Family area guide: Zhongshan Park

Sprawling green space bordered by restaurants, cafés and great hangout spots

Photograph: szalai.laci via Unsplash
You’ve made your way across the city from Xintiandi to Anfu Lu to reach Zhongshan Park, one of Shanghai’s most luscious green spaces located in Changning district. It’s popular amongst locals as an escape within the city or to simply spend some down time. Read on for our picks of all the best places to chill, eat, play and shop in the area.

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Ocean Grounds

Offering coffee enthusiasts pour-over and cold brew coffee options, there’s a little something for everyone on the menu at Ocean Grounds. A range of fresh juices, salads and burgers compliment the sunny atmosphere and make for a welcome stop after a day of running around in the park.

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282 Huaihai Zhong Lu

Cafe on Air (Zhongshan Park)

Take a break from the Shanghai hustle and bustle to breathe in the scent of freshly roasted coffee at Cafe on Air. The pet-friendly café is minimalistic, warmly lit and kitted out with magazine-lined walls and a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. Sip on a classic espresso (28RMB) or a rich pour over coffee with beans imported from Copenhagen (50RMB). Not feeling coffee? Go for the ‘chapuccino’ (38RMB) – a tea cappuccino. 

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102 Lixi Lu, near Jiangsu Lu


Homeslice Pizza (Zhongshan Park)

Your kids will love it and so will you. New York-style pizza parlour Homslice Pizza has long been popular at its first location in Found 158 and now it’s bringing the pies to a park near you. In a similar fashion, the new store takes a page from the New York City subway, decked out in multicolours to resemble subway lines. Both signature and seasonal flavours make up a range of 11 pizzas, from pepperoni and Hawaiian to kung pao chicken and eggplant parmesan= (20-30RMB a slice). While a self-service soft drink station and orange juice keeps the kids happy, beers and Aperol spritzes are on tap for the adults.

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1398 Yuyuan Lu

Lotus Eatery, Dingxi Lu

Yunnan restaurant Lotus Eatery lined with plants and filled with colourful decor. The enormous menu is perfect for family-style eating: kids will love the fried goat cheese and comfort foods like grandma’s mashed potatoes, while other dishes have everything from spice to insects for more adventurous diners.

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1112 Dingxi LuOnline booking

Holy Cow, Changning

One of Shanghai’s finest hotpot restaurants, Holy Cow is a go-to choice for a great value and high-quality ingredients. The menu also has a variety of meat and fish balls, as well as fresh veggies. Given how fresh the meat and produce is here, sauce isn’t a requirement, but certainly justifies the indulgence.

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341 Tianshan LuOnline booking

Do and play

Zhongshan Park

Critics' pick

Activities for kids abound inside Zhongshan Park, including a carousel and a short sky track for seeing the park from above. Although these are welcome additions for families with children, Zhongshan Park remains busy because unlike so many other parks in central Shanghai, individuals are allowed on the grass. Bring a football, a Frisbee or a kite and join the fun.

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780 Changning Lu

Duo Duo Tao

On the third floor of Raffles City, Changning, popular indoor playground Duo Duo Tao is home to a load of activities and games for the tiny humans. From ball pits, sand pits, slides and trampolines to interactive learning games, there’s hours of fun to be had (kids must be 1.4m and under).

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Third Floor, Raffles City, 1191 Changning Lu, near Kaixuan Lu.


New Buyer

With its eye-catching storefront on Yuyuan Lu, it’s hard to walk past New Buyer without stopping to browse. Shelves display a carefully curated selection of international and local brands with the likes of WeWOOD’s Italian watches made from reclaimed and repurposed wood, local brand From Within’s adorable petit handbags and Taiwanese Momo’s March’s delicate copper jewellery.

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1289 Yuyuan Lu

Cloud Nine

Despite the fact that this eight-storey mega mall is always busy, Cloud Nine never seems too crowded, thanks largely to its massive size. Each level is dedicated to different shopping needs (there are over eight of them). Families should head up to level six where they’ll find toy stores including Lego, Toys R Us and indoor play areas. Level five, dedicated to sports and outdoor clothing will be a hit, as well.

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1018 Changning Lu

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Charming tree-lined streets make Old Xuhui perfect for leisurely strolls on summer days – here's where to stop to chill, play, shop and eat along the way

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