Shanghai's best al fresco restaurants

From Bundside terraces to tree-canopied patios, here’s where to make the most of those glorious outdoor dining days

Photograph: courtesy M on the Bund
Soaking up the sun, appreciating fine food, we’d wager there are worse ways to spend an afternoon in Shanghai and with the weather finally warming up, al fresco season is officially underway. These restaurants house perfect patios for those delightful outdoor dining days.


Photograph: courtesy Azul

Once perched at the top of Ferguson Lane, Azul is now part of another piece of prime real estate right in the heart of the Shankang Li complex. Chef Eduardo Vargas and Willmer Colmenares (formerly Char) serve up South American-inspired sharing plates that are ideal for outdoor dining on a warm evening. The patio is spacious and shares a square with other venues where you can grab an after-dinner drink – that is, if you can tear yourself away from Azul’s quality pisco sours.

Azul Room 101 A, Bldg 6, Shankang Li, 358 Kangding Lu, Shaanxi Bei Lu.

The Bull & Claw

Bull & Claw 2
Photograph: courtesy The Bull & Claw

Flying in lobster from Canada on the daily, surf and turf restaurant The Bull & Claw is set in a beautiful three-storey villa with multiple outdoor spaces that are always popping come brunch time – where better to enjoy lobster eggs Benedict and a glass of prosecco than the terrace of a 100-year-old villa? If you are going for brunch, book ahead – the terrace packs out on a sunny day faster than you can say ‘eggs Benny’.

The Bull & Claw 110 Fenyang Lu, near Taiyuan Lu.


Photograph: Rupert Hohwieler (Colca, North Bund)

A progressive Peruvian restaurant that plays with the classics in brilliant ways, Colca has inviting terraces at both its locations; one on the North Bund that frames the Pearl Tower with its sleek, modernist architecture and another tucked away in Old Xuhui’s Yongping Li complex. Anything coming from the Josper oven, the signature Peruvian flan and pisco sours are reason enough to visit.

Colca (Hengshan Lu), Second Floor, 199 Hengshan Lu, near Yongjia Lu.
Colca (North Bund), Third Floor, Sinar Mas Plaza, 588 Dongchangzhi Lu, near Xinjian Lu.

The Commune Social

Photograph: courtesy The Commune Social

Another Neri&Hu design, The Commune Social’s enclosed red brick courtyard, complete with fruit trees, fills up fast on warm weather weekends and evenings for head chef Sergio Moreno’s excellent modern tapas, refreshed seasonally alongside menu mainstays like the sinful chargrilled Iberico pork and foie gras burgers and crisp sucking pig with roasted pineapple.

The Commune Social 511 Jiangning Lu, near Kangding Lu.


511617763003_.pic_hdPhotograph: courtesy Ginger

Set down a quiet Old Xuhui lane, nestled away amongst tree canopies, Ginger’s terrace is tranquil and relaxing – a vibe that matches the restaurant’s menu of healthy, modern-Asian food where a lot of attention is paid to the freshness and quality of ingredients. However you choose to unwind, there’s a wide range of teas and smoothies touting numerous health benefits and a solid cocktail list.

Ginger 91 Xingguo Lu, near Hunan Lu.

Le Coq Wine & Bistro, Jiaozhou Lu

Photograph: courtesy 247tickets

This under-the-radar bistro is a little oasis in the heart of Jingan with a garden decked out with comfy outdoor sofas that blocks out all noise from the city around it and a menu of French-inspired eats.

Le Coq Wine & Bistro 183 Jiaozhou Lu, near Xinzha Lu.

M on the Bund

M on The Bund 2
Photograph: courtesy M on the Bund

M on the Bund secured its place on the waterfront before the glitzy promenade became synonymous with fine dining and over the past two decades has shaped itself into a Shanghai institution. A great backdrop to a memorable night, M’s terrace has fantastic views of Lujiazui, and the suave playlist creates a rarified atmosphere. When it comes to ordering, M’s signature crispy suckling pig and Very Famous Pavlova are always winners.

M on the Bund Seventh Floor, Five on the Bund, 20 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu.


Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe

Even when it’s cloudy, the palm-treed decking at Mayita channels sunny-day vibes while overlooking the downtown urban jungle and Pudong’s skyscrapers beyond from its sixth-floor vantage point. Mexican classics, a few Chinese twists (like blackened fish wonton tacos) and strong cocktails go down easy in front of the sweeping cityscape.

Mayita Sixth Floor, 98 Shouning Lu, near Xizang Nan Lu.

Mercado 505

Photograph: courtesy Mercado 505

Mercado 505 takes all the best bits from a Spanish deli and brings it to your table in Shanghai. A great place to while away a balmy evening with friends, grab a table on the large patio while you work your way through the menu of imported cheeses, meats, tapas, paella and more – don’t skip the sausage pintxos with manchego cheese – paired with some very reasonably priced G&Ts and wine.

Mercado 505 505 Wulumuqi Lu, near Huashan Lu.

Moka Bros, Xiangyang Lu

Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe

Power bowls, salads, avocado toast,smoothies... Moka Bros is one for the city’s health conscious looking to refuel. The large covered outdoor area, kitted out with comfy sofas and heaters, looks out across at Xianyang Park making it a good space to do some people watching – it’s also a popular haunt for laptoppers working remotely.

Moka Bros K.Wah Centre, 108 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu.

RAC, Anfu Lu

Photograph: courtesy RAC

Be prepared to queue for a table at this always-packed out café-cum-wine bar – especially during brunch and lunch service when it turns out classic Breton galettes and crepes, breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns and cups of artisanal coffee. The courtyard is bright and airy, fitted out with sturdy solid wood tables where you sit communally alongside the city’s continentals and hip, young professionals.

RAC 322 Anfu Lu, near Wukang Lu.


Photograph: courtesy Together

Minimalist Neri&Hu-designed restaurant Together has a quiet terrace surrounded by greenery and is softly lit by fairy lights come nightfall. It’s a laid-back and unpretentious setting for excellent experimental modern French-Asian dishes.

Together 546 Yuyuan Lu, near Zhenning Lu.

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