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Al's Diner (Xinle Lu)
  • Photos by BRANDON MCGHEE
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    • ADDRESS:
      204 Xinle Lu,
      near Donghu Lu
      新乐路204号, 近东湖路

    • PHONE:
      5465 1259
    • WECHAT:
      -
    • AREA:
      Xuhui
    • METRO:
      15 mins walk from South Shaanxi Rd
    • HOURS:
      Daily, 9am-midnight
    • CARDS:
      Local and international cards, Alipay accepted
    • PRICE:
      $$$$$
    • WEB:
    • SmartShanghai.com Editor's Description
      Originally opened as a premium ice cream shop called Gracie's, this little spot on the corner of Xinle and Fumin re-branded itself as Al's Diner in Fall 2015. They're serving American diner classics like biscuits and gravy, patty melts, monte cristos, egg x sausage muffins, burgers, and sandwiches. There's also Korean-style double-fried chicken and Kirin beer topped with frozen beer slush. This new menu was designed by Sean Jorgenson (Maya, Liquid Laundry) and Anna Bautista (Coquille, Madera). Don't worry -- the ice cream is still there, and it's damn good, with flavors like cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, and pumpkin. You're really coming here for the patty melt and other heart-attack fare, but they do have some vegetarian and healthier options too. There's a couple tables outside for nice days, too. Breakfast is available all day.
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    ARCHIVED EVENTS

    • BOGO Ice Cream

      Both locations of Al's are serving up BOGO ice creams for Valentine's Day. Nice way to end off that romantic evening. 30rmb scoops.
    • Christmas Specials

      Limited edition eggnog milkshakes for 50rmb and mulled wine for 40rmb available at Al's Diner.
    • Thanksgiving @ Al's Diner

      168rmb per person and 20rmb for house beer or wine. Set includes herb-roasted turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, buttery mashed potatoes, creamy green beans, chorizo sausage stuffing, sweet potato a go-go, roasted brussel sprouts, and a...
    • 11/11 Scoops at Gracie's Ice Cream

      This Saturday, all single scoops of Gracie's Ice Cream are 11rmb in celebration of Singles' Day. Get some ice cream, sad face! Available at 204 Xinle and 174 Xiangyang stores.
    • Milkshake Mondays

      Yes. Every Monday at Al's Diner, they do 30rmb milkshakes made with Gracie's ice cream, some of the best ice cream in town. For an extra 20rmb, they'll throw in an order of regular or curly fries. Available from 5pm-midnight.
  • Nice place, lacking service
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on April 10, 2016
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    usgringo
    Joined Oct 4, 2012
    Posted 1 Reviews
    We went on a Sunday morning, prime time. The food was ok without being thrilling - the Americano however tasted like old coffee in an office environment. The staff laughed my - mildly, friendly presented comment off.
    All Hail the Milkshake
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on March 18, 2016
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    Boneshack
    Joined Dec 23, 2015
    Is German
    Posted 4 Reviews
    Milkshakes. Icecream. Cookie Dough. Grilled MacnCheese... if your mouth is watering already from these words you have to stop by Als Diner. The Girls do an amazing service, are quick and english is passable.

    Lets start at the main attraction. Graces Icecream. Aim,Shoot and Hit. i havent tried many icecreams in Shanghai but my Italian Iceguy at home can go suck on a lollipop compared to graces. I tried the halfbaked cookiedough and the Blacksesame honey and holyhell they were good. They taste fresh, authentic, not oversweetend. They have some pretty wild combinations which I will definitely try all.
    Also to be mentionend is that they have a nice milkshake and fries deal on mondays which is not to be missed.
    Actual food is good too. had a double beef sandwichs and the lady a omelette. both quick and fresh. im sure now that its getting warmer this place is gonna be overrun. mainly by me;)

    If you like high quality icecream, food and a really nice atmosphere go and visit Al...

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    Greetz
    Bones
    New Favorite Shanghai Brunch
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on March 7, 2016
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    jginsh
    Joined Aug 18, 2009
    Is American
    Posted 14 Reviews
    Been two weekends in a row and Al's is by far the best quality/value brunch in Shanghai. Competitors that serve similar food at a similar price (mr. pancake, boxing cat, etc) don't even come close.

