In my mind when I go for a night out, Hongmei Lu Shanghai is probably the best place to go in the city. The Hongmei pedestrian street (although sometimes referred to as the Hong Mei Entertainment Street) is a place dedicated to eating and drinking with a primary focus on Western workers and visitors.
It is true that all the guide books advocate that visitors to Shanghai go to the area known as Xin Tian Di. This is a pedestrian area in the heart of Shanghai full of expensive restaurants and places to eat. I personally find it very pricey, over hyped and a pain to get to and from due to the heavy traffic in Shanghai.
However Hongmei Lu Shanghai is my preferred option for a night out. This is a pedestrian street stretching between Hong Mei Road and Hong Xu Road (Hong Xu Lu). (The word road is pronounced as “Lu” in Chinese.) Admittedly drinks can be expensive ranging from £3 – £7 a drink depending upon what you have and where.
Where can I find Hongmei Lu Shanghai?
I can easily get there by taxi by just asking “Hongmei Lu, Hongqiao Lu” which basically means the crossroads between these two roads. (Hongqiao Lu is pronounced as “Hongchow Lu”). I then look for the Pearl City shopping centre and the Hong Mei Lu pedestrian street is virtually directly opposite.
Where to eat on Hongmei Lu Shanghai?
There is a wide range of food available on the Hong Mei Lu pedestrianised street. My favourite Chinese food place here is called Amy’s.
It has been here for as long as I can remember. Authentic food at a reasonable prices plus sensibly priced beer before venturing down Hongmei Lu for a pub crawl.
Where to drink on Hongmei Lu Shanghai?
There are numerous Western focused pubs down Hong Mei Lu, unsurprising really since it is a street in Shanghai designed specifically for that purpose.
Hongmei Lu Shanghai has undergone many changes over the years and each time I go back new bars appear and old ones disappear. Most of the bars offer happy hour promotions typically between 5 and 7 pm.
One of the oldest places is Nancy’s. This has been here for more than a decade and like most of the bars offers food and a pool table to play on. I remember back in 2006 being sat outside watching the big screens on the wall of Nancy’s showing the World Cup matches.
Further down is a German bar and a Belgian bar with a good range of imported beer. Across from the German bar is The Lucky Bar. This is up one floor and has a wild bunch running the place. Sometimes it feels a bit cliquey but there is always a lively atmosphere.
The old favourite for my colleagues and I is the Big Bamboo. This sports bar has lots of space, many TV screens and live bands upstairs. This was one of the first big pubs on the street and provided a more relaxed drinking environment with less hassle from employed talking girls who want you to buy them a drink.
Hongmei Lu Shanghai has changed a lot in recent years with new large pubs opening up and this means that the Big Bamboo is a little less busy than it used to be.
Further down the Hong Mei Pedestrian Street you will find the Blue Frog pub, always popular for people looking for something to eat. At this end of Hongmei Lu Shanghai you will also find the Story Tavern. This used to be Sparks and is run by the same staff. However with the refit it is quite a luxurious place to have a beer or two.
If after all that you fancy heading to a club then you may want to venture out to Tong Ren Lu however keep your wits about you. As for me, I find everything I need in drink and good company on Hongmei Lu Shanghai.