You would not think to try out desserts in Shanghai with all the traditional Chinese food that you can find, but trust, the desserts are just as good and definitely worth trying out.
When you come to Shanghai, of course, you want to try authentic Chinese food. It is absolutely delicious and just on par with it are the many desserts that you can find here in the city. On nearly every corner, almost every metro stop, and in every mall basement market, you can find someplace that sells desserts. So as one with an extreme sweet tooth, I was pleasantly surprised to have easy access to sweets aside from a Hershey’s bar at Family Mart. There are a plethora of bakeries and dessert spots. From small hole-in-the-wall places to luxury restaurants and cafes, there are desserts to fit every need, taste, and price range. My end just might be inhaling a slice of cake.
Shanghai is huge, so of course, I haven’t made my way around to every dessert holding in the city; but, I have hit quite a few places. These are some of my must-try dessert spots so far.
Ichido is a chain store bakery that offers everything from hot dog croissants to German chocolate cake. You can always count on finding one near a metro stop. Which can be pretty dangerous, because with convenient locations and reasonable prices, you can pop in for a loaf of bread and leave with a donut, strawberry cream cake, and coffee bread. I’m not saying that this has happened before…. Okay, but I ate all of it and I’m not ashamed! It is really easy to get stuck in here. Go in with one straight direction and quickly get out before you walk away with one of everything in the bakery.
Twosome is part café and restaurant. With an in-house bakery that supplies delicious desserts from pastries to cakes, a juice bar, and variety menu for brunch, you simply have to stop by and try. When I first moved to Shanghai, I came by almost every evening for coffee and dessert to wait out the metro rush. Around this time, the café would be nearly empty winding down from the dinner rush. The atmosphere is perfect with light jazz music, comfy booths and wooden tables, and modern rustic décor. Their desserts change seasonally, but I definitely recommend getting the mango cornet and strawberry yogurt cake when you can.
You can find Hӓagen-Dasz nearly everywhere. Honestly, back home I never really ate Hӓagen-Dasz ice cream. In Shanghai, there are few places you won’t see one. The cafes are classically modern with bold colored chairs, generally white walls, and marble tile flooring, playing whatever is trending in music. Ice cream is always good and the menu will give an assortment of flavors and styles to choose from. Going to Hӓagen-Dasz is great in groups for the visual aspects of the larger orders. How often do you order an ice cream platter with dry ice?
Godiva is the place you go for a taste of luxury with your dessert. With a history of making indulgent gourmet chocolates and more, Godiva delivers each time. The desserts are beautifully served with chocolates that, of course, are rich and drinks that offer great compliments. When you match the right pair, it is heaven. The dining area is open, but with an intimate layout and chic style. On the pricier end, the desserts are worth every penny. I suggest that when ordering primarily chocolate desserts, do not get a chocolate drink—unless you are a complete choco-holic. Try the 75% Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate with a fruity pastry.
This pleasant dessert stop is very contemporary. It combines Western and Chinese desserts into one magical tasting experience. The majority of the desserts are made with ice shavings, but there are a few non-iced options like the egg puffs, cakes, and toasts. Snowflake Sherbet also pairs their desserts with teas, milks, and freshly squeezed juice. There are even a few healthier options. More on the small scale, it is great to go to alone or with close friends. I’m currently obsessed with the fruit egg puff. These are my top locations so far to visit.
I am sure the next time I go back to Shanghai, this list will grow longer. There are endless places to choose from when it comes to dessert and maybe one day, I’ll taste them all.