Friday, September 5, 2014

Not Your Ordinary Cup of Joe

One of the perks (pun intended) of living in Shanghai is there are an abundance of coffee shops.  In my new hood, it seems like there are Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Pacific Coffee, and McDonalds around every corner.  While they don’t serve the Pumpkin Spice Lattes, they do serve many coffee beverages that I can find at home. 

If you are in need of a quick caffeine fix, check out your local Starbucks.  I know Delivery Hero delivers Starbucks, however the wait time is usually pretty lengthy and the website is in Mandarin.

Most Starbucks sell many of the same beverages found in the US, however they frequently add seasonal drinks that appease local palates. 
While my tall, caramel Frappuccino takes care of my caffeine needs; sometimes it’s fun to branch out to see the good, the bad, and the absurdly themed coffee shops.  If you prefer a little adventure with your caffeine, check out some of these joints.

The Old Film Café
I am a sucker for a good movie, so when I heard of the Old Film Café in Hongkou, I had to check it out.   The café wasn’t quite what I expected.

When we reached the statue of Charlie Chaplin, we knew we were at the right place.

We also had a good time looking at old movie props.
Many of the cafe descriptions said the owners play old movies on TVs around the cafe.  While we sipped, a very garbled version of the original Pride and Prejudice was on our TV.
The Gone With the Wind like seating was quite comfy.
The menu contained all sorts of amusing drinks.  
I enjoyed my creamsicle like "a phrase used for praising a pretty girl".   
My friend's green tea smoothie was more like a green tea snowcone.  It was pretty yummy.
 When dining here, be sure to check out all of the silver screen snapshots on the walls.

221B Baker Street
This summer I became hooked on the BBC Series Sherlock.  On Rujin Er Lu near Fuxing Zhong Lu, there is a coffee shop for everyone who has become Sherlocked.  My friends and I had a great time checking out everything Sherlock Holmes over a pot of tea.

This gift shop/ coffee shop is perfect for Sherlock addicts. 
The interior of the coffee shop is a replica of Holme's flat on 221B Baker Street.  It was fun to point out artifacts from the show.
The rooms had props and pictures from many different Sherlock Holmes movies and TV programs.
After ordering, our number came attached to a Holmes like top hat.
My friend's latte came with the 221B logo.
Sherlock's violin sits in the corner of the cafe.
Vampire Coffee
I wanted to indulge my darker side, so I visited Vampire Coffee.  Instead of being spooked, I ended up laughing at the bizarre assortment of food and beverages in this tiny, dark watering hole.

Vampire Coffee was more silly than scary. 
We had a great time eating the gothic themed treats like these shortbread and almond witches fingers that were garnished with ketchup.
The gingerbread bat cookies were pretty tasty.
The chocolate coffin cake was the highlight of our snack. 
My blood bag beverage tasted remarkably like a cherry Capri Sun.  I never thought I would've enjoyed drinking from a blood bag. 
In case you wanted to know a little more about Vampires, the blood bag gave a great explanation.
Central Perk
If you are a fan of the 90’s TV sitcom Friends, it is crucial to check out Central Perk.  Chris and I had a great time reliving our college days while watching Ross and Rachel debate if they were really on a break.  Check out this post from last May for more details.

The next time you are looking for a good cup of coffee, I highly suggest branching out to one of these themed cafes!  There’s nothing like a good beverage in a great environment!

For directions to the cafes, click on the links below: