Hanging Out with the Expat Crowd: Nanjing’s Popular Restaurants and Cafes

Hanging Out with the Expat Crowd: Nanjing’s Popular Restaurants and Cafes
By Kayley Johnson , eChinacities.com

Nanjing: an important historical city, with a modern twist. While not quite at the same level of Westernisation as its neighbouring cities, Shanghai and Suzhou, Nanjing has enough to offer food-wise. Whether you are looking for local Nanjing food, or high quality foreign food with a good brew, these are five venues worthy of your visit whether you are passing through or living in Nanjing.

Hanging Out with the Expat Crowd: Nanjing’s Popular Restaurants and Cafes
Source: dianping.com

1) Chinese: Nanjing Dapaidang (南京大牌当)

This local is known for its lively environment, and is generally always crowded. A lot of people come here for the environment as well as the food, as there are live classical Chinese music performances on weekends. The staff are attentive, and the food is great. You can either order from the staff that are walking around or go up to the counter to order, in which cause you’ll need to show your table number to the cooks.

Must try: duck blood soup, Nanjing’s most famous dish.

Gulou BranchView In Map
Add: Zhongqing Building 1, 96 Caochangmen Dajie, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8621 7777
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:30, daily
Getting There: the closest bus stop is Longjiang Bingguan stop (龙江宾馆站), served by bus 65.

Baixia BranchView In Map
Add: Deji Plaza Building 7, 18 Zhongshan Road, Baixia District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8472 2777
Opening Hours: 11:00-22:00, daily
Getting There: the closest subway stop is Xinjiekou Station (新街口站) on line 2 and line 1.

Xuanwu BranchView In Map
Add: 9 Zhongshanmen Dajie, Xuanwu District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 5233 5777
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00, daily
Getting There: the closest subway station is Maqun Station (马群站) on line 2.

Qinhuai BranchView In Map
Add: 48 Dashibajie, Qinhuai District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 6821 6777
Opening Hours: 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-22:00 Monday-Friday, 10:00-22:00 Saturday and Sunday
Getting There: although taking a taxi would be the best option (the subway lines here are still under construction), you can also take bus 1, 4, 30, 31, 40, 44, 49, 801, 802 or 804 to Fuzimiao Stop (夫子庙站).

2) Western: Skyways Bakery (云中食品店)

This popular expat location is known for its sandwiches, croissants, fresh bread and other baked goods. There is also a breakfast special: buy a hot drink between 9:00 and noon and get a free pastry. Around lunch time there are a lot of Nanjing University students around here, meaning it is the perfect place to make local friends or find a language exchange partner. Sandwiches start around 25 RMB and come with a soft drink or water.

Gulou BranchView In Map
Add: 160 Shanghailu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8331 7103
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00, daily
Getting There: take bus 13 or 552 to Shanghailu Stop (上海路站).

Jianye BranchView In Map
Add: 8 Hanzhongmen dajie, Jianye District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8337 8812
Opening Hours: 09:00-20:30, daily
Getting There: take bus , 29, 68, 78, 82, 109, 152, 312, 552 ot 805 to Hanzhongmen Dajiedong Stop (汉中门大街东站).

3) Western: Pisa Pizza (比萨意式西餐厅)View In Map

Pisa Pizza, also known as Gourmet Village, is well known across the expat community for their tasty pizzas. The crusts are thin and topped with imported meats, cheeses, and other ingredients. Their calzones are also very good and a must try. The perfect intimate setting for an evening with one or more friends, and the restaurant can also seat bigger groups, but you may have to call ahead to make a reservation.

Add: 81-2 Shanghailu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 158 0517 7575
Opening Hours: 11:30-22:30, daily
Getting There: take bus 13 or 552 to Shanghailu Stop (上海路站).

4) Western: Bellini’s (贝利泥意式餐厅)

Facing the challenge of being a high-end restaurant in a second-tier Chinese city, Bellini’s Italian owners are doing a great job. Their pizzas are large and delicious, and the restaurant has a very elegant vibe. There is the main restaurant downtown, and then the lounge in the student area, which is one of the only non-smoking venues around. Downstairs is also a coffee shop, and there is live music on the weekends.

LoungeView In Map
Add: 30 Hankoulu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025  8579 1577
Opening Hours: 11:30-14:00 and 17:30-21:45, daily
Getting There: although it is probably best to take a taxi, there is a bus stop about 10 minutes’ walk away, Ertong Yiyuanzhan (儿童医院站) which is served by bus 6, 48, 65, 91, 532 and 806.

RestaurantView In Map
Add: 14 Nanxiucun, Shanghailu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8663 8798
Opening Hours: 11:30-14:00 and 13:30-22:00, daily
Getting There: take bus 13 or 552 to Shanghailu Stop (上海路站).

5) Belgian: Brewsells (比利时精酿啤酒) View In Map

A great place to hang out any night of the week, Brewsells has a great selection of draft beers and snacks. It is a favourite for the older crowd in Nanjing, as the students tend to gravitate towards Ellen’s, which is right down the street. Brewsells has a foosball table, comfortable couches, outdoor as well as indoor seating, and is smoke-free inside.

Add: 77-1 Shanghailu, Gulou District, Nanjing
Tel: 025 5877 9429
Opening Hours: 17:00-01:00
Website: www.brewsells.com
Getting There: take bus 13 or 552 to Shanghailu Stop (上海路站).

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Keywords: Nanjing Restaurants and Cafes Nanjing Expat Hangouts Food and Drink


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This is no longer accurate. Brewsells, Bellinis, and Pisa Pizza haven’t existed in Nanjing for several years.

Dec 04, 2022 06:44 Report Abuse



Mar 14, 2022 00:10 Report Abuse



Nov 20, 2021 09:07 Report Abuse


From what I experience it is great and organise in my own view

Jan 12, 2021 03:16 Report Abuse


From what I saw of expats in Nanjing they were quite strange. They couldn't speak much Chinese and as someone whose fits trip to China was 20 years ago and had lived here for 10 years, I really don't want to be around people like that .

Apr 01, 2016 22:23 Report Abuse