• Bars
  • Cocktail bars
Critics' pick
Lane 2208 Nanjing Xi Lu
Rose-pink walls, red, heart-shaped lamps, a faux, electric wood-burner (with flickering light effect, of course) and some classic dad-rock – how did we ever forget about Nickleback? – conspire towards a warm, low-slung and happily kitsch atmosphere. Papaya feels like it’s been lifted from a tinselly Vegas motel, but all of this only serves to make it thoroughly endearing.

At the bar, the waistcoat-clad barkeeps dole out reliably well-assembled classic pours. Prices feel a tad out of touch at 80RMB a piece and we could do with a bit less promo for vodka brands, but otherwise, Papaya’s up there with one of the city’s best bars to side-step bawdy session drinkers and finish an evening: it’s other plus, it’s open until 4am.
Venue name: Papaya
Opening hours: 7pm-4am daily
Metro: Jingan Temple
English address: 7-104 Lane 2208 Nanjing Xi Lu near Yanan Xi Lu Jingan district
Chinese address: 静安区南京西路2028弄7-104号, 近延安西路