Gubei Go-Tos

By Megan Yo 2023-07-18 16:48:19

Tour My Favorite Shanghai Spots

As a self-proclaimed city girl, I have always been drawn to the energy and excitement of urban life. Nevertheless, growing up in Gubei, a residential area in Shanghai often regarded as tranquil or "sleepy", I discovered the charms of this neighbourhood that manages to strike a balance between the calm of suburbia and the lively spirit of downtown. Now, as I prepare to bid farewell to Shanghai before moving abroad for university, I find myself reflecting on the time I have spent here and bidding a heartfelt goodbye to my most treasured spots in Gubei.


Megan Yo, Shanghai High School International Division, Class of '23


Among the numerous spots in Gubei that hold a special place in my heart, here are a few of my favourites.


The Pawon

The Pawon is an Indonesian-owned restaurant that proudly serves authentic Southeast Asian cuisine. As a Singaporean, dining at The Pawon always evokes a sense of nostalgia, transporting me back to the familiar and comforting flavours of home. Their menu boasts a diverse array of dishes, each crafted to capture the essence of Southeast Asian cuisine. One of my personal favourites is their Nasi Goreng Kampung, a fragrant fried rice dish. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of Southeast Asian food or a curious adventurer looking to explore new culinary horizons, The Pawon is a culinary gem that promises to delight your taste buds.

Address: B1-23, Gubei SOHO, 188 Ruby Road


Huang Jin Cheng Dao Pedestrian Road

Huang Jin Cheng Dao Pedestrian Road is a lively street lined with charming cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and more, making it a perfect destination for a family outing. On weekends, the street comes alive, with groups of young kids playing tag and skating on their rollerblades. I still recall being one of those kids just a few years ago, happy to join in on the excitement and make new friends - all while the moms watched from a nearby cafe. In the autumn the ginkgo trees turn a stunning shade of golden yellow, creating a picturesque backdrop for leisurely strolls. Huang Jin Cheng Dao also hosts various events throughout the year, such as pet adoptions and charity fairs, adding to the vibrant energy of the street.

Address: No. 306-1, Huangjincheng Road, South Yili Road


New Hongqiao Central Park

If you’re looking for a peaceful and family-friendly park in the Gubei area, consider checking out New Hongqiao Central Park. As a kid, my family would often bring me to this park for a fun day out, as I ran (ungracefully) around its vast grounds. Now as a teenager, I still frequent the park with my friends, enjoying its tranquil atmosphere while indulging in a relaxing picnic. New Hongqiao Central Park offers plenty of amenities, from jogging lanes, basketball courts, and soccer fields to cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Address: 97 Yili Road (Leave from Exit 4 at Yili Road Station of Subway Line 10)

Pricing: Free entry


Yotsuba Japanese Confectionery (四叶和菓子本舖)

Yotsuba Japanese Confectionery is a quaint Japanese dessert place tucked away in a residential square that has come to be one of my favourite spots in Gubei. As you lift the store’s noren curtain, you’ll be greeted by an impressive display of colourful and eye-catching sweets. Yotsuba Japanese Confectionery is known for their delectable red-bean filled dorayaki, yuzu pudding, and sakura mochi, among other desserts. The cafe offers both outdoor seating and indoor seating, including cozy kotatsu floor seating (a table equipped with a heated quilt), which is where I found myself spending rainy afternoons with friends after a long school day. For those seeking a warm and intimate environment to enjoy some Japanese sweets, Yotsuba is the perfect spot.

Address: 1F, No.11-12, Lane 99, West Ronghua Road



Planto is a Korean study cafe that provides a distraction-free space for students to study and work. Despite the “cafe” in its name, it is actually a place exclusively for studying, with two main room options: an open room and a solitary room, the latter having closed-off desks to enable better focus. To make it easier for customers to work for extended periods of time, Planto provides charging ports, WiFi, and additional lamps. Moreover, there is a food area located outside the study rooms where you can get coffee, snacks, and even instant ramen. As a high school student who struggled with studying at home and in noisy environments, Planto was a game-changer for me. With their midnight closing time, I found myself there during far too many exam seasons, frantically cramming for my finals.

Address: 17 South Cuiyu Road

Pricing: Planto offers different pricing options and memberships for customers, which can be found on their Dianping page