any restaurants aim to hit the high notes of good food, casual environment, and affordable prices, but most fall flat. That’s not the case at Vapiano, the Italian restaurant near Lujiazui that sings these three keys effortlessly.
Named after an Italian proverb of: “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano,” which means, “If you have an easy-going and relaxed approach to life, you’ll live more healthily and longer,” Vapiano started in 2002 as one restaurant in Germany and has since grown to over 220 branches in 30 countries. Their Shanghai location opened in 2015 but has gone through some changes since then.
For a chain restaurant, many of the ingredients are prepared in house. Their pastas and pizza doughs are made daily from semolina wheat, and their sauces and dressings are done from scratch. That’s why the raspberry sauce in the roasted pumpkin and chicken salad tastes like real fruit, and the pesto is nutty and fragrant, which you can enjoy while sitting at one of their cozy oak tables.
To help you navigate the wealth of options, here’s a look at five dishes from Vapiano from appetizer to dessert, which you can try by scanning the QR code below to make a reservation.
Roasted pumpkin and chicken salad (¥68)
Roasted pumpkin and juicy grilled chicken are tossed with a medley of vegetables including cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, chickpeas, and radishes. They sit on a bed of mixed leaf lettuce and then drizzled with homemade raspberry dressing for a salad that’s crunchy, hearty, zesty, and refreshing.
Beef tenderloin with sauteed kale and quinoa (¥138)
Char-grilled beef tenderloin is cooked to medium and served with quinoa, roasted baby tomatoes, and lightly cooked kale. The beef is juicy and tender with a satisfying char, and the kale is mightily crunchy. The nuttiness of quinoa and the deep, savory tomatoes bring all the flavors together for a dish that’s one of the most popular items on the menu.
Beef and pork meet in a ragu with carrots and cherry tomatoes, which is added to homemade pasta and flaked with shredded parmesan. The sauce is meaty and flavorful while the pasta is springy yet still firm. Most of all it’s comforting, like how this classic dish should be.
Prosciutto e funghi pizza (¥72)
A homemade pizza base is slathered with tomato sauce and topped with Italian cured ham, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Each bite is salty, earthy, and creamy, which is why it’s a crowd favorite.
Death by chocolate (¥38)
The traditional tiramisu is typically the dessert of choice at Italian restaurants and Vapiano has one on offer, but this rich chocolate cake is much more alluring. It’s dense enough to require some effort to cut through it, and is rich and creamy with a hint of bitterness at the end. A sumptuous way to finish off your meal.
Monday to Thursday, and Sunday: 11am to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am to midnight
24 Fucheng Road
Nearest metro station: Lujiazui