Satisfy your sweet tooth at the top pastry shops in Shanghai, including Angelina, Baker and Spice, CinnaSwirl and more.
This outpost of famous Parisian café and pastry shop Angelina turns breakfast into an occasion. Opening at 8am on weekdays, it feels quite regal for first thing in the morning thanks to its Baroque-style interior, but but it’s worth a look to enjoy their small a-la-carte breakfast menu.
Despite the elevated price tag, we’re quite taken by the Parisian breakfast (128RMB), which includes a hot drink, a fresh juice (try the lemon juice for delightfully tart wake up call), mini Viennoiseries (a croissant, chocolate croissant and a Danish pastry) and a bread roll with butter and French honey and jams. With this set, try their signature hot chocolate (made from a blend of African cocoa) served in a sweet little white jug accompanied by light, fluffy cream. Normally 68RMB, it’s good value when ordered with the breakfast. As soon as the weather warms up, make the most of their large terrace and enjoy breakfast outside.
Angelina is at Unit 120, Shanghai Centre, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Wukang Lu
Baker and Spice’s branches get quite busy in the mornings, but we recommend you brave the crowds for the delicious pastries, cakes and sweets. It may not immediately appeal as a breakfast item, but the zucchini and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (18RMB) makes for a sumptuous morning treat if you’re craving something sweet – just tell yourself it’s healthy (hey, there are two different vegetables in there). Add a latte (29-36RMB) or an iced-tea and your day will be off to a pretty good start.
Café del Volcán makes a mean cup of coffee, and despite their tiny store, we enjoy grabbing a bite of breakfast here too. There isn’t a traditional breakfast menu, but you can grab a cookie (12RMB), waffle (24RMB) or a slice of cake (35RMB) to accompany your morning brew.
The waffles are a relatively new addition to the menu, and a welcome one in our eyes. While they are served naked, they are surprisingly sweet, moist and filling. Also available are Spread the Bagel bagels (24 RMB), which can be eaten with cream cheese if you’re looking for a less sweet way to start the day. Despite the small surface area, there is a surprising number of seats in-store, as well as some prime outdoor chairs and tables on Yongkang Lu.
CinnaSwirl provide one of the sweetest breakfasts we’ve found in the city, but also one of the tastiest. Cinnamon rolls have been huge in the US for many years, but CinnaSwirl on Yuyuan Dong Lu is the first dedicated kitchen to be cooking up these decadent treats for the good people of Shanghai. The tiny kitchen and shop only sells takeaway, but grab a single roll (18RMB) and chow down on your way to work (just watch those sticky fingers), or even better, grab a box of 12 mini-sized rolls (85RMB) and instantly rise to status of office hero, as you wow all your colleagues with the magical combination of spice, sugar and dough. The potential mid-morning sugar crash is well worth it.
is at 32 Yuyuan Dong Lu, near Changde Lu.
Farine’s little store and terrace at the entrance to Ferguson Lane on the tree-lined Wukang Lu is a packed breakfast spot on weekends. During the week it’s much quieter and transforms into a cosy little haven where you can enjoy a good quality pastry, a slightly overpriced coffee and pick up some excellent artisan bread.
Monday to Friday from 7-10am make the most of their breakfast set, which includes a coffee and a pastry for only 38RMB – a steal considering coffees alone here are normally upwards of 30RMB. The pastries are buttery and flakey. Try the pain au chocolat or butter croissant, perfect for dipping into a foamy latte or their signature hot chocolate, which is thick, spicy and very rich. You won’t regret making time in your morning for a visit here.
Farine is at 378 Wukang Lu, near Taian Lu
hoF doesn’t buy into a traditional breakfast menu and avoids eggs or flour, that is, unless they come mixed together to create one of the decadent cakes available in their display cabinet. This is the place to head if you’re in the mood for coffee and cake and have some cash to splash.
The dancing latte (36RMB), a layered frothed milk and coffee combination topped with pop rocks is a fun morning beverage; pair it with a generous slice of rich, moist chocolate walnut fudge brownie (40RMB) and try not to think of how much of your calorie count you’ve managed to devour before lunch.
hoF has various branches across town
Located near the Yangjiadu ferry station on Zhangyang Lu, just south of Lujiazui, La Parisienne provides a great range of fine, authentically French-style deli offerings, from meats and cheeses to pastries, quiches and some fantastic baguettes. For breakfast, they have five set options, ranging from Un Express (25RMB for an espresso and a croissant) to La Parisienne (88RMB for a hot beverage, bread and condiments, whipped cottage cheese with red fruits, a mini croissant and a mini pain au chocolat and a bottle of artisanal French juice).
We love the Petit Dejeuner Francais, an absolute bargain at 52RMB. It comes with a smooth coffee, a pefectly crunchy half baguette with butter and strawberry jam, a wonderfully flakey croissant, a buttery brioche and a glass of juice. For nearly the same price as a coffee in some of the chains around Shanghai, summon your inner Parisian and love this delightful little spot like we do.
If delightful bakery Pain Chaud and Café del Volcán were your only experiences of Yongkang Lu you’d think this lively bar street was a quietly respectable spot.
From 7-10.30am, earlybirds here can enjoy a set of any coffee or fresh juice with a bread or pastry for just 30RMB. Drool-worthy options include a dense, chewy mini ciabatta laced with olives (8RMB). The lovely ‘chausson aux pommes’ (10RMB) is an ultra-flaky pastry with a gooey apple filling. The decadent ‘pain au chocolat aux amandes’ (16RMB) is infused with both chocolate and cream, dusted with powdered sugar and sprinkled with sliced almonds.
For those in search of a more savoury morning boost, the light and custardy spinach quiche (20RMB) boasts a satisfying, verdant flavour.