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Mar 26, 2010 08:22 AM

Shanghai dinner for a veg/non-veg couple?

We're going to be in Shanghai next week, and while I'm open to pretty much anything, my husband is a lacto-ovo vegetarian.
We only have a little bit of time there, so I'm searching all over the web to map out all the places to try! If you haven't guessed, I'm food-crazy like most of you guys here ;)
We're going to try the vegetarian restaurant (Gongdelin) one night, so would love some recommendation on places that have enough choices on the menu that would satisfy the adventurous omnivore and the vegetarian!

Since we're in China, would like to stick to Chinese food (not necessarily Shanghainese).

Thank you in advance!!

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  1. Most places would have plenty of veggie options. Caveat, they may use chicken stock in their cooking.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      Yes, you can find sufficient vegetarian options at most any good restaurants in Shanghai. Go crazy, and give the international cuisine a chance because its really good unlike other parts of Asia! Gong De Lin can be quite a value for your dollar, but be prepared for service that isn't very hospitable to the non-Chinese speaking population. (not sure if its improved since I last went though!)

      1. re: theperfectcookie

        I don't know what other kinds of places you go to in Shanghai, but Gong de lin was probably more expensive than *any* other restaurant I went to, in about 2 weeks in Shanghai. Pretty close to the prices of a fairly nice Western restaurant in the US, and quite inflated for the quality of the food, at least based on my experience.

        It's a nice atmosphere, and it's worth checking out just because of its history, but not that exciting IMHO.

    2. I've been in the same situation, since my girlfriend is not at all vegetarian, and I'm more or less vegan. Spent a couple weeks in Shanghai in '07 and eat at Shanghai places here in the US quite often. I just recently put a few suggestions for things you should be able to reliably get in non-vegetarian restaurants, as well as my comments on Gongdelin in the thread / post linked below. Can either of you speak Mandarin or Shanghaiese, are are you going to be with someone who can? If not, that may make it a lot more difficult to get vegetarian food at non-vegetarian restaurants... there are a lot of options, but finding them and / or getting the restaurant to modify them may be a little trickier.

      There's a very famous restaurant in the super touristy area (can't remember the name off the top of my head, but it's one of the ones that "Clinton ate at"). They did some excellent vegetarian stuff, prices were fair, for being a pretty high-end place in a touristy area, and I would imagine at least some of their staff can speak English.

      If you have any other questions that aren't answered in my other post, feel free to ask and I will help if I can.

      1 Reply
      1. re: will47

        " of the ones that "Clinton ate at" - Lu Bo Lang at Yuyuan Gardens. Fidel Castro ate there, too.

      2. Thank you everyone for all the responses! I'm relatively new here, so for some reason I thought I'd get email notifications if I got any responses, and so I've just found out I already had so many ppl willing to help out! Thank you!
        We don't speak any of the Chinese languages, unfortunately... I'm Japanese, so I'm hoping to get some communication going by using memo pads and writing Chinese characters on them.
        will47, thanks for posting the link to the previous thread. Very useful info. I didn't know Nanxiang Mantou Dian had veg dumplings also, which is very good to know. I was on the fence about going there (been to their Tokyo branch a few times), but this might convince me to.
        My husband actually already is in Shanghai (I'm joining him in a couple of days), and he seems to be surviving! So that's a good sign.
        Thank you again, everyone!