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La Bella :: Shanghai, China

A relative newcomer to the French Concession (127 Yongfu near Fuxing Xi Lu), La Bella is a small bar and restaurant that’s made fashionable subdued waves. This small western style eatery is known well in the neighborhood for its morning meal offerings and good coffee; however, it’s gaining popularity for its nighttime escapades. Although La Bella is becoming popular on the bar scene, it is not for those who frequent the club circuit. La Bella gained its popularity due to its understated, relaxed atmosphere.

From the street, La Bella takes only a small section of storefront. To get to the main bar area, patrons go up to the second floor where they’re greeted with a long bar with a small performance area up front and a balcony large enough for a few intimate groups of friend to catch up without fear of eavesdropping . The mood of the bar is always a muted energy, which matches the weekly “gypsy jazz nights�? and the dim-lighting.

La Bella’s strength, beyond the eclectic collection of foreigners who frequent it, are its stiff drinks and English speaking courteous staff. Give the Sangria a try – most tables of people eating dinner with have the telltale pitcher. Although the pitchers have a bit more fruit then they should, they’re worth a try.

La Bella is slowly making it’s way into an oversaturated market, but it’s current main draw it the slow relaxed place inside its walls. La Bella is a place to enjoy a break from the Shanghai scene.

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