In you enjoy dining in environments that are metaphors for your own personal life journey and search for money, love, and happiness, well, hey, Shanghai has plenty of revolving restaurants catering to this impulse.
You may be going in circles but at least you can enjoy the view...
A caveat: For us, revolving restaurants are campy, throw-back, cheesy fun. The main draw is the 360-degree view of all of Shanghai, dolled out at .0000002 kms per hour in an environment that looks like a 1970s Las Vegas airport lounge going through a bitter, knock-down, drag-out custody battle with another Las Vegas airport lounge.
Go for the drinks, stay to be savagely disappointed by the food, revel in your existential crisis experienced whilst twisting around in the sky in at the top of some absurd building in Shanghai.
Blue Heaven (Jin Jiang Tower)
Opened last year, Blue Heaven hosts a bold, glassy, and plush take on the genre. Deep, velvet purples and blues everywhere, accented by glass fixtures and twinkling lights. Couches you sink right into. Very modern and contemporary if happen to be currently living in 1973, on a wonderful, sci-fi-themed porno movie set. This one is undulating on the 41st floor of Jin Jiang Tower Shanghai, serving both Chinese and Western food. A full rotation takes about two hours. Ample time to question how the cumulation of your life choices has lead you to this specific ridiculous and baffling moment. Afternoon tea sets are 398rmb (for two); lunch set for two from from 498rmb. Weekends are busy so it's better to book a seat. PS: All seats are set by a window so that's nice.
Cosco's Neptune — no relation to that Cosco — is on the 28th Floor of Yuanyang Mansion in Hongkou. This is the Hongkou one, if you're looking to experience 360 degrees of Shanghai from a different vantage point. Interiors look like flight attendent camoflage. Like if a flight attendent walked in they'd just dissapear into the foliage like a Rainbow 6 Navy Seal.
This one's got a more focused menu: dim sum and Cantonese food and their prices ain't bad.
Epicure on 45
The tallest revolving restaurant in Puxi, Radisson Epicure on 45 is serviceable and utilitarian, and yeah, it must be said: The view is really lovely. Decor is... like you're at a wedding but you don't know if it's like a classy wedding or a sloppy wedding, so you don't know how drunk you're allowed to get. Reviews swing wildly positive and wildly negative. Which is like every restaurant ever, I guess. Food is "Western and Chinese" -- the classic genre of revolving restaurants. Diners looking for authentic Antarctica cuisine are out of luck. Workday lunch set at 158rmb for one person; daily afternoon tea sets at 258rmb for two. All meal deals need reservations one day in advance.
I wonder what kind of people are having business lunches in revolving restaurants. Dildo brand ambassadors that are going to rule the world is what immediately comes to mind.
Art 50 is on the 50th floor on Novotel Shanghai Atlantis in Pudong and their chosen art genre is getting savaged on Dianping for their food. Performance art, maybe? Conceptual art? Their menus are not fixed, changing by the divine inspiration of the muses, but for now they're serving an exhibition called "Western? Ish? Question Mark?" Dinner sets at 168rmb for one person. They have daily afternoon tea sets at 168rmb for two. Better if you reserve because they've also got seats that are not by window.
It's absolutely soul obliterating if you go to a revolving restaurant and don't end up in a seat by the window. There's just no coming back from it. Be warned. You will perish.
Oriental Pearl Sky Revolving Restaurant
The revolving restaurant in the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is like the Kurt Cobain of Shanghai revolving restaurants and I'm not going to explain that, you're just going to have to take my word for it. It's got its own special entrance and it's 267 meters up in the sky. They've recently renovated to something a little more 2009-looking and serve an all-you-can-eat afternoon buffet at 408rmb per person and a dinner buffet at 458rmb per person.
And it's always packed. With tourists and people who actually live in Shanghai who absoluely kick ass at life. SmartShanghai did a deep dive on the whole experience, which you can check out right here.
You need reservations at least one day ahead of time because it always sells out. It's actually a very stunning view because of the location and height.
The only thing you can't see is the OPTV Tower itself because you're in it, and you own damn life, sliding right out of view.