Escape city life to enjoy distinctive coffee shops in the outskirts
With the reopening of the city's cultural venues, a trip to the suburbs, with a cup of coffee and going camping, might be an ideal weekend escape for urban residents.
Here are some coffee shops in Shanghai's suburbs with a splendid view and special blends themed on the city's revival.
Perhaps the best boutique coffee shop in Luodian, Baoshan District, Cosee Coffee is 30 kilometers from downtown Shanghai.
The coffee shop is next to Baoshan Temple which, as the only Tang Dynasty-style (AD 618-907) temple in Shanghai and one of very few in China, attracts a flood of visitors.
After visiting Baoshan Temple, visitors often come to enjoy a cup of coffee, said Alec Chen, founder of Cosee Coffee.
"Our coffee shop opened on February 1 and, due to the latest pandemic resurgence, we had to close down from March," he said.
Chen reopened the shop on June 1 in the hope that "as the city will recover, so will our coffee shop," he added.
If you are not used to strong, full-bodied coffee, try Chen's pour-over Yirgacheffe. You'll love the taste, a unique, intense fruit flavor, compared with the bitter taste of black coffee.
In July, Cosee also launched a special blend with Shanghai Daily.
The coffee, Jersey Mountain, blends Jersey organic pure milk with single-origin Yirgacheffe beans, making for a refreshing drink.
"We are in Baoshan District. In Chinese, Baoshan literally means 'treasure mountain.' So the name of this special blend conveys our best wishes ― to provide treasure coffees in this area," said Chen.
If you go:
Address: Rm 122, Bldg 5, Lane 299, Tangxi Street, Luodian Town, Baoshan District
Opening hours: 8am-9pm
Mad Dog Coffee Bar
Just 800 meters from Shanghai Automobile Museum in Jiading District, the industrial-style Mad Dog Coffee Bar with a distinctive cement color facade attracts a lot of car enthusiasts.
It provides coffee during the day and cocktails at night.
The decor also features camping chairs and tables outside, creating an outdoor vibe for the visitors.
Mad Dog owner, Yang Ruoqi, used to work in the design industry. She designed a "mad dog" for the logo, and it has become the symbol of the shop.
"The shop's dog is not a real one, it's the 'dog' I want it to be," Yang said.
"There are a lot of creative products featuring the dog here, so our shop is like a kind of 'dog shelter' ― everyone can feel free here. It doesn't matter if you're humble, you can have a place, be yourself," she said.
To celebrate its reopening after the pandemic, Mad Dog offers a cup of "Sea-jumping Doggie" blend. The sweet-sour taste of Ethiopian coffee beans pairs with milk and mung bean ice, as if a doggie is plunging into the ocean of mung bean ice.
"The primary task of little puppies in summer is to enjoy the season, so what I want to say is, don't worry, be happy in this summer," Yang said.
If you go:
Address: Bldg 31, Lane 212, Jinmingdu Rd, Anting Town, Jiading District
Opening hours: 9am-11pm
Founded in 2015, Leisure Cafe is one of the first boutique coffee shops in London-themed Thames Town, a popular attraction in Songjiang District.
In weekdays, it's a coffee shop for the neighborhood. When the weekend arrives, it becomes a hot attraction for visitors. People flood in to spend an afternoon with a cup of coffee and to enjoy the lake view.
"Thames Town is a large compound, and we have offered bulk purchase for our compound since May 23. The cafe reopened on June 1, and it is gradually getting back to normal," said founder Chen Yulan.
She is optimistic about the recovery of the cafe and the whole Thames Town. "I've already seen the crowds in recent weekends, and we also provide coffee beans and drip bags online."
Leisure Cafe's range of signature bean blends change every season so it will be ideal to plan a trip to enjoy the new flavors with the varying seasonal views.
For this summer, the recommended brew is a special "Wake Up" blend which marks the city's recovery. It features a refreshing matcha ice cream, paired with the intense Leisure Bay40 Blend.
"We've missed a spring, and we want to bring you a little green in summer," said Chen.
"Let the awakening green sink through all the haze of the past."
If you go:
Address: No. 618, Thames Town, Lane 900, Sanxinbei Rd, Songjiang District
Opening hours: 10am-6pm