Great Green Eats in Shanghai

Fresh food for the new year

by Sarah Forman | Thu, January 04, 2018

A plate of fresh veggies decked out in all manner of colorful, flavorful toppings can be a delicious way to inject some green into your diet. There is truly something for everyone in Shanghai’s salad scene, from ultra-healthy options to meatier fare. Next time you’re in the mood for a green meal, try one of these standout salad choices from some of our favorite restaurants around town. 

Sproutworks

Long a favorite dining spot among health-conscious Shanghai residents, Sproutworks serves up a range of fresh salads, soups, Panini sandwiches, juices, and desserts in generour portions. Pick one of the fresh-tossed salad options like the California Asian Salad or Mediterranean Spinach Salad, or mix and match seasonal side dishes (such as butternut squash or roasted cauliflower with mint and feta cheese). For a nourishing, nutritious meal, you can’t go wrong here! Various locations; www.sproutworks.com.cn

Element Fresh

Known for its fresh salads, sandwiches, and smoothies, this chain offers specialties like the Laffa Bread Salad (made with grilled chicken, goat cheese and veggies on top of a laffa bread base with miso-yogurt dressing). The Classic Cobb Salad or the Caesar Salad will please hungry traditionalists, or try the Superfood sensation, filled with roast carrot, fresh turmeric, roasted beets, sugar snap peas, pistachios, and more. Their Grilled Garden salad is a surefire way to please veggie lovers as well. Various locations; www.elementfresh.com

Pier 39

This San Francisco-style restaurant brings Bay Area cuisine to Shanghai, including a range of salads like the House Special (¥62) with smoked chicken (delicious!), avocado, swiss cheese, and homemade lemon vinaigrette. Their flavor-packed Greek salad is also worth a try, and the California Garden Salad for ¥38 is a great vegetarian option. The salads come in sizeable entrée portions, but if they don’t fill you up, wash them down with a bowl of the restaurant’s famous clam chowder, served creamy and thick in a sourdough bread bowl, just like it’s meant to be. 172 Jinxian Lu, 6258 1939; E1-04, Jing An Kerry Centre, 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu, 6226 5138

Pure & Whole

With an impressive menu of plant-based soups, wraps, salads, and burgers, this popular café serves up delicious vegetarian fare with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options (which can be often hard to find in Shanghai). Favorites include the Detox Salad (¥68) with broccoli, carrot, kale, blueberries, and almonds, or try the Jungle Salad  (¥72) with fresh falafel, white radish, pumpkin, beetroot, and spicy dressing. You won’t be shy of options here, but for a super-healthy, antioxidant-rich meal, order the Microgreen Salad with endive, raspberries, pomegranate, and nuts, topped with a flavorful dressing that blends tahini, lemon, white miso, and coconut milk. Various locations; www.pureandwhole.com

Wheat

Selling vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian food, among other health-conscious choices, Wheat is the perfect place to dine if you like a good workout, or if you just fancy some high-protein fuel. Included on their menu are fresh smoothies and juices, banana pancakes, quinoa salads, all-day breakfast items, and low-sugar sweet treats. We can’t reccommend the Vegan Body Builder at ¥65 enough –an easy favorite for the quinoia inclined. Various locations; 6331 1179

Hunter Gatherer

With options a plenty, Hunter Gatherer is all about clean, green, and protein. Their Ghost Chicken Salad (¥) comes with black rice vinaigrette, red brown rice, lotus root, fava beans and a host of aromatic herbs, while their Stop Drop & Rou (yes, as in hangshao rou) really brings it home. They take it up a level with their braised pork shoulder, boiled egg, wonton skin, and a light, unique, osmanthus dressing, all for (¥). If one of their compelling creations doesn’t do it for you, you can craft your own meal from their expansive list of inventive items. Don’t forget to add some crunch to it! Various Locations; www.behuntergatherer.com