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[On The Radar]: Al's Baking Co., Lost Bakery, Bread Etc..

Emergency bakery edition. Three new bakeries have arisen like some sort of yeasty product along Xiangyang Lu-ish.
Last updated: 2016-09-13
On the Radar is a SmartShanghai column profiling new restaurants, bars, and other new places we find interesting. Sometimes we stumble upon these places, and sometimes we are invited, but in both cases, we are never paid to write an opinion, rather, these are our honest first impressions, and not a formal review.
On The Radar is a weekly SmartShanghai column where we profile 2-3 new venues that you might like to know about. Here are the facts and our first impressions.

1. Lost Bakery


Quick Take: A spacious French bakery from the team behind Lost Heaven Silk Road and More Than Eat right next door.

What is it: Modern and clean looking, Lost Bakery offers an assortment of pastries, deserts, and bread at affordable prices. Raspberry tarts, croissants, and rolls are all under 20rmb. Desert items such as eclairs and slices of cake are around 40rmb. They also sell baguettes and flavored breads made with fig, walnut, and olives. Drinks include smoothies, juices, coffee, and tea. An Americano is 25rmb.

First Impressions: The quiet ambiance and nice selection of drinks and pastries makes a good fit for an afternoon with a laptop or a book.

-XZ Palmer


2. Al's Baking Co.


Quick Take: Al's Diner expands a few blocks away with a bakery selling sweets and a second restaurant upstairs.

What is it: Sugar is the keyword here. Al's Baking Co. sells cakes, cookies, pies, donuts, scones, muffins, cupcakes, and Gracie's ice cream. Smaller items are under 20rmb. Slices of cake are around 50rmb. They also have something called a coffee maple bacon pecan donut that sell out fast, available on weekends. For coffee, they have Americanos and Lattes. In October, a second Al's Diner opens upstairs with an original menu.

First Impressions: Small, but a good spot to fulfill all your sweet tooth desires.

-XZ Palmer


3. Bread Etc.


Quick Take: The latest front in the Yongkang Lu area's losing battle with gentrification -- Bread Etc. is a 400+ square meter French bakery and cafe.

What is it: A mod-ish French Bakery opened just yesterday at 500 Xiangyang Lu. They start with freshly baked bread served in bountiful piles in baskets right when you walk in the door. From there, they unfold into cafe, cocktails, pizza, and more. An ambitious project, in addition to a massive on-site kitchen and bakery, they've got a big, open concept dining area plus patio setting. The bakery does loafs, buns, croissants, and pastries, and from there their offerings delve into a range of dine-in options: salads (70rmb-100rmb or so), pizzas (65rmb-95rmb), hot & cold sandwiches (around 30rmb for half; 55rmb for a whole), brunch egg dishes (75rmb-95rmb), including bourikas and Shakshouka (around 75-100rmb), a range of coffees (20rmb-30rmb), juices, and cocktails.

First Impressions: Bright, open, airy, simple, clean, neat, unpretentious. Could see it working really nicely as brunch spot. Things I like: 1) It's in a classic Shanghainese neighborhood with kids and families running around in a bustling street. That's great for Saturday afternoon strolls. 2) The price points don't feel too outrageous. 3) Menu options are super simple and super straightforward.

-Morgan Short