    Food- Best pancakes I have had in Shanghai. Fluffy, light, no baking soda-ey taste. Had the blueberry and ricotta, both ingredients fresh and the sauce wasn't over the sweet. Tasted like blueberry's not syrup. Also, have tried the chicken fried steak, monte cristo sandwich and a standard eggs and sausage patty breakfast. Nothing over CNY 85 and none of them have any peers in that price range. If you want anything close in terms of quality of ingredients then you are having the quasi-buffet at the Puli or Waldorf.

    Atmosphere- It's a narrow diner. It's noisy and crowded, but also clean and well lit. They need a bigger space. At Sunday at 12:30 it is packed, hence great food and great prices = trade off on comfort.

    Service- Super friendly, super accurate, not super fast or efficient. But given the size of the place, how long they have been open, and volume they are doing a great job. As long as you are reasonable patient you'll get along great.

    Expectations- It's small, don't go here with a party of 8 on Sunday at 11:30 to do the leisurely day drinking and BS about how important your empty life is. Casual groups of 2-5 that want to enjoy a exceptional food at a great price and then go about their day will have a great time.
    Solid, hearty brekkie
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on November 23, 2015
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    crack_a_lackin'
    Joined Sep 20, 2013
    Is British
    Posted 11 Reviews
    I went to Al's this past weekend, my second visit to the establishment.

    Crisp and clean decor, without relying on tired american diner cliches, makes this space really work for me. Its cosy, but when its packed out, like it was for brunch on Sunday, its a great space to be in.

    This ties in nicely with what to expect from the food. Large coffee in proper mugs and hearty breakfasts. I had the breakfast bun on English muffin which overall was good and a decent start to the day. I haven't had the ice cream yet (going to wait for summer) but I expect good things.

    A solid choice for brunch in the area or if you want a change from O'delice next door, and want something to soak up that hangover...
    What I wanted most wasn't on the menu.
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on November 17, 2015
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    Peekay
    Joined Jul 11, 2012
    Is American
    Posted 2 Reviews
    Having the word “diner” next to the name “Al” makes me think of a potbellied mustachioed man in a greasy shirt plopping down an equally greasy mound of goodness onto your plate with a smile on his harry face. The words in Smart Shanghai’s description, “heart-attack fare,” also had me suddenly homesick.

    I cannot say the light and nice décor or the neatly uniformed cute girls behind the counter were exactly off-putting, but for me it was something of an identity crisis. Their “breakfast sandwich thing” (as I think they call it on their menu), had me dreaming of my American breakfast favorites—but when the small neat sandwich came it was almost as if he or she who made it had heard of this “heart-attack fare” but had never actually eaten it. Of course Al’s is not at fault for any of this; maybe it is not what they are going for, but the quirky remarks on the menu had gotten my hopes up.

    It was small. Far little too grease. Weird salad things on the bottom. I finished it in a couple of bites as any avid breakfast eater could, (I do not look like my description of Al), and I had to order another dish to fill me up.

    The service was equally as disappointing as our waitress did not seem to understand my English or my Chinese, or my Chinese friend’s Chinese, and managed to get a couple things on our order wrong with our only compensation for her errors being able to see the other waitresses yell about her when she left for a walk. We had to pay extra for a few things.

    Going here for brunch would not be a huge mistake; the patio is nice and I imagine the service (if anything similar to the general aesthetic and mood of the place) being better on most days. The taste was alright for what you can get in Shanghai – just do not go here if you are expecting neon lights, red booths, and food that reminds you of home.
    Not Cheap but Oh So Yummy
    For Al's Diner (Xinle Lu) on September 26, 2015
    Value for Money
    Suitable for ...
    The Food
    A Date
    The Drinks
    With Family
    The Service
    Business Dinner
    Atmosphere
    With Friends
    bossytoe
    Joined Nov 21, 2009
    Posted 7 Reviews
    The ice cream is expensive. But it's really good. They also serve food but the one time we ordered lunch, it took a really really long time to get our food. There is a new location on Xiangyang Lu.
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