China as a whole has traditionally been a bastion of tea drinkers, although Shanghai has a history of coffee drinking dating back to the 1920s and 30s, when local and international writers, intellectuals and artists established a coffee house culture. These old haunts were all closed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). In the last 20 years, they have come back in full force, and there are over 60 coffee chains in Shanghai buzzing with foreign and Chinese students, professionals and tourists. There seems to be a Starbucks on most shopping streets and in every mall, alongside branches of the Italian chain Bonomi, the British Costa and the Taiwanese Manabe. Many more independent coffee houses also serve sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and even main dishes. Most of the popular cafés provide free Wi-Fi.

Wagas

With many outlets around the city, this highly popular café/deli is known for wholesome breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and frappes, all served without any additives, preservatives or MSG. Delivery is available.

7am-10pm
Puxi: CITIC Square, 1168 Nanjing Xi Lu
5292 5228
Pudong: 104 Xinmei Union Square, 999 Pudong Nan Lu
5134 1075
Gubei/Hongqiao: Room 108, Maxdo Center, 86 Xianxia Lu
5208 1978

Citizen Bar and Café

A great artsy continental café popular with French expats and hipsters generally that serves affordable sandwiches and brunch items. It’s extremely crowded on weekend evenings, but otherwise a very civilised place for a coffee, a drink or a bite to eat.

Mon-Fri 11am-12:30am, Sat-Sun 10am-12:30am
222 Jinxian Lu, by Shaanxi Nan Lu
6258 1620

Melange Oasis

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Shanghai in Jiashan Market, Melange Oasis is eco and family friendly. It has organic food and hammocks to lounge in.

9am-10pm
No, 37, Bldg. D, Jiashan Market, Lane 550 Shaanxi Nan Lu, by Shaoxing Lu
6433 7727

Coffee Tree

A gem in the French Concession with good coffee and food.

9am-10pm
Ferguson Lane, 376 Wukang Lu, by Hunan Lu
6466 0361

House of Flour

For those who crave decadent desserts, five-star pastry Chef Brian Tan’s House of Flour is for you. The coffee’s not bad either.

Mon-Sat 3pm-12am
DBS Tower, 1318 Lujiazui Huan Lu
5010 0800

The Cottage

Housed in what was once the annex to the German Consul’s residence, this city classic has more character than most coffee houses. While the food choices are limited, the real draw is the atmosphere, highlighted by a large collection of knick-knacks.

11am-11pm
25A Taojiang Lu, by Hengshan Lu
6466 0753

Amokka

A cozy atmosphere featuring a fireplace, light American fare and comfy couches makes Amokka an inviting café option.

7:30am-12am
201 Anfu Lu, by Wulumuqi Lu
5404 0998

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