Shanghai, with its glittering skyscrapers and urban sprawl, has earned its keep as the enigmatic Pearl of the Orient, a veritable Paris of the East, with its mish-mash of modern architecture and charming concessions, the Huangpu River cutting the city in two (think: East and West bank), and forging a city life that’s equal parts global and Chinese in its contemporary cool — and why not? The city has played historic home to a sophisticated population of global denizens on the cutting edge since the turn of the 20th century, when it was a prosperous trade port, and continues to boast a reputation as one of China’s thriving commercial and cultural hubs, as jet-set members of the global fashion ranks have hit the tarmac to experience the city’s sensory delights — whether attending shows that champion emerging Chinese design at the ever-popular Shanghai Fashion Week, or indulging in a Michelin-worthy feast at local eatery Old Jesse. Did we mention that Tory Burch’s own flagship on the city’s famed shopping street of Nanjing West Road is among the brand’s biggest? Here, we round up the fashion set’s favorite haunts to visit for your next Shanghai sojourn.
Mr. & Mrs. Bund
Refined French and modern fare by Chef Paul Pairet with an expansive, knock-out view of Shanghai’s Bund waterfront.
Yong Foo Elite
Nestled in the former British consulate in Shanghai, this Thirties villa and former members’ only club gives a glimpse into Shanghainese haute cuisine in a spectacular nostalgic setting.
A no frills, local eatery that’s consistent and top notch in a Spartan lane house in Shanghai’s French Concession.
Trendy cocktails and cuisine in a splashy lounge setting with Bund views, from the Muse group and Bacardi.
A low-key bar with a sensual, Prohibition-era vibe boasting craft cocktails and gastro-grub.
Slide open a bookshelf to enter this multi-level speakeasy from Shingo Gokan of New York’s Angelshare; every floor has its unique charm.
Shanghai Power Station of Art
The former Nanshi Power Plant along the Huangpu River has been converted into China’s first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art, and also doubles as home to the Shanghai Biennale.
A private-art museum whose expansive collection, founded by Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei, are spread among two staggering properties in Pudong and West Bund.
An elegant, dark-lit Latin restaurant, bar and lounge by Argentine Chef Mauro Colagreco in the iconic, colonial Three on the Bund property.
Red lights flood the Shanghai outpost of André Saraiva’s ultra-cool nightclub, whose mirror-paneled karaoke room upstairs is a sensory experience unto itself.
The go-to multi-brand boutique know for its hip “Made in China” fashions from emerging designers at home and abroad.
A luxury lifestyle and home goods store by way of Chinese traditional craft, supported by French heritage brand Hèrmes.
10 Corso Como
The Shanghai offshoot of the 10 Corso Como brand, founded by Carla Sozzani in Milan, brings fashion, art, music, food and design into one multi-faceted, conceptual space in the city’s Jing’an District.
Fashion insider Tang Shuan’s Backroom sells myriad avant-garde home wares and outré designs from around the world in Shanghai’s French concession.
Rest your head in a calm, contemporary oasis of zen amidst the urban jungle of Shanghai in the central Jing’an District.
The landmark hotel from Hong Kong features a rich, sumptuous property along the city’s North Bund, with some of the city’s best views at upstairs bar, Sir Elly’s Terrace.