Where to have coffee in Shanghai ☕️

 
 

For me, one of the most important parts of exploring a new place is knowing where to stop for a great coffee on the way. I spend a lot of time researching and finding some of the most popular coffee shops in the area but also some smaller, up and coming and local favourites. I've decided to start sharing my experiences and hopefully help save you some time in finding your next caffeine fix!

So, if coffee is your thing, these are a few of the best coffee shops that you'll want to put in your itinerary when visiting Shanghai. 

 

#1 Cafe Del Volcan

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A little cafe at 80 Yongkang Road. It's a very small space but makes up for it with very friendly staff and great speciality coffee. They were very happy to share with us about the different coffee options available and teach us about the variety of styles and processes that they offer. They also have a 'coffee of the week' that is worth asking about and maybe taking a bag home with you.


Pros

Knowledgeable and friendly staff
Wide variety of freshly roasted coffee
Great pour overs and hand brews


Cons

Small space
Only a few food options
A little pricy
 

 

#2 Seesaw Coffee

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A minimalist coffee shop tucked away in the Jing'an Design Center. A beautifully clean and modern space with plenty of indoor seating and a large courtyard if you're looking for a bit more natural light.  We arrived a little before closing hours so pretty much had the place to ourselves, though I hear it can be super busy during the day. They serve a great flat white and some nice pour overs. Definitely worth a visit if you can find it!


Pros

Beautiful interior
Lots of seating
Great flat white
Speciality coffee options


Cons

Busy during the day
A bit difficult to find
A little pricy

 

#3 Peet's Cafe

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At 9 Donghu Lu is China's first outlet belonging to West Coast coffee chain Peet's. It's a little different from the US look and feel, with a bright and modern design. It has a large patio space and window seating. 12 coffees are available at any time, all brewed within 28 days of roasting at their semi-circular bar. They have a great retail section with a variety of different products for baristas and home brewers. They also have something called a 'discovery bar', where tasting flights, courses and custom cups are led by the shop's baristas and roasters. A full coffee experience. The only downside is the busyness. We struggled to find a seat inside for around 20 minutes. It's worth the wait though.

Find out more about Peet's Coffee and their story here.


Pros

Lots of coffee options
Discovery Bar
Large Retail Section


Cons

Very busy
A little pricy
American Chain

 

#4 Roasters Cafe

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In a tiny space at 4 Yuyuan Lu, just around the corner from Cafe Del Volcan, you'll find Roasters Cafe. It's perfect for a take-away, as there's no seating! Plus a number of flavoured lattes that you can order hot or cold. It's also well known for it's in house roasting. As we waited for our order, we watched as they hand selected the green coffee beans, removing defects in preparation for roasting, right in the front of the shop. It was amazing to see the care put into each cup of coffee. Worth dropping by to grab something on your way around.


Pros

Great iced coffees
Freshly roasted in store
Affordable pricing


Cons

No seating
No pour over options

 

Asking for coffee in the local language

你好! 我要一杯咖啡。 (nǐ hǎo! wǒ yào yī bēi kā fēi.) — Hello! I would like a cup of coffee.

Types of coffee

拿铁 (ná tiě) — Latte

浓缩咖啡 (nóng suō kā fēi) — Espresso

卡布奇诺 (kǎ bù jī nuò) — Cappuccino

摩卡 (mó kǎ) — Mocha

美式咖啡 (měi shì kā fēi) — Americano

玛奇朵 (mǎ qí duǒ) — Macchiato

星冰乐 (xīng bīng lè) — Frappuccino

冷萃 (lěng cuì) — Cold brew

茶 (chá) — Tea

Sizes of coffee

小杯 (xiǎo bēi) — Short

中杯 (zhōng bēi) — Tall

大杯 (dà bēi) — Grande

超大杯 (chāo dà bēi) — Venti