Having grown up in a Chinese-American household in which most of my dinners included a bowl of rice and all of my meals were eaten with chopsticks, Chinese food has always been so ingrained in my everyday life that I never imagined getting tired of it. But after living in Shanghai for a couple of years, the impossible happened to me: I got sick of Chinese food. 

Lucky for me, Shanghai's food scene is extremely diverse due to the large number of foreigners who come to the city and open up their own restaurants. Here's a list of 15 places to eat in Shanghai if you're craving some non-Chinese food in China!

1. Alma

fried egg, asparagus, egg
Joanna Hu

Looking to get your money's worth in food? For just under $30, you can order four specialty tapas at this brilliant new Michelin Guide-rated restaurant. Trained in San Sebastián, Spain, head chef Sergio Moreno truly outdoes himself with the Mushroom Pâté and Vegetable Egg Skillet.

2. Black Pepper

cheese, pizza
Joanna Hu

Located in a slightly hard-to-find square of popular foreign restaurants near Wu Jiang Lu, this Turkish restaurant has some of the best lahmacun in town. Also be sure to try the zucchini pancakes – they taste better than they look.

3. Bowl'd

strawberry, chocolate, berry, dairy, frozen yogurt, sweet, yogurt, milk, cream
Joanna Hu

A summer favorite, Bowl'd is my go-to place for basic açaí bowl photos. Although the small store doesn't have many options, I suggest getting the Fancy Berry smoothie bowl and adding extra fruit and toppings the next time you visit to switch things up.

4. CinnaSwirl

cake, cinnamon, chocolate, pastry, sweet
Joanna Hu

If you've got a sweet tooth like me, CinnaSwirl has got you covered. This place has some of the softest, sweetest cinnamon rolls I've ever had. But if you're in the mood for something else, they've also got two flavors of ice cream: Vanilla and CinnaSwirl.

5. Co. Cheese Melt Bar

cheese, bacon, sandwich
Joanna Hu

Conveniently located right next door to CinnaSwirl, Co. Cheese Melt Bar is a hungover expat's paradise. Open every day from 11:30am - 10pm, this cozy little bar offers a large variety of greasy, extra cheesy grilled cheese sandwiches. My personal favorite is the Ham, Mustard, Homemade pickles, and Swiss cheese sandwich, but if you're looking for the best comfort food, I'd go with the Kraft Mac & Cheese, Cheddar sandwich. 

6. Garlic Turkish Restaurant

Joanna Hu

A little bit more on the expensive side, Garlic Turkish Restaurant offers a fairly large selection of authentic Turkish foods. While I'm not usually a fan of lamb, their Pilavli Kuzu Kaburga is incredibly savory and well-cooked. But the real star here is the pide. No matter which kind you order, their Turkish pizza is sure to leave you satisfied.

7. Gracie's Ice Cream (Al's Diner)

chocolate, sweet, ice cream, coffee, dairy product, milk, ice, cream
Joanna Hu

Whenever I'm craving some good old American sweets, Gracie's Ice Cream is the first place I look. The Beekeeper's Secret is a unique blend of flavors – white chocolate, ginger, and honey – that's just the right amount of sweetness. But this diner is best known for its Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes, which are the fluffiest, most fragrant pancakes I've eaten since I moved away from Princeton's famous PJ's Pancake House

8. La Bota

Joanna Hu

Located on Da Gu Lu and surrounded by foreign bars, this Spanish tapas restaurant is the perfect spot to chill, eat, and grab drinks with some friends. #SpoonTip: Come with a group so you can try as many pintxos as possible, and don't forget to try the smoked salmon one!

9. Light & Salt at Rockbund

chicken, broccoli
Joanna Hu

Given its location on the Bund, Light & Salt is both fancier and pricier than the others on this list. It's a great place for afternoon tea or a classy birthday dinner, and the view is not bad either. While you're there, try the scallops or the steak.

10. Little Catch

onion, tomato, meat, vegetable, pepper
Joanna Hu

One of my all time favorites, Little Catch is a cute little poke bowl shop that uses the freshest ingredients Shanghai has to offer. My go-to order is the Dynamite Tuna Poke but the classic Hawaiian and Salmon Poke bowls are must-tries as well.

11. Lotus Land Indian Foods

rice, chicken, burrito
Joanna Hu

Every time I visit Tian Zi Fang, I try not to stuff myself with too much street food so I have enough room in my stomach for Lotus Lands. Butter chicken, Chicken Masala, and Cheese Naan. 'Nuff said.

12. Mi Thai

curry, soup
Joanna Hu

One of many Thai restaurants in Shanghai, Mi Thai earns its spot on the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2017 for its authentic take on all of the classics – from Pad Thai to Lemongrass and Chicken Green Curry to Mango Sticky Rice for dessert.

13. Nepali Kitchen

shrimp, vegetable, meat, chicken
Joanna Hu

There are few Nepalese restaurants in Shanghai, but I suppose that's a good thing because it'd be hard to compete with Nepali Kitchen. The Chicken Tika Masala and Naan are excellent, but the dish that always has me coming back is the cheese balls.

14. Pasha Turkish Restaurant

onion, steak, chicken, pepper, pork, lamb, beef, meat, shish kebab, barbecue, kebab
Joanna Hu

With dim lighting and a cozy vibe, Pasha Turkish Restaurant is the perfect spot for a dinner date if you're both craving Mediterranean food. While this restaurant serves first-rate lahmacun and pide as well, its colorful meat and vegetable platter is what sets it apart.

15. Viva!

shrimp, bacon
Joanna Hu

The only Portuguese restaurant I've ever been to in Shanghai, Viva! serves the best Piri Piri Chicken I could have ever asked for. But if you ask a seafood lover like me, the prawns taste even better!

While there will always be a special place in my heart for food from my mother country, it's nice to explore foods from other cultures every now and then. After all, who doesn't love food adventures?