Kids in tow, but still want to check out Shanghai’s burgeoning bar and cocktail scene? The good thing is that Shanghai doesn’t seem to have any regulations on kids in areas where alcohol is being served. It’s quite common to see little tykes running around. That said, there are some that are better (less smoky, crowded, loud, etc.) than others, so here are a few tips.
For a list of great view bars, check out a previous post. These all have outdoor patios and awesome Shanghai skyline views. – The plus side to the ones on this list is they have outdoor spaces, so the cigarette smoke will be less of an issue (unfortunately, almost all bars allow patrons to smoke inside still). On that list, Lost Heaven probably makes the best drinks (try the spicy cocktail), the others are more noteworthy for the views themselves.
For drinks in the early evening, the following will be fairly kid friendly in the sense they won’t be too crowded and therefore will be less smoky and loud:
Senator Saloon – Prohibition-era bar with a head bartender from Oregon – Go before 10 and it is usually plenty empty. The bourbon-based cocktails are the specialty here, and you can’t go wrong with an Old Fashioned.
El Coctel -Gets very busy on weekend nights, but it’s an amazing Spanish/Japanese fusion team creating some awesome drinks in a hip, artsy atmosphere. We love the black manhattan, but everything is good. Very pleasant on a weekend afternoon. They also have an antipasti plate that is quality (and there is a Spanish sandwich shop downstairs called Bikini – porn star-themed sandwich names for some reason, but we reckon still kid-friendly overall).
Yuan -This is a brand new place that is decked out in a very cool contemporary Chinese vibe, with iPad ordering to boot. They do some signature cocktails with baijiu (try the zombie) – baijiu is the traditional Chinese spirit that is quite potent, but should be experienced! You can ask for a shot of it to sip (20rmb – off menu). Presentation is really unique and utilizes a lot of Chinese ingredients in unique ways.