The hottest restaurants and bars in Shanghai this November

These openings should tide you over before holiday season

Photograph: Graeme Kennedy, courtesy Suzie
Holiday season is just around the corner, and while we know you'll soon be stuffing yourselves with buffet platters and canapés at year-end parties soon enough, there's plenty to get keep you well-fed and buzzing until then. From a fancy French bistro on Jianguo Lu to a big bucks steakhouse with glitzy views and a retro China-themed bar slinging experimental cocktails, here's some of the the hottest spots to hit in the city this month.

Suzie

A visit to any venue orchestrated by Li Ze (he's also behind Ottimo, SOiF and Vinism) is a treasure trove for top-notch wines and Suzie is no exception, there's around 500 bottles to choose from here, Burgundy's most-coveted estates being the primary source. On the food: Freddy Raoult is up to his old tricks again, cooking up a French bistro buff's fantasy where old-school regional dishes reign, think uber-creamy rigatoni dressed in black truffles and morel, buttery sole prepared meunière-style and black truffle-topped toast dipped in a butter and foie gras sauce. Although sophisticated, the vibe isn't stuffy. The intimate balcony setup on the second floor is likely the scene for the most romantic date you'll ever have.

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464 Jianguo Xi Lu

Pop Corner

Former Flask and Union Trading Company alumni have banded together to open a quirky retro China-themed cafe and bar on Shaoxing Lu. The drinks (98RMB each), presented on a menu resembling a game of Monopoly, are inspired by different parts of the world and showcase some serious cocktail nerdery – see intriguing infusions like creamed corn with bourbon or blue cheese with Aperol. Standouts include the Cape Town made with rooibos (a South African tea), gin and apricot jam, and the AK 47 Chocolate Bomb – an inebriating blend of dark chocolate yogurt fat-washed vodka and ten-year-old Talisker whiskey.

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35 Shaoxing Lu

Roma

Although Italy and Shanghai aren't exactly neighbours on the world map, we never feel too far away thanks to places like Roma, a newly opened two-storey Italian restaurant and delicatessen on Kangding Lu. Running the show is Porcellino's Giampaolo De Santis and he's enlisted Andrea Calducci (executive chef of the Shanghai Tower's 101 Centuono) to preside over an open kitchen where classics are handcrafted and made with nonnerly love – pizzas topped with Parma ham, stracciatella cheese and cherry tomatoes or rustic ravioli filled with sausage and fresh black truffle. Make sure to get the tiramisu coated with homemade chocolate cream and a cheeky digestif while you're at it. When in Rome and all that...

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1006 Kangding Lu

Slurp & Sip

Yunnan street eats spot Slurp has bagged itself a second location – on Yanping Lu in Jingan – and with a bar in tow (hence ‘sip’ in the name). As with its Maoming digs, the food menu provides a highlight reel of the province's most popular dishes like fried goats cheese, crispy pork skin, tilapia marinated in passionfruit and boletus mushrooms roasted in banana leaves, but you can now pair those Dai-style bites with wine and exotic cocktails that highlight ingredients from the region – like Yunnan pepper in a refreshing tequila and lime number called Coriander Dew.

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98 Yanping Lu

Lieben

Finding the entrance to this brooding new bar on Julu Lu doesn't make for the easiest of tasks: it’s up a nondescript elevator and behind a 'hidden' concrete door. But that's all part of Lieben's cool, minimalist appeal – dark, industrial and dimly lit with a trendy crowd. The cocktail menu is split into three sections (classic, do-it-yourself where you pick your profile and spirit or classics with a twist), those twists are big on tea-infusions like chrysanthemum in a gin and tonic or osmanthus in a pisco sour. There's also a balcony peeping out onto street below, if you can drag away yourself from the dancefloor where live DJs spin late at night.

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758 Julu Lu

Shaughnessy

Another high-end New York steakhouse that looks like it been plucked straight from Wall Street (despite its Shenzhen origins) has arrived in Shanghai, complete with a bank vault for decoration. The wood-lined dining room isn't the place to tut-tut at high price points, rather nod your approval at impressive meat cabinets, Pearl Tower views and a swanky revolving staircase, all while ordering a bottle of expensive red wine (yes, the big names from Burgundy and Bordeaux are here) and then tucking into your choice cut of prime USDA beef served on sizzling plates and dry-aged anywhere between 28 to 180 days.

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45 Huaihai Dong Lu

O'mills Light Brunch and Bistro

The latest concept from the folks at O'mills is even healthier and hipper than the original. Located inside a lush space in Xinfu Li (with outdoor seating) and dotted with greenery and pot plants, the food offerings now feature a score of plant-based, low-carb goodies (like almond-flour waffles), alongside O'mills’ fixtures like the super beef panini. Keeping to a keto or gluten-free diet? Now you can have your avocado cheesecake and eat it too.

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381 Panyu Lu

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