Family area guide: Xintiandi

Between refurbished shikumen and narrow lanes, this commercial hub also holds a slice of modern history

Photograph: courtesy Yang Xiaozhe


Crystal Jade, Xintiandi

Long-running Cantonese dim sum restaurant, Crystal Jade’s Xintiandi outlet was first added to the Michelin Guide Shanghai last autumn. Great service and quality ingredients make it a family brunch go-to, but reservations are essential. Don’t miss the dandanmian.

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123 Xingye LuOnline booking

Cobra Lily

Critics' pick

Designed with Brooklyn-meets-Hanoi warehouse flair, Cobra Lily offers modern pan-Asian small plates great for families with teens and tweens, and a stellar drinks for a parents-only date night. Get your hands messy with the Mini Lemongrass Carnitas Bánh Mì, stuffed with saucy, slow-simmered shredded pork and topped with house-made pickles.

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No. 19 Lane 181 Taicang LuOnline booking


NBA Playzone

Team banners, images of mascots and famous players are plastered all over this NBA-themed indoor play place. Both kids and adults alike can compare heights and foot and hand sizes with NBA legends like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Shanghai-bred Yao Ming. Other highlights include a trampoline dunk zone and obstacle courses kids of all ages will enjoy.

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Shanghai Shikumen Museum

A restored 1920s middleclass shikumen house, this little museum is filled with antiques and period furniture. The home’s two floors won’t take more than 30 minutes to get through, and with a 20RMB entrance fee it makes for a nice break from shopping and dining while showing little ones how much things can change in less than a century.

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Lane 38 Yongkang Lu

Birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party

In 1921, 13 delegates (including Mao Zedong who attended as a delegate of the Hunan Communist group) met in secret to hold the first national congress of Communist Party of China. Today, the renovated house is still kept as a memorial to the congress and open to the public with hundreds of ‘historical relics’ from the meeting on display. Partially translated descriptions are overly glowing but the meeting place has enough to inform history buffs of all ages.

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374 Huangpi Nan Lu


Twinkle Kids Cafe

Quality café meets high-end indoor play place at Twinkle Kids Café. Entrance for one child runs 158RMB (that jumps to 188RMB on weekends) but the venue is modern and parents can relax knowing cleanliness is king here – everyone must remove shoes upon entering, adults included. Little ones can ...

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150 Hubin Lu