Foreign food in Nanjing can be pretty hit or miss. Encounters with suspect cafes and eateries may leave those looking for some familiar food from home questioning just how adventurous they really feel. While the city has a plethora of bar-food style restaurants featuring hamburgers, pizza, chicken fingers and other eats, there are few restaurants in Nanjing that boast really good foreign food. Don’t be too despondent though, there is an eclectic mix of excellent eateries in Nanjing serving up foreign ranging from Turkish to French, Indian to Italian. These restaurants offer a bit of fresh air from the usual shui jiao and lamian.
Les 5 Sens 法国乐尚餐厅 View In Map
This French restaurant is off the beaten path from the expat-friendly Shanghai Lu along one of the alley lanes near Nanjing University. The restaurant has a quaint patio for those wanting to dine outside as well as comfortable sofas and dining tables for those wanting to enjoy the ambiance inside. Les 5 Sens always has a great variety of cheeses available and their wine list has one of the better selections in Nanjing, featuring wines from all over the world. With dishes ranging from tasty soups to adventurous appetizers (the restaurant’s goose liver is not to be missed), to succulent lamb and meat dishes, there is something that will appeal to any palate. It’s a perfect place to go for a nice evening out with a special someone or group of friends. Dinner for two (excluding wine) will run you just about 200 RMB. It’s a must-see if you’re in Nanjing and need a nice Western food experience.
Add: 52-1 Hankou Lu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8359 5859
Opening hours: 11:30-22:00 (closed Mon during lunch)
Himalaya Nepalese & Indian Restaurant喜马拉雅尼泊尔印度餐厅 View In Map
No matter what city you go to in China, it seems there is Indian food everywhere. While some may feel Indian food may taste all the same, Himalaya offers a little extra with their selection of both Indian and Nepalese cuisine. With tons of curries that are all worth trying and many different types of nan, Himalaya puts a twist on Indian cuisine and offers some extra Nepalese treats. The cheese balls, though they may not be Indian or Nepalese, and spicy veggies are excellent and will not disappoint. Even more enticing than spicy curries is the unique atmosphere the restaurant provides. Guests have the option of sitting at traditional tables or on comfy cushions for their meal. Either way, after three years, Himalaya has become somewhat of a Nanjing staple and we’re hopeful the restaurant will be around for at least the next three years.
Add: Shigu Wan Food and Entertainment Street, 192 Shigu Lu, Baixia District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8666 1828
Opening hours: 11:30-14:00, 17:30-22:00
Istanbul Café伊斯坦布尔咖啡 View In Map
There are some foods that you never really knew you missed being in China until you see them in front of you. For those who love Greek and Turkish-style food, Nanjing’s Istanbul Cafe should be on your list to try. Again on the heavily traveled Shanghai Lu, Istanbul Cafe offers a great variety of food. Even though the restaurant is relatively new to the city, their menu and kitchen makes this a stand-out restaurant in Nanjing. After an afternoon or evening at Istanbul Cafe, you’ll remember just how much you missed hummus and proper wraps. You may even find a new love in the Turkish style pizzas. After some great food and Turkish tea give the restaurant’s great hookah selection a try. An important note: they don’t serve alcohol, but they are OK with guests bringing their own. If you’re looking for a new favorite lunch spot or to get your fix for hummus and wraps in Nanjing, Istanbul Cafe is your place.
Add: 209 Shanghai Lu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8333 09030
Opening hours: 11:00-22:00
Ciao Italia 你好意大利餐厅 View In Map
Of the few restaurants in Nanjing that get Italian food right, Ciao Italia may be one of the best. The owner is from Italy and the restaurant has a menu full of delicious Italian fare. With bruschetta to start, proper Caesar salads, calzones, and pages of different kinds of pasta, those needing to satisfy their Italian cravings should head to Ciao Italia. Located just behind the Sheraton Kingsley and in the Sun Bay area, the restaurant is tucked away from the busy streets of Nanjing. The tables are always full and it’s a popular dinning place for foreigners and Chinese alike. While the service can be hit or miss, the decorum a bit off and the rivalry for the best Italian food in Nanjing can be a tough call, those looking for a hearty, filling Italian meal with undoubtedly find it at Ciao Italia.
Add: 193-2 Shigu Lu, Baixia District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8660 8807
Opening hours: 11:00-14:00 & 17:00-22:30 Mon-Thu; 11:00-14:00 & 17:00-24:00 Fri; 11:00-24:00 Sat-Sun
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