The Best Glam Bars in Shanghai

Five Star, Nightlife — By Lauren Johnson on April 19, 2010 at 9:00 am

Glamour Bar is literally the only place you need to see and be seen in Shanghai to feel you’ve ‘arrived.’ It is the snazziest joint in the city, and attracts some of the country’s wealthiest, most famous, and most attractive of residents. The drinks are expensive, but served by fashionably dressed and appropriately snoody waitresses. The decor is mouth watering, and the venue is often used to host runway fashion shows and other upscale events. You might not make it into the building if you are not dressed to impress, and the hefty cover charge keeps out all the ‘undesierables’, aka– folks like me!

Any night on the town in Shanghai begins or ends with Bar Rouge. Every expat in the city has become familiar with the bar’s decor, drink specials and happening atmosphere. Quite literally, a night on the town in Shanghai means a night at bar Rouge. You’ll find everything from English teachers to business executives at the bar, and with a nice mix of dancing and chatting, this place offers a little something for every palate.

It is a rare thing to step off an elevator and immediately feel like your wallet has expanded. At Laris, they make everyone feel wealthy and special. On Thursdays (martini drink specials!) the bar is packed from wall to wall, and the hallways and dining areas are standing room only. The reason most women (you caught me!) love Laris is because they have a chocolate room! A whole room of chocolate– I honestly cannot think of anything more perfect then that! Did I mention the amazing music, the world-renown chef, the astonish decor, the perfectly mixed drinks, the view of the Bund?– not nearly as important as the chocolate room!

Cotton Club is a new take on an old idea. While many drinking establishments have tried to move some of the party outside, the Cotton Club is all about the outdoors. With lights strung above wooden tables set inside a fairytale-like hedge garden, this place is one of the hottest and most romantic glam bars in Shanghai. The drinks are stiff and the candle-lit tables make it the perfect place for one last drink before calling it a night, or a great, quieter place to get things started early on.

O’Malleys can be many things to many people. While during daytime hours the place is full of screaming kids and birthday parties, at night the bar’s Irish shipwreck interior is romantic, glamorous and inviting. The drinks are mixed well, but knowledgeable tenders, and the decor transports you back to a simpler time. The pool table and upper deck area are especially nice, and you’ll find many cozy, snug corners to cuddle your loved one in, unobserved. Meanwhile, literally everything to do at night in Shanghai is located nearby, from KTV, to fine dining, to a barrage of other bars within walking distance.

Tags: Bar Rouge, bars, Cotton Club, Glamour Bar, Laris, O'Malleys, pubs, Shanghai nightlife