In Cafetique, Shanghaiist reviews coffee shops and cafes around Shanghai that provide the two things our writers need most in life: caffeine and wireless internet. How does your neighborhood hangout spot stack up?
What: The Warehouse Cafe
Where: 668 Huai An Lu near Xi Suzhou He Lu, 淮安路668号近西苏州河路(Located near Suzhou Creek in northern Jing’An)
Atmosphere: Occupying a corner spot in the Anken Green Loft space, this café has an airy, simple feel to it. High ceilings, black and white interior and large factory style windows provide plenty of space and light. There is even a small bamboo enclosed terrace where you can stretch your legs in the sun. Main clientele consists of designers housed in the building’s upper floors that quickly drop-in for their java re-fills. As a result, crowds are rare and makes for a great place to seek some peace and quiet away from the better-known offerings elsewhere in the city.
Music: There doesn’t seem to be a particularly favored genre here as we have heard everything from U2 to classical piano to Air. While they can’t make up their mind about the type of music, they have the volume set just right. Meaning, it’s not so distracting that you can’t think but not so silent that you feel you are lounging in the local morgue.
Food and Drink: The menu includes 4-5 options each of pizzas, pastas, salads, soups and sandwiches with nothing priced over 30RMB. There are also a variety of breakfast options. As for coffee, the bean of choice here is Lavazza. While it’s not Illy, at 10RMB an espresso (rather tall one at that) we are not complaining. Other coffee options (cappuccino, latte, mocha) cost less than 20RMB. Specialty and organic teas, frappes, and even bottled beer and wine are also offered for 15-30RMB.
Wifi: Strong, password protected connection was available throughout the café. Logging on was hassle free and we sat for hours at a time without interruption. With plenty of accessible outlets (even outside!) placed intelligently out of the way, you shouldn’t be tripping everywhere or fighting for a battery charge.
Overall: While not in the best of locations for most café junkies, it’s a gem of a place. Outstanding prices and food/drink quality plus the quiet and peaceful environment make it well worth an afternoon visit or as a reliable mainstay for cranking out some work. It also gets extra brownie points for being smoke-free and actually enforcing it.