Three of the best romantic restaurants

Cosy Shanghai restaurants for date night dining

Time Out's Food & Drink editor Crystyl Mo picks out her top three restaurants for romantic dinner dates in Shanghai whether you're on a budget or you want to splurge. 


When we want to be crammed together in a small space on a budget date, we head for Lotus Eatery’s original branch (meal for two around 120RMB) with its miniature dining room and battered decor of batik topped tables and wall hangings. 

Despite being cramped and weather-worn, it feels cosy and welcoming and in this difficult to find location (taxi drivers often get lost on the way), it’s the epitome of a hidden gem. Order the roast fish, mashed potatoes and fried cheese and let the footsie begin.

Lotus Eatery 85 Yangzhai Lu, near Xinhua Lu. See full address details


The Cool Docks is a difficult location, but there are still reasons to head to the area including Table No 1 and Kebabs on the Grille. The latter (meal for two around 250RMB) has thrived by offering authentic Indian cuisine and friendly service.

The second floor tables by the window looking down on the fountains and the brick courtyard are some of our favourite seats in the whole complex. They’re a charming perch to enjoy our favourite grilled cauliflower, chicken and lamb curries and excellent papadum and naan.

Kebabs on the Grille 8 Cool Docks, 479 Zhongshan Nan Lu, near Fuxing Dong Lu. See full address details


For a splurge date, we love sitting shoulder to shoulder at the tuck-your-feet-under counter of the unparalleled Sasano (meal for two around 700RMB). The blonde wood counter is fronted with a row of bubbling crab tanks and set in an all tatami mat restaurant where you leave your shoes with a white gloved assistant at the front door. 

The immaculate service continues for the whole of your visit. Order the gorgeous sashimi – they cut the salmon thick as steaks – glistening uni (some of the best in the city) and the avocado salmon salad which made our 101 Best Dishes list.

Sasano 85 Xianfeng Street, near Jinhui Lu. See full address details