It’s the weekend (or a random Tuesday night) and you’re ready to see what Nanjing’s nightlife has to offer. While it may never rival nearby Shanghai’s, there is enough variety in this city to keep your interest piqued. Whether you’re looking to enjoy an ice cold import at a local dive bar, mix with some locals while checking out one of Nanjing’s newest bands, or show off dance skills you never knew you had, you can certainly find what you’re looking for in Nanjing.
Best for Live Music in Nanjing
Bar 77 极地77View In Map
Add: 129 Hanzhong Lu, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8470 2006
Nanjing may not be known for its live music, but Bar 77, or Jidi 77, is a must for anyone looking for a good taste of the local live music scene. Close to Hanzhong Lu, this two-storey bar offer patrons great deals on beer and liquour, and all the popcorn and sunflower seeds they can eat; all while listening to some of the best live music Nanjing has to offer. Maybe it was the spot-on rendition 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Up? or the guitarists rocking out to Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall that had me sold, but this place is hard to beat.
Best Dive Bar in Nanjing
Talking Restaurant & Bar 对话西餐酒吧View In Map
Add: 9-101 Ninghai Lu, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8320 0844
When you just want to hear some familiar music and enjoy a relaxed evening with a few friends, Talking Bar should be the first on your list. Located on Ninghai Lu, across from Nanjing Normal University, Talking’s food and drink menu will appeal to the couple out for dessert and drinks, or just a group of friends looking for a good night out. While it is a bit narrow, and table space is somewhat limited, the ice cold Duvell for 25 RMB (a rare find in Nanjing) was perfectly paired with the bar’s casual, yet intimate, atmosphere. And the fact they let us play our own iPod mix set the mood for a successful night at a new favourite watering hole.
Best Sports Bar in Nanjing
Jimmy’s 吉米来吧View In Map
Add: 158 Hanzhong Lu, Nanjing
Tel; 025 8679 2599
In need of a little comfort food? Tired of refreshing your computer for score updates of the big game? Then Jimmy’s is the place for you. Recently relocated, this is one place where students and professionals alike can come to get a good dose of home. This sports bar has a great selection of bar food, as well as cold beers on draft, making it the prime location to come check out the latest sporting events. There’s even a Slingbox set up to view American TV, so you can check out the latest highlights on Sports Center or even put in a special request to air your favorite sports team’s big game.
Best for outdoor drinking in Nanjing
Secco Bar Restaurant Lou, photo: dianping.com
Secco Bar Restaurant Loun 喜客酒吧西餐厅View In Map
Add: No. 3 Kunlun Lu, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8337 0679
Behind the Wall 答案西餐厅View In Map
Add: 150 Shanghai Lu, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8368 6481
Days when the sun is out, skies are blue and the haze of China is lifted are a rarity and should be enjoyed. Preferably while drinking. For these perfect days, there’s a tie between two well-established, but equally noteworthy, places with great outdoor patios.
First is Nanjing’s staple Behind the Wall. It’s one of the most popular places in Nanjing, perhaps because it’s also one of the few places that offers a decent place to enjoy some outdoor drinking. And the mint lemonade, sold by the pitcher and the glass, is a great way to start or end a beautiful Nanjing day.
Also worthy of note is Secco. Located just on the other side of Xuan Wu Lake, this German-owned bar and restaurant arguably serves the best (and strongest) cocktails in Nanjing. With their patio backing up to the city wall, it makes for the perfect ending to an afternoon on the lake, with great mojitos to top off your day in the great outdoors.
Nanjing Best Club
Mazzo玛索View In Map
Add: B1, Building 6, The 1912 Nightlife District, 52 Taiping Beilu, Nanjing
Tel: 025 8453 7398
Some nights you just know you need to let loose. Those nights when you’re in the mood to show off your dance skills in a trendy Chinese techno haven, get lost in the smoke and fog of neon lasers, and mingle with the pretty people. For these nights, there’s Mazzo. One of the best clubs in the 1912 area, this underground club is always packed with locals and foreigners looking for more than just good conversation. Beers start at 25 RMB and bottles are around 400 RMB. It gets better – Mazzo’s DJs play everything from the latest pop tunes to classic hip hop favourites. Just don’t leave anything important for the next day.
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