them taste great. Keep in mind that Chinese food may contain mock meat. If you don’t like the taste of mock meat, you could order vegetables instead. Most dishes are priced between 20-40 RMB. Visit this restaurant with your friends and order many different types of food. This way you can have a great dinner for an affordable price. The restaurant is close to Yu Garden and People Square.
49 East Huaihai Road, near South Yunnan Road (Huangpu district)
Timings: 10 am to 9 pm
2. Taiwan Brother 7 Vegan Hut
This is a great place to find cheap vegan food with a lot of mock meats. The restaurant was recently renovated and now the place looks very inviting. They only serve vegan meals and have over 120 Taiwanese and Chinese dishes.
Many of their dishes contain different types of fake meat. The food is pretty oily but that’s normal for Chinese food. They claim that their dishes do not use MSG. This is another reason to dine at this restaurant. Most of the dishes are priced below 50 RMB. Some of them are actually below 30 RMB. You also get free unsweetened tea.
5th floor, 339 North Caoxi Road, near Nandan Road, Xuhui district.
3. Gong De Lin (Godly)
This restaurant has been around for more than 9 decades. It is actually one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai and is quite popular with both tourists and locals. The two-storey building is beautifully furnished with mahogany furniture. They offer a variety of mock meats. The service is fast and the waiters are helpful. Some of them can even speak English. In a small shop next to the restaurant, they sell different types of cookies and Chinese style cakes as well. At Godly, you will be able to have a tasty meal for less than 100 RMB.
Gong De Lin – Godly
441-445 West Nanjing Road, near North Chengdu Road
4. Hunter Gatherer – Healthy Veggie-Friendly Restaurant & Marketplace (Xuhui District)
The Hunter Gatherer is another vegan-friendly restaurant. Since they grow their vegetables on their organic farms in China, they can offer pesticide-free food. While the food tastes great, you also get an opportunity to design your meal. You only have to choose your base, vegetables, topping, and source of protein from different sources. They also produce their hazelnut and almond butter. In addition, you will find a lot of other vegan items like coconut cookies, snacks, oils, spreads, and sauces in this restaurant.
#106, No. 308 Anfu Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai (near Wukang Lu)
5. Chunfeng Songyue Lou
Songyue Lou is famous for serving delicious veggie meals. The restaurant stays loyal to the ancient vegetarian culture of China and serves traditional Chinese cuisine, popular Shanghai cuisine, and health care cuisine. They offer about 100 dishes. It is located inside the Yuyuan Garden Bazaar and can seat about 150 people.
Chenghuang Temple, 23 Bailin Road, Shanghai, China