Local Talk: Laowai Jie
Nicknamed ‘Foreigner Street’ or Laiwai Jie, the pedestrian street is a lane just off Hongmei Lu. In 1971, Mao Zedong’s 101 trains stopped at this station and in remembrance, you will be met with a steam train on arrival. The street is lined with eateries from various countries and greenery is dotted alongside the brick walls and patios. Everywhere has a slight novelty or theme, however, it is worth exploring for one day if you fancy a trip down foreigner lane.
The first Iranian restaurant in Shanghai promises an authentic Persian experience. Iranian tea is their speciality but we recommend trying Shiraz if you are a fan of the Hookah pipe. Embroidered blankets and cushions decorate the outside sittings area, creating a great communal space to gather with friends. We just hope you can cross your legs.
Shiraz. Unit 8, Lane 3,338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel: 6465 9993.
Bastiaan Bakery and Café
This cosy café’s interior looks like a replica of a fairy tale European bakery, with its chunky pinewood, exposed brick and cream floral wallpaper. Traditional Dutch sweets are on display along with pretzels, croissants and bread. Cosy up in the dining room with a warm drink and slice of pie.
Bastiaan Bakery & Café. Unit 18, Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel: 6465 8022.
You may be familiar with Shanghai Brewery; the microbrewery, restaurant and sports bar. The Hongmei Lu is the second venture for the brewers, and is a larger venue with inside and outside sitting. If live sports are your thing, Shanghai Brewery broadcasts world-sporting events live on big TV screens. They also have a large variety of beers and ales.
Shanghai Brewery. Unit 21C, Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel: 6406 5919. Web: www.shanghaibrewery.com
This restaurant is one of the many Simply Thai eateries scattered around Shanghai. Their Thai food has won many awards over the years and if you are a fan of Thai food, Simply Thai can guarantee you will have a satisfying, authentic meal. The leafy exterior is a particularly nice setting - just hope you catch a good day to sit outside.
Simply Thai. Unit 28, Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel: 4656 8955.
M5 Art & Design Store
Tucked out of the way under an arch, the M5 Art & Design Store is a simple store lined with shelves containing ceramics and various small art pieces. If you are interested in ceramics with a design element, you could pick up quite a unique item here. Prices vary but they do sell novelty communist tin mugs for RMB 25.
M5 Art & Design Store. Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu.
Porta Nova is situated at one end of the lane, and is an Italian restaurant that will not disappoint. The interior is a contemporary mix of exposed brickwork, iron and glass with an outside patio great for those days with good weather. The menu is no surprise with antipasto, pasta, mains and pizza. The pizzas are winners, especially their Margheritas. The lunch menu is reasonably priced at RMB 88 for antipasto, main and selections of drinks. This is a great spot for those who have a craving for Italian food.
Porta Nova. Unit 40, Lane 3338 Hongmei Lu, near Hongxu Lu. Tel: 6465 7788