Top 6 Bathrooms in Shanghai

By Jorge Castellanos

George Costanza has long been hailed a hero of those in search of a comfy dump. The pioneer of bathroom etiquette, his unabashed views on the necessity for an unspoiled unloading helped shape a nation and more importantly, a young me.

It all started when I learned the art of The Bathroom Costanza.

Bathroom Costanza: [bahth-roo m ke stahn za] noun – the practice of de-shirting before occupying a toilet seat, and remaining shirtless throughout the duration of one’s time on said seat. Per George Costanza, this enables one to feel free and unhindered while completing the task at hand.

Unencumbered by the perils of a clothed torso I was free to enjoy a marvelous movement. Whether at work, school or Billy Holmes’ grandma’s house, The Bathroom Costanza turned my routine trip to the bathroom in to a luxurious day at the spa.  

For years I enjoyed my trips to the washroom in such a way that would have made George proud. I’ll be honest I became somewhat of a bathroom snob when living in the USA. I knew all the best bathrooms in a 25 km radius and I wasn’t willing to compromise…that is until I moved to Shanghai.

A commode connoisseur such as myself moving to Shanghai is akin to a Parisian wine sommelier working for The Camel. It’s possible but one must adjust.

Now that I enter my 5th year in Shanghai I want to share with you what I’ve learned so that the next time you are out and about and need a relaxing place to Bathroom Costanza you’ll be doing it in the lap of luxury. Here are the top six bathrooms in Shanghai.

(Disclaimer: “Hey why didn’t you take any pics of the bathrooms?” Why? Because I’m not ready to be labeled as “that guy” that takes pictures of men’s bathrooms.

Number 6: Mr. Willis
3/F, 195 Anfu Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu

This gem of a loo came to me out of necessity. Years ago I lived in front of Mr. Willis and never went in. One fateful holiday weekend, my bathroom was broken and there was no one around to help me fix it. For a solid 4 days I used this bathroom every day to bust a grumpy. I feel a little guilty that I have yet to eat in this fine establishment but I can say for certain that the bathrooms are out of this world. Dark, cozy and inviting, this bathroom has it all. A tip of the cap to the designer that used beautiful tile to create a really tranquil environment as well as fully enclosed stalls that creates a perfect Bathroom Costanza environment. Best part, you don’t need to even go in to the restaurant to use the bathroom because it is a shared space between a couple of restaurants.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


Number 5: 10 Corso Como
Wheelock Square, North Annex, 1717 Nanjing Xi Lu,near Huashan Lu

After a cathartic excursion through Jing’an Temple, treat your derriere to the nearby 10 Corso Como. A high concept fashion store/café/Italian restaurant with chains around the world from Seoul to Tokyo the designers here knew exactly what they were doing. After releasing the Kraken, 10 Corso Como is your one stop shop for when you absolutely need fancy clothes, a nice book, a good cup of coffee and Italian food at the same time. Treat yourself to their amazing Japanese style toilets and after you drop a few kilos off, go see their in-house tailor to get some new clothes made. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


Number 4: IFC Mall
8 Century Ave, Pudong

Let’s be honest here all fancy malls in Shanghai are going to provide a wonderful place to churn the butter. IFC Mall is no different. I don’t often make my way to Lujiazui sans the occasional trips to the Pearl Tower when friends and family come to visit. However, when I do I always make it a point to stop in to the IFC mall to deploy the U-boat. Staff is always on hand making sure the bathrooms are spotless and the nice mood music helps to keep things flowing.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


Number 3: IAPM Mall
999 Huaihai Zhong Lu near Shanxi Nan Lu

Sticking with malls, one would be remised to not mention a relative newcomer in the mall bathroom scene. I remember when I was but a wee lad, new to Shanghai. The land where IAPM stands now lay waiting. Naively, I said to myself, “surely, these bathrooms can’t compete with IFC” and goodness…was I wrong. I dare you to find me a nicer bathroom in that general vicinity. I DARE YOU.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


Number 2: People 7
805 Julu Lu near Fumin Lu

Warning: this bathroom is not suitable for emergency situations. For those of you that know People 7, it is famous for their lack of signage outside and the ominous wall of lights that serve as a puzzle code at the front door. Getting in to this establishment is part of the fun but not if you’re paying off a loan to Brown Bank. Once inside, this swanky bar does not disappoint. Despite the superstylish motif, it’s reasonably priced. Make sure to not drink too much because the puzzles continue when needing to drop the kids off at the pool. Trying to find the bathroom here can be harder than finding a shred of intelligence in a Donald Trump rally. Once inside, whip that shirt off and enjoy your well earned rest.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


Number 1: Shanghai World Financial Center
100 Shiji Da Dao near Lujiazui Huan Lu

Rarely does an engineering marvel such as the SWFC get demoted to “great place to poop” but guys…this is the best bathroom in Shanghai, quite possible the entire civilized world. It at least, is the most expensive firing of the poop cannon you’ll ever have. A trip up to the 100th floor is all for naught without a stopover in Downtown Brown Town with their beautifully designed Japanese toilets and views across all of Shanghai. There’s an old Chinese saying, “you’re not a real man until you climb the Great Wall,” I say, you’re not a real man until you have dropped the kids off at the pool 500 meters in the sky. It’s the way God truly intended.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Toilet Paper Rolls


*Sincerest apologies to the staff of the now closed More Than a Toilet. If you didn't want me to laying a gentleman's egg in the restaurant you shouldn't have made all of the seats toilets. 



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