Building 2, Sinan Mansions, 4th floor
Tel: 86 21 3368 9419
This lounge offshoot of the Beijing original reproduces classic and rare cocktails with reverential precision. All the bitters, tinctures, and fruit syrups are made in-house. Highly descriptive, the extensive menu includes the Dark and Old Fashioned, made with Valrhona cocoa–flavored aged rum, cinnamon syrup, and cherry vanilla bitters. The contemporary interior of bare brick, leather, and hardwood is softened by a 1930s jazz and swing soundtrack and a long bar that's a perfect spot for Shanghai's white-collar cocktail set to sip, socialize, and network.—Gary Bowerman
Open Tuesdays through Sundays 5 pm to 1 am.
Bund 18, Level 7
18 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu
Tel: 21 6339 1199
Shanghai's classiest cocktail lounge draws a hip clientele with its sexy bordello-red decor and lively dancing. Behind the bar, skilled mixologists deftly toss and flip bottles as they pour mango mojitos and pepper-spiked vodka martinis. Be prepared for a lot of attention—Bar Rouge is known to be an international pickup joint (albeit an upmarket one). There's often a cover charge, and drinks are expensive...but the river view is priceless.
Grand Hyatt Shanghai, 87th Floor
Jin Mao Tower
88 Century Boulevard
Tel: 86 21 5049 1234
Though the skyscrapers of Pudong hold little allure for visitors, they do have one major attraction: stunning views. Perched atop the world's fifth-tallest building, the Grand Hyatt's Cloud 9 is the highest bar in the world, where a dark and moody decor frames the vast floor-to-ceiling windows. Sip a drink from the well-attended, touristy, bar and marvel at the 360-degree panorama, so high that clouds sometimes obscure the view.
1428 Huaihai Zhong Lu at Fuxing Zhong Lu
Tel: 86 21 6437 7110
This informal candlelit venue is one of Shanghai's longest-running jazz and blues clubs, and it continues to showcase the tightest performers in town. The bar is open nightly, and standing-room-only crowds pack the joint on weekends (come early if you want to snag a seat). The menu offers light fare, such as sandwiches and Asian snacks.
No. 5 the Bund, 6th Floor
Tel: 86 21 6350 9988
Perched above the Bund is this dainty cocktail lounge, a confection of crystal chandeliers and low settees, pink-shaded lamps that cast a rosy glow, and windows overlooking the Huangpu River. By day it's a top spot for culture vultures, with author readings, lectures, performance art, and classical music concerts. By night, it morphs into one of Shanghai's swishest spots, with live music from cabaret to jazz, and an impressive list of candy-colored cocktails (try the ginger martini, not-too-sweet, with a sharp bite). The after-dark clientele is made up of Shanghai's bright young things, dressed to the nines. Don't even think about wearing jeans, and if it's the weekend, be prepared for a crowd.
60 Fuzhou Lu
Tel: 86 21 6323 2779
Relocated in June 2008 across town to a renovated mansion in the neoclassical backstreets behind the Bund, this is Shanghai's coolest late-night live-music house. A tribute to the city's popular 1930s jazz parlors, this intimate bar, restaurant, and club is dressed in hardwoods and Deco-chic furnishings, designed with a reverent regard for history. A beautiful long wooden bar serves up dirty martinis and kicking cocktails, while an international house band, which rotates on a three-monthly basis, cooks up a wicked menu of rock-and-soul-infused jazz and blues to a mixed local and visitor crowd. Table reservations required.
Open daily 7 pm to 1 am.
Pudong Shangri-La, 36th Floor
33 Fu Cheng Lu
Tel: 86 21 6882 8888
If you've come to Pudong to grab a drink at Cloud 9 take a five-minute stroll to the Shangri-La's Jade on 36 for bites of fusion tapas (foie gras lollipops dipped in caramelized sugar) in a gleaming, futuristic setting created by celebrated restaurant designer Adam Tihany—don't miss the bathrooms, which are like unisex space capsules. Though it's only 36 floors up (as opposed to Cloud 9's 87), the glass tower is closer to the Bund, making the riverside expanse clearer and the lights even more dazzling.
Hyatt on the Bund
199 Huangpu Lu
Tel: 86 21 6393 1234
Designed by in-demand Japanese firm Super Potato, Hyatt on the Bund's top-floor lounge bar is exotically styled as an upscale vineyard. Dressed in blond woods, bare bricks, and neon-lit fiberglass paneling, with wine bottles lining the entryway, Vue has a vibe that is both refined and playful. But it's the knockout views that stand it apart from most Shanghai lounges. A winding staircase leads to the 33rd-floor open deck terrace, with a whirlpool bath, daybedsand an unsurpassable Shanghai vista that spans out over the large U-bend in the Huangpu River, and is flanked by both the Bund and Lujiazui nightscapes.
Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 pm to 1 am, and Fridays through Saturdays 5 pm to 2 am.
200 Yongfu Lu by Hunan Lu
Tel: 86 21 5466 2727
A magical garden aglow with paper lanterns surrounds this grand French Concession villa, at times home to the Russian, Vietnamese, and British consulates. The interior befits the 1930s Tudor-style structure, intimate with mahogany furniture, scattered Chinese antiques, Deco furnishings, and shaded chandeliers that cast a warm glow against the copper ceiling. A sophisticated crowdspot the many romantic couplesdine on varied if slightly underwhelming local fare, such as the spicy, slightly sweet pomfret with minced pork, sautéed water vegetables, and featherlight vegetable buns. We recommend this place for an evening drink rather than a meal. In warm weather, find one of the secret spots in the enormous garden. Reservations recommended.
26F Sinan Mansions, 3rd floor
Tel: 86 21 3368 9525
Brash, bold, and colorful, just like modern Shanghai, David Laris's Yucca evokes elements of a Frida Kahlo dreamscape, a 1960s Latino movie set, and a cosmopolitan lounge. The bites are tasty and fresh, ranging from a piquant tomato salsa to churros with chocolate and a twist on the traditional quesadilla; the Latin cocktails are competent if unspectacular. Perhaps a little contrived but always fun and upbeat, Yucca and its Mexican modernity, live DJ sets, and palpable New Shanghai buzz attract a mixed clientele of party people and casual cocktail sippers.—Gary Bowerman
Open daily 6 pm until late.