Endless Choice: Food Courts in Shanghai

Endless Choice: Food Courts in Shanghai
By Ailsa Zheng , eChinacities.com

Everyone likes food courts. They are the perfect place for a group of picky eaters to dine, thanks to their multiple food stations. But food courts in Shanghai differ from one another in size, cost, and food varieties. Here are a couple of Shanghai's most popular food courts.

1) Réel KitchenView In Map
Réel Kitchen is a food court located on the basement floor of the giant shopping mall right beside Jing'an Temple. This food court is filled with a variety of delicious options: Korean food, Japanese food, curry, steak, noodles, lemonade, curry, frozen yogurt, tea stations, cake, and bread—anything you desire is in two long aisles that seem to go forever (in fact, it's so big that customers are given special buzzers that light up when your food is ready for collection).

Like all food courts, Réel Kitchen's tables and chairs are in the center of several food stations and have no dedicated seating arrangement. That means you and your friends can all choose foods from different stations and still sit together. What separates Réel Kitchen from other food courts is the fact you do not need to purchase a card before you enter the food court.

Réel Kitchen is the perfect food court for those who have a sweet tooth: donuts, cream puffs, cake, frozen yoghurt, ice cream, mocha, and macaroons fill the aisles with their bright colors and sweet smells. The dessert stations offer menus in English so someone who cannot read Chinese can still know what he or she is ordering.

Pros: Of all the food courts that I have visited in Shanghai, Réel Kitchen was, by far, my favorite. Not only was it the most foreigner-friendly, it also had the best desserts.

Cons: There were far more people than seats, so it was hard to find a place to sit.

Add: Réel Mall, B1, 1601 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Changde Lu
地址:上海市南京西路1601号B1楼, 近常德路
Tel: 021 2230 9788
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
Getting there: Jing'an Temple can be reached on lines 2, 7 and 14

2) Food JunctionView In Map
The food court on the sixth floor of Raffles City was the most authentically Chinese food court I have visited in Shanghai. There was no Western food in sight. Instead, this food court offered Sichuan, Hunan and Cantonese food, Japanese curry, Korean food, broiled fish, and hot pot. Next to the food court is a teppanyaki restaurant and a Coco's curry, but they have their separate seating areas.

To enter Food Junction, you first need to purchase a card from the cashier at the front desk. The minimum amount of cash you can put on the card is 100 RMB. You can return the card and get your change on the way out.

To make an order, you must choose your food and swipe your card. The Raffles City food court is smaller than the one in Réel Kitchen, and that means there are no fancy buzzers. When your food is ready, a staff member will leave it on the counter for you to pick it up. The menus are in Chinese only, so if you cannot read Chinese then you will have to choose your food by the various models sitting out on the counter.

As for desserts, there is a juice stand that sells fruit, fruit juice, and sugar cane juice. There is also an assortment of shaved ice desserts. The shaved ice is covered in red beans, green beans, black tapioca, and condensed milk. You can also order fruit or custard pudding for your shaved ice. The shaved ice was popular among the Chinese customers, though my friend and I thought it lacked flavor.

Though the food court looked dingy and overcrowded, the food was good and was clearly popular among shoppers.

Add: Raffles City, 6F, 268 Xizang Nan Lu, near Fuzhou Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市西藏中路268号来福士广场6楼, 近福州路
Tel: 021 6340 4321
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
Getting there: take metro line 1, 2 or 8 to People's Square – 5 minute walk or so

3) Food RepublicView In Map
The food court at Metro City is the least crowded of the three food courts. The tables are cleaner and there is more room to walk around or sit. Like Food Junction, you must first purchase a card before buying anything from the food court.

Food Republic offers Korean food, Japanese food, curry rice, dumplings, egg rolls, pot stickers, duck soup, hot pot, and Italian food. Though the place looked very promising, the food itself wasn't very good. It wasn't bad, but the dumplings and the egg rolls weren't any better than what you could get for 15 RMB from a tiny restaurant on any small street in Shanghai. Food Republic also had a juice section with variety of fresh juices and teas.

Add: Metro City, 1111 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Tianyaoqiao Lu, Shanghai
地址:上海市肇嘉浜路1111号, 近天钥桥路
Tel: 021 6426 7613
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
Getting there: Nearest Metro Stop: Xujiahui Station (Line 1) – 5 minute walk or so

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Keywords: Shanghai’s most popular food courts food courts in Shanghai


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