Around the world, café culture is on the rise, and you don’t have to walk far in order to find the international players of the coffee business on Shanghai’s streets. However, what you may not know is that Shanghai is home to a booming independent café business that showcases the best of Shanghai’s creative communities and budding entrepreneurs. So, no matter how you’re feeling, Shanghai no doubt has a suitable venue to suit your mood. Here’s a summary of Shanghai’s top quirky café spots:
When you need some creature comforts…
It seems that more and more people are waking up to the fact that cats and coffee are a perfect match, and Shanghai, therefore, has a host of cat cafes all over the city for you to relax with some feline friends. CIO的家 is a five-star favorite for its cute kittens and an extremely Instagram-able environment. Just be aware that you’ll have to pay more for the privilege of kicking back with these particular VIP guests.
Address: 斜土路2601号嘉汇广场T1楼4C 室
When you’re looking for man’s best friend…
Not a cat fan? Luckily, dog lovers won’t feel left out at this canine café on Sichuaan North Road, full of dogs of shapes and sizes. Customers can be treated to some puppy love alongside beverages served in sweet dog-shaped mugs. There’s also a wide range of snacks if you get a little peckish.
When you’re in the mood for minimalism…
TABLE 12 SPECIALITY COFFEE
If you want to escape the bright lights of the city, look no further than Table 12. Visitors can recharge in this simplistic and calming layout where coffees are served on a simple wooden tray and the walls are completely blank. This minimalistic venue is perfect for those who want to completely zone out with an expertly-brewed espresso after a long day.
When you’re a bookworm…
You won’t be short of reading material in this cozy space, characterized by its beautiful ivy-covered façade. Inside you’ll find shelves of books and magazines for you to while the hours away or finish that project in comfort. It’ll feel like a café has arrived in your own living room.
When you’re feeling creative…
Why not turn your morning pick-me-up into a full-day activity? You can do just that by visiting one of Shanghai’s painting cafes, designed to let you sit back and relax and flex your creative muscle. After paying an entrance fee, visitors can paint their own masterpieces on canvas in a serene environment with their own miniature easel.
When you need a Vitamin boost…
TOUS LES JOURS
It’s easy to spot this Korean bakery brand almost anywhere in Shanghai. In fact, branches are popping up all in cities all over China. However, the creamy cakes aren’t the only thing that makes this franchise a hit with the Chinese market – stores now offer thick, freshly-made smoothies using ingredients such as mangos and avocados to add a green energy boost to your day.
Address: Various locations across the city.
When you’re in a rush…
Looking for a quick caffeine pit stop? This almost-hole-in-the-wall cafe on Jing’an’s trendy Nanyang Road is the perfect combination of speedy service and quality coffee. There’s a couple of must-drinks and must-sees here in this cozy little nook, including a bright pink latte and a special autograph by famous latte artist and barista, Dritan Alsela.
And finally, when you just want to take pictures of macarons…
LUKA MACARON CAFÉ
The popularity of this French sweet treat has been on the rise in China, and now there are even cafes dedicated to the dessert. Luka Macaron Café has hundreds of macarons for you to try in a multi-coloured setting, as well as plenty of other sugary offerings to challenge even the most hardened sweet-tooth.
*All photos courtesy of Dianping (大众点评网)