Meat-Free Magic: Great Vegetarian Restaurants in Shanghai

Meat-Free Magic: Great Vegetarian Restaurants in Shanghai
By Susie Gordon ,

Shanghai isn’t the easiest city in which to be a vegetarian. Even if you specifically ask for no meat, the chances are you’ll be given chicken anyway, and most broths and sauces are made using bones and meat products. So whether you’re a veggie for religious, ethical or health reasons, it’s good to know where to go when you need to be sure that your meal is totally meat free. From a Buddhist temple to a restaurant specializing in “fake” meat, we’ve selected a variety of veggie havens for you to try.

1AnnamayaView In Map
Located on quiet Taojiang Lu just off Hengshan Road in the former French Concession, Annamaya mixes low-key hippy décor with a great selection of vegetarian and vegan treats. Whether you’re there for a cake and coffee while you surf the net on their free Wi-Fi, or fancy something more substantial, Annamaya has plenty of choice. Quiches, cakes and pastries are great for a snack, and there’s a small selection of lunch sets for 50 RMB that reflect the owner’s Japanese heritage. The veggie burger is a perennial favourite, as are the smoothies and fresh juices. If it’s super-healthy macro-biotic food you’re looking for, Annamaya is a great choice. Prices range on the expensive side, but it’s worth it for the quality of the ingredients.
Add: 3 Taojiang Lu, near Hengshan Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6433 4602
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00

Black pepper steak at New Age Veggie

2)  New Age Veggie 新素代View In Map
You might not necessarily associate shopping with eating vegetarian food, but if you’re indulging in a bit of retail therapy over at Super Brand Mall in Lujiazui, make sure you stop off at New Age Veggie on the fifth floor. Contemporary décor adds a touch of panache to the experience, and there are some fantastic dishes on offer. No eggs or alcohol are used in the food preparation, so it’s truly healthy. If you’re one of those vegetarians who misses the taste and texture of meat, be sure to try the “fake” meat and seafood dishes.
Address: 5/F Super Brand Mall, 168 Lujiazui Xi Lu, near Fucheng Lu
Tel: 021 5047 1880
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00

Vegetarian dumplings at Vegetarian Lifestyle

3)  Vegetarian Lifestyle枣子树View In Map
Another place that guarantees veggies don’t miss out on the flavors that their meat-eating cousins get to enjoy, Vegetarian Lifestyle serves a wide range of vegetarian “versions” of typical Chinese dishes made of tofu, fungus and protein bases instead of meat. From dumplings to “fake” crispy duck, this is one for the health-conscious too; no smoking or drinking alcohol allowed.
Add: 77 Songshan Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu
Tel: 021 6384 8000
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-21:00

4) Jade Buddha Temple Restaurant  玉佛寺素菜馆View In Map
Get down with the Buddhist monks at the restaurant attached to the Jade Buddha Temple in the northerly reaches of Jing’an District. Buddhists are well known for their goodwill towards all creatures, and they are dedicated to avoiding meat at all costs. This super-cheap eatery serves authentic Buddhist food in a simple environment that allows for peaceful meditation while you chow down.
Add: 999 Jiangning Lu near, Anyuan Lu,
地址:上海市江宁路99 号, 近安远路
Tel: 021 6266 5596
Opening hours: Daily, 06:30–20:30

5Wu Guan Tang五观堂 View In Map
One of Shanghai’s oldest vegetarian restaurants, Wu Guan Tang has been serving up meat-free delicacies on leafy Xinhua Lu for five years. It is also one of the city’s most popular veggie eateries, so make sure you book in advance. Sit on the second floor for a view of the treetops, and browse from a handwritten menu of healthy dishes.
Add: 349 Xinhua Lu, near Dingxi Lu
Tel: 021 6281 3695
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00

6) Godly Vegetarian上海功德林素食 View In Map
Godly Vegetarian has a couple of branches around town, but the one on Wuyuan Lu in the French Concession is the cosiest. It serves mainly noodle soups and pastries, and nothing on the menu costs more than 10 RMB so it’s a good choice for veggies on a budget. With only five small tables, it can get full at peak times, but the takeaway option means that you can take your meat-free snacks home.
Add: 97 Wukang Lu, Shanghai
Tel:  021 6471 8909
Opening hours: Daily 7:00 – 19:00 

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Keywords: Vegetarian restaurants Shanghai vegetarian food Shanghai best vegetarian restaurants Shanghai


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