By Angela Ye
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: Lopa Cafe
Where: 83 Yongkang Lu (永康路83号）(near Fuxing Lu, between Taiyuan Lu and Jiashan Lu)
Atmosphere: Situated at the corner of a newly refitted Yongkang Lu, Lopa Cafe blends into the slew of cafes that have recently cropped up on the stretch between Taiyuan Lu and Jiashan Lu. Their Asian motif, with walls painted burgundy and gold (and some leftover Christmas decorations to boot), combined with the dim lighting gives Lopa a speakeasy vibe.
The service is great, as are the hours (9am to 11pm), and that seems to have drawn a healthy mix of foreigners and locals. If you’re there to read in the eveing, some tables are handily equipped with a personal light you can use to see your book in the dim lighting.
Music: Looks like they’re really into Christmas, because in addition to the decorations, their music was also laden with holiday cheer, played quietly enough so as not to disturb. Fingers crossed they change it up as the year progresses.
Food and Drink: Their menu offers an extensive range of coffees and teas, ranging from 20RMB to 35RMB for the typical cup. Their food mixes standard western cafe fair with more Asian offerings (sandwiches, cakes, and salads appear alongside rice and beef dishes, all under 45RMB.) In keeping with their long hours, they also serve cocktails and beer for 20-30RMB (a steal!). The Lopa Cafe Chocola was divine, well-blended and not too sweet. The food, on the other hand, looks to be entirely cooked on a hotplate, and tastes accordingly. Our sandwich was edible, but barely worth finishing.
Wifi: Strong, fast, and password protected. Two power strips, so there are four “best location” tables for those that are using computers with short power cords.
Overall: A lovely cafe in a great location – we’re not sure when exactly it happened, but Yongkang Lu has had a very charming face lift. Lopa Cafe provides a more peaceful option compared to the rest of the cafes, a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. But if you’re looking for lunch, you’d be better off with the fish ‘n’ chips shop down the street.