Bohemian Chic: Discovering the Gems of Taikang Lu

Bohemian Chic: Discovering the Gems of Taikang Lu
By Andrea Scarlatelli ,

Taikang Lu. Photo:

Taikang Lu itself can seem quite unassuming until one happens to stroll down its seemingly random side lanes. Then it opens up into maze of boho chic cafes, eclectic knickknack shops, and trendy artists studios.

Originally a hutong built in the early twentieth century, it was saved from demolition around 2005 by a group of dedicated residents. It now houses over 250 shops and restaurants, and has become a favorite weekend stroll for expats and amateur photographers alike. And yes, people still do live in the apartments settled atop the numerous businesses. Expect to see laundry hanging on the line and pet birds chirping in cages above your head as you get lost among hidden alleyways. It's all just part of the charm that is Taikang Lu. Here are just some of the highlights:

Kommune Café公社酒吧 View In Map
One of the trickier cafes to find, it is nonetheless worth the effort. Perhaps most famous for its brunch, Kommune provides generous portions of tasty sandwiches, omelets and wraps. The huge outdoor courtyard provides the perfect spot from which to people watch while you sip on a smoothie and review your purchases from the day. If you're planning on a leisurely Sunday brunch though, be prepared to get there early. It's absolutely swarming by mid-day, and although they have seating inside, outside is ultimately where you want to be. Consider Kommune the hub around which everything else on Taikang Lu moves.

Add: No. 7 Lane 210 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6466 2416
Opening Hours: 08: 00-00:00 (Fri, Sat to 01:00)

Nuzi. Photo:

Nuzi纽子 View In Map
Specializing in New Zealand products, Nuzi means "button" in Mandarin (and sounds an awful lot like the beginning of "New Zealand" in English). The founders chose this name to symbolize the joining together of Chinese and New Zealand culture. So what does that all mean? Basically that you can find just about anything at this eclectic shop, from bone pendants to 42 Below vodka to photo albums. One of the original stores on Taikang Lu, it's a fun place for gift ideas.

Add: No.30, Lane 248 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Telephone: 021 5465 3245
Opening Hours:09:00-23:00

Bell BarView In Map
One of the coziest, cutest, and quirkiest bars on Taikang Lu has got to be Bell Bar. Situated at the very end of a lane, this popular drinking hole is filled with rich dark wood, creating a lowlit haven for those nights where you just want to get away. Be sure to climb the steep and narrow staircase up to the top floor, where there's plenty more seating and board games galore. Get there early to claim the pillow-filled loft that you can reach by climbing up a similarly steep and narrow ladder. Lest you think people only go there for the ambience, rest assured that their cocktails, while a bit pricey, are quite tasty. T ry them out during happy hour (daily, 17:00-20:00) and get two for one.

Addr: No.11, Lane 248 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Telephone: 021 138 1777-8890
Opening Hours:14:00-02:00 (Mon - Fri) 11:00-02:00 (Sat - Sun)

Casa Pagoda. Photo:

Casa PagodaView In Map
If you're looking to furnish your home with conversation pieces – or even if you just like to dream! - definitely stop by Casa Pagoda. The husband and wife owners collect furniture from all over the world, and it definitely shows. We're talking zebra print armchairs accessorized with pillows covered in the British flag, and dressers made to look like old-fashioned dressing trunks. It's an amazing mix of European and Asian influences and makes for a fun stop on a street that's particularly known for its originality.

Add: 15-17 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Tele: 021 6466 7521
Opening Hours:10:00-20:00 (Mon – Sat) 11:00-20:00 (Sun)

Tune LongView In Map
You simply cannot leave Taikang Lu without stopping by a photography shop, and Tune Long represents what most of them have to offer. Photographer Ma Hongzen represents everyday life in modern China through both color and black and white prints. You can find plenty of authentic pictures here, but be aware that there are some pictures where photoshopping has occurred – just be sure to ask the store assistant if you're looking for a particular format.

Add: Lane 210 Taikang Lu, Shanghai, near Sinan Lu
Telephone: 021 6473 2600
Opening Hours:09:00 - 20:00

Nest. Photo:

NestView In Map
With bare white walls and stark light fixtures, walking into Nest feels a bit like walking into a warehouse – a bright, beautiful warehouse filled with everything you could ever possibly need for your home. Baby clothing sits next to couches, which are positioned around stools, which are draped in handmade purses. In other words, the focus of this store is the craftsmanship of the products and the artists behind it. Located on the second floor of the International Artists Factory, each designer has an exhibit space where their wares are put on display for those who want to look or buy. It's a fun place to pick up some funky accessories for your home.

Add: Lane 210 Taikang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6466 9524
Opening Hours:10:00-19:00

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Keywords: Taikang Lu Shanghai highlights of Taikang Lu Shanghai bohemian area Shanghai


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