Art is inspired by life experiences, and it also inspires cultural trends like cuisine. Art venues, from theaters and galleries to fashion centers and creative parks, host cafes and bistros where chefs draw on painting and sculpture to create dishes with a twist of artistic flair.
An art-themed dinner is a surefire way to impress a fussy crowd.
The contemporary art museum, opened in 2010, was the first in China entirely devoted to supporting contemporary art.
The café is not large, but minimalism provides its charm.
An admission ticket to an exhibition entitles a visitor to a free cup of coffee or tea. When exhibitions are free, the drinks are only 10 yuan (US$1.6).
The museum, temporarily closed for the installation of a new exhibition, reopens on May 30.
Average per person: 15 yuan
Address: 6/F Rockbund Art Museum, 20 Huqiu Rd
Average per person: 70 yuan (US$11.3)
Address: 15D, 140 Tianlin Rd
Roof 325 Restaurant & Bar
The museum has since moved to the Shanghai Expo Park.
The view overlooking People’s Square is impressive. Inside, the classic, elegant decor is equally pleasing.
The restaurant has a glass section that opens in the evening.
Roof 325 serves fusion cuisine combining Eastern and Western influences. Its signature dishes include lamp chops, grilled salmon and steaks.
It also offers formal afternoon tea from 2:30-5pm, priced at 198 yuan (US$31.9).
Average per person: 300 yuan
Address: 5/F 325 Nanjing Rd W.
The hall, opened in 2014, was designed by Isozaki Arata and Yasushisa Toyota, and has seating for 1,200. The hall hosts the orchestra’s home concerts and performances by visiting orchestras.
The café serves coffee, tea and desserts. It also has classic three-tier afternoon teas.
Average per person: 50 yuan (US$8.1)
Address: 1380 Fuxing Rd M.
Undefine is a café inside M50, or rather a mix of gallery, art studio and fresh brews. It features an industrial-style interior, harking back to an important time in Shanghai’s development.
It is an ideal spot to have a rest and converse with friends. The high ceilings and open space also create an ideal venue for artists to work on projects.
Occasionally the café hosts small exhibitions.
The beverage menu is simple: espresso, Americano, cappuccino, latte and mocha, along with a selection of sweet treats.
Average per person: 40 yuan
Address: Rm 105, Bldg 6, 50 Moganshan Rd
ET Café & Tea
The interior is fun to explore, with a spiral staircase leading up to the second floor. This is an interesting place to hang out and relax. There are also many books to read.
Average per person: 30 yuan (US$4.8)
Address: Unit E, Bldg 16, 140 Tianlin Rd
Luce is a good choice when attending concerts, whether for an early dinner before the show or a glass of wine after.
Average per person: 380 yuan (US$61.3)
Address: 4/F, Shanghai Concert Hall, 88 Jinling Rd M.
Its bookshelves and old photos on the walls give the place a relaxed, cozy atmosphere ideal for romantic dinner dates.
It serves mostly Italian food, such as pizzas, risotto, steaks and lobster. The tiramisu and Oreo mille crepes are signature desserts.
In season, dishes like crawfish and sea crab are available.
Average per person: 150 yuan (US$24.2)
Address: Rm 106, 492 Anhua Rd
Yuntu Rooftop Garden Café
The coffee is freshly brewed, with UM2 flower coffee the house specialty. Yuntu serves simple dishes like potato bacon pizza, beef pasta and sandwiches.
The owner tends flowers on the rooftop and also has two cats.
Average per person: 40 yuan (US$6.5)
Address: 3/F, 2452 Wanhangdu Rd
For coffee addicts, this is paradise — something quite apart from the morning latte you grab on your way to work. This is place to relax and savor the taste of coffee. Seesaw has opened another outlet inside the Minshang Art Museum, a site for contemporary art.
Average per person: 30 yuan
Address: 433 Yuyuan Rd
La Perla of Garden Books
La Perla offers artsy gelato flavors like classic chocolate truffle and tiramisu, as well as rum chocolate, cream cheese and mint chocolate chip.
It serves coffee, fresh juices and simple lunch items like tuna salad and ham sandwiches.