Shanghai's best date-worthy bars

Shanghai's top date night spots by budget, views and vibe

Time Out break down Shanghai’s best date-worthy bars by budget, views and vibe for Valentine's celebrations, date nights and special occasions



Third floor, Xinhua Bookstore, 1829 Beijing Xi Lu, near Wanhangdu Lu


This sleek spot hidden away at the back of the new Xinhua Bookstore on Beijing Xi Lu is well worth seeking out. By day it's a relaxed cafe, by night an intimate restaurant and bar with an expansive wine list (35RMB/glass wine on Friday nights).


148 Maoming Bei Lu, near Weihai Lu


If you’re really skint, why not just go all in and take your date to Helen's, one of Shanghai’s dive bars. Get a sense of how they roll, whether they're adaptable, and how quickly they get drunk on cheap booze. It’s all valuable information if you’re going to go the distance with them.


Third Floor, 1139 Kaixuan Lu, near Anshun Lu


A laid back student dive bar, with grafitti strewn walls and long canteen style wooden benches, Perry's is usually packed with students from the surrounding universities.
The third floor bar is like an upstairs version of C's minus the dancefloor and the pokey rooms.


Seventh Floor, 7 Yanan Dong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu


This bar feels like it should break the bank, but it won’t. Shen has an ideal mix of Bund-side glam and unpretentiousness that makes it a pleasantly affordable and attractive place to take your date. The only real problem is that you may set the bar too high for the next date.

Taste Buds Cocktail Palace

Level 2, 368 Wukang Lu, near Hunan Lu


This recently opened cocktail bar tucked upstairs on Wukang Lu has great drinks and plenty of nooks to separate you and your date from the masses. Head here earlier rather than later for an even more secluded tête-à-tête.


Zhong Plaza, 99 Taixnig Lu, near Wujiang Lu


At Starling you’ll be transported to South East Asia, with large wooden fans, batik fabric covered chairs, bird cages and a savoury drinks list that reads more like a Thai food menu. Classy but relaxed and with some of the best cocktails in town, Starling will impress. Promise.

Senator Saloon Senator

98 Wuyuan Lu, near Wulumuqi Zhong Lu


Saloon’s dark and sexy interior is perfect for dates who want to hide away in a booth and drink quality cocktails. Word of warning, the drinks here can be strong. Order some bar snacks if you’re staying for more than two drinks and would prefer to avoid slurring your words.


The Nest

Sixth Floor, 130 Beijing Dong Lu, near Huqiu Lu


Is there a reason The Nest rhymes with ‘the best’? Probably not. But we really dig this bar regardless. Serving great drinks in a laid-back setting, it’s a solid option for a date. There’s also an impressive and share-friendly food menu if you want your date to progress to dinner.

8 1/2 Terrace Bar

Seventh Floor, Associate Mission Building,169 Yuanmingyuan Lu, near Huqiu Lu


For the distraction of lit-up boats on the Huangpu and the Lujiazui skyline to fill those moments where you’re trying to think of something witty to say to your date, head to the recently reopened 8 ½ Terrace Bar for cocktails and oysters (from 438RMB/dozen).