Bowl’d Over

It's both healthy and delicious: City Lights co-editor Rae Dehal reviews one of Shanghai's best up-and-coming cafes.

On Anfu Lu you can barely take a step without tripping over hipsters crowded around the newest craft beer spot, sipping deconstructed coffee or raving about artisanal cookies.

I’m completely one of those people.

The sheer number of things to see and taste packed onto Anfu Lu is staggering, which is why it would be so easy to miss one of Shanghai’s newest culinary offerings, Bowl’d. Located in a tiny alleyway on 255 Anfu Lu, Bowl’d is fast becoming quite popular amongst expats and Chinese alike, and one of my favorite spots in the city.

Catering to the burgeoning health conscious and vegan movements in Shanghai, not unlike those which sprung up across America a few years back, Bowl’d offers a selection of açaí bowls topped with various fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and an array of other delicious toppings. Smoothies, juices and salads are also on offer, but the bowls are undoubtedly the biggest draw and definitely worth the trip.

The Go Nuts bowl is my favorite: it’s a blend of acai, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and almond milk, topped with sliced banana, blueberries, granola and coconut shavings. It’s an excellent healthy cheat meal choice (it tastes like ice cream) while bowls like The Hulk, which includes avocado and spinach and is packed with protein, make for a great post workout meal.

The bowls are all customizable as are the juices and smoothies, so if you don’t like any of the options, feel free to ask for substitutions or additions from the array of selections and create your own personalized dish. Sizes run pretty big (a small bowl is probably your best bet unless you plan on sharing) and prices run from 36-70 rmb depending on what you put into your bowl.

The café itself is small, minimalist and cozy. There’s good music playing and the staff is super friendly. When it’s not too busy, it’s a nice place to bring your laptop and get some work done out on the cute outdoor patio. One of the neighbor’s dogs is often there napping—friendly dogs are always a bonus.

This article was written by Rae Dehal. Please send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Rae Dehal

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