Bakery co-founder gives his go-to list for Xuhui neighborhood
This section is designed for foreigners living in Shanghai to share their experiences and insights on daily life in their local communities. From hidden gems to popular spots, they will introduce you to the best food, drink, entertainment, and more in their neighborhoods.
Son Quach, originally from south of France, has called Shanghai home his since 2012. After years of experience working in French bakeries and restaurants, he co-founded Luneurs in 2018.
Luneurs soon became popular among the locals, who couldn't get enough of its freshly baked croissants, baguettes and sweet pastries. From a small bakery-ice cream shop, Luneurs expanded rapidly to become a Parisian-style bakery chain with 20 shops opened and more to come.
Please introduce the neighborhood where you live.
I live in Xuhui District and the area I've called home is on Kangping Road, near Yuqing Road. If you have the opportunity to take a walk there, you will feel the peace, the calmness and the soul of this leafy area, from its architecture to the plane trees. There are so many plane trees in my hometown Aix-en-Provence. When I first came to Shanghai and passed by this downtown area, it reminded me of my hometown.
Q: What's the best thing about living in this neighborhood?
The lane where I live is extremely quiet and hidden. I also love the aspect of the old Shanghai which has character and history. It is super convenient to ride my bicycle to reach different Luneurs shops.
Q: What's the unmissable attraction here?
The peace and calmness.
Q: Each person may have different tastes, but they all want a great café. What's your favorite café near home?
Of course it is Luneurs! Right next to my home, we have a Luneurs (178 Wulumuqi Road S.) in a historical building with three floors and a hidden rooftop. It is very peaceful there and quite unlike other Luneurs stores we have.
Luneurs provides two types of beans – strong and light – to fit people's tastes. And of course the Luneurs latte using Vietnamese beans, condensed milk and oat milk – a must-try!
Q: Where is good to eat around here?
Dongbei restaurant (1791 Huaihai Road M.) at the corner of Wanping Road and Huaihai Road M. I have been eating there since I first arrived in Shanghai 11 years ago. Their food is tasty; the service is efficient; the price is friendly; and the portions are generous.
Q: From high fashion to emerging designers, from flowers to fresh produce, where do you shop in your neighborhood?
Probably an old habit: Swiss Butchery (86 Wulumuqi Road M.) for the meat, and Avocado Lady (274 Wulumuqi Road M.) for the rest. Clothes – I have been wearing the same thing for the last 20 years. I tend to keep my clothes for a very long time, for some reason.
Q: Is there any neighborhood place you recommend for a night out or simply a drink after work?
I don't drink but if I did, there is Bar No. 3 (277 Xingguo Road), which I like. It's casual, relaxing, and their cocktails and mocktails are great. Also on Xinhua Road, I like the Villa Le Bec (321 Xinhua Road) because it has everything I enjoy. Great food, big portions and pricing that is hard to beat. The environment is unique in Shanghai, a big villa with a big garden in the back. It does not feel formal and uptight but casual – that's what I like about it.