The fourth meal, the fourth dimension, the glue that keeps society from unraveling: brunch. Can't get enough of it, can you Shanghai?
One problem with it is guessing what's on the menu and how much it's really going to cost you. So over the last week, we've gathered the full brunch menus in digital form from a dozen popular brunch spots in downtown, and asked their owners to give us an accurate estimate of what the average person spends at brunch. A few of these places have just — just! — overhauled their brunch menus (Bird, The Cannery, Liquid Laundry), so consider this their online debut. And, for the first time, we've got the full Polux brunch menu of 40+ items with prices so you can strategize your menu attack before you arrive. All brunches are on both Saturday and Sunday, unless otherwise stated.
Bird stays faithful to its global cuisine ethos at brunch, with a concise menu of vegetarian dishes, two takes on eggs Benedict and their classic Shanghainese carbonara. There's also a choice of their Bird Buns, like a Bombay Club and the Mala Chicken Sloppy Joe. None of the dishes go over 100rmb. Expect to spend less than 150rmb.11.30am-3pm.
Brut Eatery, now a chain with several locations, doesn't do a special brunch menu exactly, but they are immensely popular on weekend afternoons and they have an all-day brunch option. For 68rmb, the Brut Brunch comes with two eggs, two pieces of bacon AND two pieces of sausage, and buttered toast (with coffee-infused butter). Then there's a Cali brunch for 78rmb and steak and eggs for 82rmb. Expect to spend around 100rmb with a drink.All-day.
Another brunch perennial, helped along by their first floor garden area and the second floor terrace, and the 198rmb free-flow option (11am-2pm, 88rmb for an extra hour). This one is really popular and, if you're doing brunch in a group, will need a reservation. On the menu: classics like a New England Lobster Roll (188rmb), Roast Beef (158rmb) and Eggs Benedict (88rmb). Expect to spend about 175rmb.11am-3pm.
The Cannery just did a major overhaul on their brunch menu. Warning: this place gets C-R-A-Z-Y at brunch. Like, dancing on the edge of cliffs crazy. Why? It's built for brunch, with the low loungers and big glass doors that open when it's not too hot outside. Also, it's three dishes for 198rmb and there are a ton of choices. Expect to spend 175-200rmb.11am-3.30pm (last order for brunch though the lounge doesn't close).
Long-running modern tapas joint, and international chef Jason Atherton's only restaurant in Shanghai that's not in a hotel. Brunch here is especially great if you can grab one of the seats in the inner courtyard. The "Social Brunch" menu lists 14 dishes to choose from, at 198rmb for three, and then nine classic tapas dishes a la carte. Like Seared scallops, quail egg, Russian salad, bacon crumble and roots puree. That's one dish. There are 13 more. Expect to spend about 275rmb. No reservations for brunch, seats are first come, first served. 11.30am-2.30pm.
Liquid Laundry was once a brunch monster, back in the good old days of 2014 and 2015, when it seemed like people camped out there overnight to get a table. It's quieted down since then but still a popular weekend filling station for American-ish food and craft beer.
They have just re-done the brunch menu. A few samples, old and new: Cast Iron Cinnabuns with bourbon cream cheese glaze (58rmb); Huevos Rancheros pizza with three eggs and chipotle salsa (108rmb); and the Grand Ole Opry Benedict, with Nashville-style hot chicken, ham hock, buttermilk biscuits, gravy and Hollandaise (118rmb). Healthy, delicious stuff! For another 100rmb, there's free-flow on selected house beers, house wines, a weekly brunch cocktail, juice and sodas for two hours. Expect to spend about 150rmb without the free-flow.Friday to Sunday, 11am-3pm.
Classic French dishes with little twists here and there, from Shanghai's big-name chef: Paul Pairet. The brunch menu has a number of classic egg dishes (90rmb and up), as well as a few other dishes like clams with garlic and parsley, and larger cuts of lamb and beef to share (480rmb and up). Expect to spend about 300-350rmb.11.30am-2.30pm.
Pistolera's brunch is called Viva Weekend. It's Mexi-brunch! Choices are Pistolera filled omelet (78rmb), a breakfast burrito (78rmb), Arrachera steak and eggs (108rmb) and things like that. Expect to spend about 150rmb.11am-3pm.
Polux is super-packed during brunch; reservations are pretty much essential. This little brother to Mr & Mrs Bund (a son?) doesn't do any special set menu for brunch, but has nearly 50 dishes on its dedicated brunch menu, from Coquillettes Ham & Cheese (80rmb) to a Minute Steak Frite (150rmb) to Real French Toast (90rmb, or 110rmb with a scoop of pannacotta ice). Expect to spend about 300rmb.11am-3pm.
Bund brunch on the outdoor terrace with a view to Pudong. Yep. Good formula. Food is classic and modern American, or a loose interpretation of that. For 288rmb, you can do a bread and pastry basket, one of their appetizers (which are 90rmb otherwise), a main course (150rmb otherwise) and a dessert (70rmb otherwise). If you're ordering a la carte, expect to spend about 300rmb per person.
Jing'an holds the much bigger version of the Xuhui taqueria from hot sauce producers BYFO and Logan's Punch. You're likely to find Sichuan twice-cooked pork or mapo tofu and brisket inside a hard shell taco that is inside a soft shell taco, possibly made of cheese. For brunch, they have a limited menu of special tacos, two for 40rmb, and then a 150rmb free-flow that includes beer, Mexican mules, and frozen margaritas. Expect to spend about 250rmb to get full and very very drunk.Noon to 3pm, Sundays only.
Tomatito's sexy strategy is to provide fancy-looking Spanish food at affordable prices. To wit, brunch here is four dishes and dessert for 168rmb, and then a free-flow house wine or cava option for another 148rmb. We counted 35 food options on the brunch menu, and that's without the oysters or jamon. Como se dice high-value? Expect to spend about 200rmb if you're not on the free-flow train.
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