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Shang Hai

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 9 reviews )
Contact 805-962-7833
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830 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 93103

Serves meat, vegan options available. Chinese restaurant in Santa Barbara. Has a separate and extensive vegetarian menu featuring tofu, veggies, and faux meat dishes.

Category: Ovo, Chinese, Beer/Wine, Take-out, Non-veg

Reviews (9)

First Review by irlandaise

Shang Hai - Edit

Shang Hai was hard to find, but worth the hunt. It's in a little shopping center off of Milpas, and Santa Barbara has limits on signs. When you get to where you expect it to be, turn in to the small parking lot and you'll find it. They have a good variety of 'soybean chicken', 'soybean beef', and tofu dishes - with a whole page of vegetarian options on their luncheon specials. Go to the back page of the menu to find their vegetarian luncheon options. Inside the back of the menu you'll find their vegetarian dinner items. Hoping to get a chance to go back to try one of their baked tofu dishes, but we had Sweet and Sour Soybean Chicken and their Soybean Beef with Broccoli. Both were very good. Their egg rolls don't have egg in them so are really spring rolls. Their soup option without egg was an onion soup that was really good. When we sat down, they brought us ice water with lemon and a pot of hot tea - that wasn't really hot, more like tepid. Our waitress had a limited command of the English language and struggled with understanding us. With only a short time in Santa Barbara, we will probably eat here again rather than trying another 'new' (to us) place.


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Yummy veganness! - Edit

They have a whole vegetarian menu (in green), which is the last half of the regular menu. From what I can tell, all of the vegetarian items are also vegan. The food is delicious! The staff are super friendly and extremely fast, and there is a cheap lunch special. It is one of my favorite vegan-friendly restaurants in Santa Barbara.

I love the Orange Chicken, but not the chop suey, which is boring.

Pros: Excellent food, Tons of vegan options, Fast and friendly service

Cons: Not open all day every day, A bit out of the way


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Delicious and simple. - Edit

Very good food without fuss or pretension. Excellent choice for a Chinese meal. Shang Hai serves delicious Chinese vegetarian/vegan food without any surprises and caters to vegans on their menu.

Great selection of different styles of food and meat alternatives on a separate vegetarian menu which tells the diner that dishes can be put together without egg. Really, most of the vegetarian menu is vegan. If you like Chinese food and are in Santa Barbara, Shang Hai is a great place to check out!

Pros: separate vegetarian menu, variety of choices, use of good, fresh ingredients

Cons: a "mixed" restaurant -- not totally veg, location off the beaten track


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Best Vegan Chinese Food in SB - Edit

We are locals and live right around the corner from Shang Hai and we go here all the time. My gf is Vegan and I am veg and they have a separate menu to accommodate us. Everything we have ever gotten has been excellent, and meat eaters like it too. Our favorites are the soybean orange chicken, soybean broccoli beef, veg fried rice and the tea! About $25 - $30 dollars for a great meal for 2 and it is alot.Very quiet atmosphere, very chinese. The hot tip here is that everything is cheaper in the middle of the day. Lunch menu is way cheaper than the dinner menu and it is the same thing! Groove on Shang Hai!

Pros: God Food, Vegan, Friendly

Cons: nothing


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Best veg selection of all non-veg places in SB - Edit

We've been enjoying Shanghai's extensive vegetarian menu since the early '90s, and quality has been consistently high.

Shanghai specializes in vegetarian renditions of classic Chinese dishes using various soy/wheat proteins instead of meat, but it also does a fine job with veggies (especially green beans) and there are plenty of options without faux flesh. There's an emphasis on fried foods, but steamed veggies are also available, as is brown rice.

My perennial favorites are the "vegetarian pu=pu tray" (a selection of appetizers), the "sesame soybean chicken," and the "vegetarian kung pao two kinds of meat."

The atmosphere is casual and the service good, though it can be a bit busy during peak hours.

The lunch specials are particularly good value at $5.50-$7.50.

Pros: Great vegan selection, Friendly vegetarian owner, Affordable lunch specials

Cons: Serves meat


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yummy chinese! - Edit

This place has great food, and a very large separate vegetarian menu. Really enjoyed being able to get the dinner special with a veg entree, appetizers, and soup. Service was very friendly also. Have to pay attention to hours because they're closed certain days and times.


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Deliquitous!!! - Edit

Just had dinner there for the first time tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I'm vegetarian and my fiance is a creature eater. This restaurant made the best Vegetarian Kung Pao with two kinds of Meat (beef & chicken)! Wow!!! I ate the whole platter. We also had the Vegetarian Pu Pu Tray. That was yummy too. It includes eggrolls, fried wonton, fried tofu, fried chicken, and fried mushrooms. So, so good. My fiance had the real chicken and cashew. He said it was flavored quite nicely and perfectly portioned. Overall, this place was Awesome!!! So if your a creature eater (boo) or Loving Vegetarian (Yay) this place is a must try.

Pros: Friendly Staff, Great Food, Quick Service


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Local favorite! - Edit

This is one of those word-of-mouth local secrets that you would probably never find on your own. The owner is really friendly (a vegetarian herself) and always comes over to say hi to regulars. The veg menu is separate from the regular menu (printed all in green) and has a good variety / selection of traditional chinese dishes done with faux meats and tofu. Highly recommend the hot & sour soup and orange flavor soybean chicken!

Pros: Good variety, Separate veg menu, Friendly atmosphere

Cons: Funky part of town, Not all veg


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