10 Delightful Al Fresco Restaurants in Shanghai

Take it outside this summer

by Parents and Kids | Thu, June 15, 2017

By Connor Bell

Commune Social

Though not a newcomer to the al fresco scene, Commune Social has yet to produce poor service or falter in quality. With a quaint outdoor eating area and boasting a fantastic brunch, Commune Social is a great choice for dining in the open air. Head on over for the ¥188 three-course brunch and sip from their deliciously curated cocktails. We recommend the Brexit at Tiffanys.

Find it: Jiangning Lu, Jing'an 江宁路511号


This hidden café is the perfect getaway from the busy streets of Shanghai. A cozy terrace with intimate seating options and a menu of coffees, teas and snacks, this little veiled venue will have you charmed the minute you walk in. Bring a book and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.

Find it: 764 Changle Lu, House 4 长乐路764弄4号  近富民路


Admittedly, Cotton’s shows up on every al fresco list each and every year, but there’s a valid reason for that – it’s great! Cotton’s has been around since before many of us graced the Shanghai streets looking for an outdoor terrace. Hide away beneath the many trees scattered around the terrace and gorge on their weekend brunch with mimosas. Head down when dusk hits to sit at candle-lit tables for a quaint and cozy vibe.

Find it: 132 Anting Lu 安亭路132号

Ginger by the Park

If you’re in the mood for quiet, park-side dining, Ginger by the Park is the place for you. With a relatively small rooftop terrace, you may have a hard time grabbing a table on the weekends, but if/when you do, hold on to it! Ginger was well known with a few branches around town but they have cut back to this one location and it is a well-known hotspot for expats. With a menu of Asian fusion food, a good selection of drinks and the luxury of dining among the trees that you rarely get in Shanghai, we definitely recommend you check out this spot.

Find it: 91 Xinguo Lu 兴国路91号


This unique spot isn't technically outdoor dining, but you can definitely eat and drink in the open air. During the summer months the Calypso rooftop opens up completely for an authentic outdoor feel indoors. They’ve got an amazing menu of every Italian dish you could imagine and the cocktails are delicious!

Find it: 1218 Yan’an Zhong Lu, Jing'an Shangri-La 延安中路1218号静安香格里拉酒店


For those of you who love a mix of Mediterranean-Australian-Italian food (what a combo!), Mr. Willis has got you covered with their Jing’an hotspot, Henkes. They’ve got a modern open kitchen, an authentic wood-burning pizza oven and a fab terrace to sit n’ sip your afternoon away. Henkes is a true gem of Jing’an so make sure to head over and try one of their scrumptious dishes – there’s not a single bad option on the menu!

Find it: 1601 Nanjing Xi Lu, Reel Mall 南京西路1601号1楼

Bang! by Mr. Willis

Mr. Willis strikes again. Bang! by Mr. Willis has been one of our favorites since it opened in the IAPM mall. With chic indoor seating and a stellar semi-rooftop patio overlooking Xiangyang Park, you just can’t go wrong with spending an afternoon here. We love their roasted chicken and their selection of wines is perfect for a classy afternoon drink outside.

Find it: 999 Huaihai Lu (IAPM Mall), Shop 506 淮海中路999号5楼


Just off Hengshan Lu, toeing the boundary of Xujiahui and the Former French Concession you will find Avenue with their Spanish menu, deliciously paired tropical cocktails and a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere in the city center. The service is great, the food is authentic and for just ¥138 for their weekend brunch, we can almost guarantee that Avenue will be on the top of your al fresco list this summer!

Find it: 844 Hengshan Lu 衡山路844号


Kartel is not new on the al fresco lists by any means, and most of us know all about their rooftop patio, but we had to include it because it really is just that good. Climb up to the rooftop to sit among the trendy FFC crowd, watch the sun set and relax with good wine, music and a view of the tree-lined streets of the French Concession. Kartel will always be an old faithful place to retreat to at the end of a sun-filled summer's day.

Find it: 1 Xiangyang Bei Lu, 5F 襄阳北路1号5楼

Gathering Clouds

We’ve given you a whole host of Western restaurant options on this list but we would be doing you a disservice if we did not offer up an appetizing Chinese food option as a great outdoor summer dining spot. If you like Yunnan-style cooking, we implore you to check out Gathering Clouds. The food is outstanding, the service is definitely up to Western standards and their second floor, pseudo-hidden terrace just cannot be beaten. It feels as if you’ve been transported to an out-of-city oasis once you’re up there and the comfortable booth seating beside calming waters and a bamboo wall will have you holding on tight to your table so as not to miss one second of the summer up there.

Find it: 381 Panyu Lu / 67 Xingfu LuBuilding 8, Room E105 番禺路381弄E105号