If you’re at all familiar with Shanghai’s great food scene, prepare to be disappointed. Despite being one of the world’s most-traveled-through airports, Shanghai Pudong International Airport is woefully sparse of good restaurants or bars to kill time while waiting for a flight. The lack of options has inspired locals and tourists alike to claim they don’t eat at the airport except when “in [a] starving situation,” and that the “best bet is Burger King or Subway.” Though after a long, grueling flight if you’re coming from the States, the Starbucks can be a welcome sight.
If you don’t want American fast food, these are your best options for both terminals. You’ll be eating before going through security here, so make sure to give yourself enough time (all of the options are on the quicker side, though). Other than the below, you’re generally stuck with quick tea and coffee shops.
Tai Hing: A fast sit down restaurant that focuses on Cantonese dishes. There are soup, noodle, and rice dishes, along with pork, duck, and shrimp. Don’t expect anything fancy (food comes on a plastic tray), but it will fill you up.
Tsui Wah: Clean and easy Hong Kong-style fast food. Wonton noodles, fish balls, and other Cantonese classics fill the menu, and those not hungry can stick with some green tea.
Chez Choux: While admittedly not a restaurant, Chez Choux is a fine stop for a wide variety of choux pastries. Choux is a fluffy pastry that uses steam to puff up rather than yeast or baking soda.
Sunrise Restaurant: A mix of Western and Chinese food. You can choose noodle soups or dumplings or burger and fries. If you’re really feeling out there, there’s pizza.
Yu Ren Wan: One of the only halal restaurants, offering noodle dishes, tea, and juices.
Tian Xia Dumplings: Maybe you’re sick of dumplings, but Terminal 2 is a land primarily populated by Hope Star Coffee Shops and Western fast food, so there’s not much else.
Grappa’s Cellar: An Italian-themed restaurant bar with bright red Mediterranean colors and Italian coffee, European beer, and simple cocktails.
Ajisen Ramen: An always trustworthy chain of Japanese noodle shops that has locations around the world.
Yonghe King: The outpost of a large chain with restaurants throughout Taiwan and mainland China. Breakfast options include youtiao (kind of like a Chinese doughnut) and rice and noodle dishes with pork, chicken, and beef.