Vegetarian Survival Guide


Most foreign vegetarians will travel or move to China with no local language skills, which can be quite a challenge trying to explain your dietary requirements to the waiters/waitresses. Being a vegetarian myself, I understand how frustrating it can be after hours of explanation, your food still arrives with bits of meat in them. So we have compiled this Survival Guide for the vegetarians/vegans living in this fascinating part of the world. We’ve included some basic Chinese phrases that allow you to explain your dietary preferences, and also a list of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai.  


 Useful Phrases




I’m vegetarian


wo chi su

I’m vegan


wo chi quan su

I don’t eat…


wo bu chi…



hai xian

Fish, shrimps, clams

鱼, 虾, 蚌

Yu, xia, bang



 Jia qin lei

Chicken, duck, geese


Ji rou, ya rou, e rou,



zhu you

Animal fat


Dou wu you zhi



Ji dan

Dairy products


Nai zhi ping

Milk, yogurt, cheese


niu nai, suan nai, nai lao



huang you

I don’t like eating meat


wo bu xi huan chi rou

I only eat vegetables and soy products


wo zhi chi shu cai he dou zhi ping

Tofu, soy milk


dou fu, dou nai




























Methods of preparation

The following are the most common phrases used to describe methods of food preparation.










Pan fried (seared)


gan bian
















Vegetarian Restaurants in Shanghai / 上海


Kush is Shanghai’s first international vegetarian restaurant. They mainly serve up western styled dishes from fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and imitation meat dishes cooked in a healthy style in line with the philosophy of a light diet. Their menu has a plentiful choice of appetizers, salads, pasta, and desserts and drinks in generous servings.

Yanping Rd Branch

Address:98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu, Jing'an District

Hours: Restaurant: 11:30~22:00 Delivery: 11:30~21:00

Tel.: 021 5175 9822


Pudong Kerry City Branch

Address: Pudong New Area, 1378 Huamu Rd Kerry City Room B111

Hours: 11:30~22:00

Tel.: 021 50610618


Sproutworks/ 豆苗工坊

From two American-born Chinese comes Sproutworks, an eco-conscious, sustainable "fast casual" dining. In the West, the concept is far from groundbreaking—a menu of affordable, rotating salads, sandwiches, and sides—but there's not yet a single other place like it in Shanghai. It's easy to stay healthy tucking into sides like shredded Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and Parmesan, or a delicious cous cous salad with raisins and roasted almond flakes.

Donghu Lu Branch

Address: 167 Donghu Rd. (Xinle Rd.)

             东湖路167号 (新乐路)

Hours: 11:00 ~ 22:00

Tel: 021 5466 1667


Super Brand Mall Branch

Address: Super Brand Mall, B2-06-07 168 Lujiazui Lu



Anna Maya Vegetarian Cafe

This vegan café is focused around a macrobiotic philosophy–natural, whole and unprocessed. The lemon-sorbet walls instantly creates a cheerful, spring feeling with antique furniture, along with its antique furniture make this a perfect place to relax and enjoy delicious vegetarian cuisine. Sip on a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy some vegetarian quiches, cakes and pastries.

Address: 3 Taojiang Lu (near Hengshan Lu), French Concession

   桃江路3号 (近衡山路)

Hours: 10:00~22:00

Tel: 021 64334602


Blissful Butterfly / 心乐蝶舞

Located on the sixth floor of the Expo Culture Center, this vegetarian haven turns out high-end dishes. Only set menus are available, with main courses like "lamb chop" whose texture was so much like meat that could even fool the biggest carnivore. Go at night and request a table overlooking the bridge; there's nothing like an illuminated Expo for a dinner backdrop.

Address: 6/F, Expo Culture Center, 1200 Expo Avenue, Shanghai Expo Site

              世博大道1200号, 世博文化中心6楼

Hours: 10:30am-9:00pm

Tel: 021 20251080

Godly Vegetarian Restaurant/ 功德林

Shanghai’s oldest vegetarian establishment, having served up Chinese vegan cuisine since 1922. Devoted to the meat-free lifestyle, Godly is a relatively quiet oasis for the veggie-conscious; it offers everything vegetarian, from delicious salads to slightly weird mock meats made from bean curd. Vegans who have had to avoid the dessert menu at other restaurants, will be happy to learn that they also have vegan cookies and desserts available.

West Nanjing Road Branch

Address: 445 Nanjing Xi Lu (near Chengdu Bei Lu), Jing An District

   南京西路445号 (近成都北路)

Hours: 10am-9pm

Tel: 021 63270218

Wukang Road Branch

Address: 97 Wukang Lu (near Wuyuan Lu), Xuhui District
              武康97号 (近五原路)

Hours: 7:30am-8pm

Tel: 021 64718909


Jendow Vegetarian / 人道素菜

An upscale buffet establishment hidden away next to Long Hua Temple in Xuhui District, upon entering the restaurant, one is transported to a large, tastefully furnished hotel-like dining area with a seemingly never-ending, well-presented array of food. Its offerings range from create-your-own salad to Chinese-style cold dishes, from a Japanese sushi/sashimi and tempura station to dimsum and Taiwanese snacks. There are also a couple of stations where cooks will make you a bowl of soup noodle, a plate of pasta, or a veggie hotpot on the spot. Drinks include juices, Chinese herbal teas, coffee, and even Hong Kong style milk tea.

Address: 2787 Longhua Lu (near Tianyaoqiao Lu), Xuhui District

              龙华路2787号 (近天钥桥路)
Hours: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm

Tel: 021 64572299


Vegetarian Lifestyle / 枣子树

Detoxify with a vegetarian feast at this restaurant with good prices, good service and a clean environment. Non-smoking and drinking rules apply, but their delicious spinach dumplings and meat-flavored vegetarian dishes, such as the Saysade, will make you forget what's missing.

Jingan Temple Branch

Address: 258 Fengxian Lu (near Jiangning Lu), Jing An District
              奉贤路258号 (近江宁路)

Hours: 11:00~21:00

Tel: 021 62157566


Gubei/Hongqiao Branch

Address: 848 Huangjincheng Dao (near Shuicheng Nan Lu), Gubei/Hongqiao

    黄金城道848号 (近水城南路)

Hours: 11:00~21:00


Tel: 021 62751798


Luwan Branch

Address: 77 Songshan Lu (near Huaihai Lu), Luwan District
              嵩山路77号 (近淮海路)

Hours: 11am-9pm

Tel: 021 63848000