the most quirky, Instagram-worthy eateries in Nanjing, China

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After spending nearly 10-months in Nanjing, I in no way consider myself an expert. As a slow travel enthusiast, I know it takes a long time to fully understand a place and its culture, taste the best of its cuisine, and hit up all the coolest off-the-beaten-path finds. However, working with a magazine and having the kinds of friends I did in China {the kind that are always on the hunt for something cool and a bit hidden} provided me with a long list of treasures, most of which I have yet to share on this blog.

TODAY off THAT TREASURE LIST, I’M SHARING MY FAVOURITE UNIQUE EATERIES IN NANJING

Admittedly, the photos I took in Nanjing have been sitting on my hard-drive {along with more pictures from Europe, South America, and New Zealand}, waiting for me to do something {read: anything} with them. Finally having my hard-drive organized and finalizing a writing project I’ve been working on for…too long…has made me look through a lot of photo and video footage I forgot I even had. Pictures and videos from all my time in New Zealand. Folders filled with Inca Trail snaps. Melbourne and Hong Kong and Hanoi all documented. Thus the new slew of China, South America, and {maybe} New Zealand posts coming your way on this space.


Including this post with my favourite quirky places in Najing to grab food and drink.


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FRENZY FOUNTAIN

Readers of the blog and people in my life know that on the list of things I love is a spot reserved for Wes Anderson films. I'm not a student of cinema, but I absolutely love that you can pause any of his movies, print it at as a screenshot, and frame it. So, when I found a place  {via this Dame Traveler post} that made me feel like I could be on the set of one of his films, I was in my own personal heaven. It was everything #AccidentallyWesAnderson. 

Two of my girl friends and I spent an afternoon escaping the heat of Nanjing summer and enjoyed all the fine details of Frenzy Fountain's high afternoon tea. Along with the sophisticated decor comes a highly sophisticated price tag— like, way expensive by Asia standards. Even China-Asia standards.

We split the bill for a pot of tea each and the “lunch afternoon tea” set, which serves six savory sandwiches, six sweet desserts, and a giant white chocolate sculpture. The food was rich and delicious, the portions were perfect for three people. We shared a pot of tea not knowing we got unlimited refills.

HOURS // Monday-Saturday from 11:00 AM-10:00 PM.

ADDRESS // No.1 Beijing East Road, Gulou District, Nanjing 210000, China

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signature drink at the hermit
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THE HERMIT WHISKY BAR

If I told you there was a Breaking Bad themed bar sitting below a Game of Thrones inspired restaurant that specializes in whisky with signature, glow-in-the-dark cocktails and a very food menu— sounds like something strange that I’ve made up, right? But it’s a real place with a seriously cool, underground atmosphere.

The Hermit Whisky Bar is, as its name suggests, a hidden away gem in the trendy Gulou District of Nanjing. It’s quite literally down a residential alleyway and I couldn’t find it until the establishment’s neon sign lit up as the sun went down. I only found The Hermit after being sent on a writing assignment for a local magazine.

You can read my full review of The Hermit in The Nanjinger here.

ADDRESS // 49 Qingyun Lane, next to The Hong Kang Gallery, Xuanwu Gate, Gulou District 青云巷49号-1鸿康艺术馆隔壁

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WUJIE

Wujie, like Frenzy Fountain, is a fine dining experience. It’s less of a splurge than Frenzy, but isn’t an everyday eatery. The staff at Wujie speak English, which is rare and helpful in mainland China. The menu, likewise, is also in English and features icons that label items to explain what contains egg, dairy, and garlic. All the food offered at Wujie is 100% vegetarian, which put me at ease. I could go there knowing I never had to worry about a language barrier or what I was scooping off my plate and into my mouth.

Wujie, in true Chinese fashion, cares so deeply about its representation on the web and its aesthetic in print that, when I took photos for The Nanjinger, before they’d even been looked at or edited, Wujie’s Press and Media Representative {and also the Head Chef of the restaurant} asked me to only publish photos from their press portfolio to help preserve their cohesive branding across all media {thus the photos in this post above}. It’s understandable given that the food at Wujie is truly like art. Every detail of every dish is thought out and delicately served up in a creative way.

You can read my review of Wujie in The Nanjinger here.

HOURS // Monday-Sunday from 11:00 AM- 10:00 PM.

ADDRESS //  6F, Deji Plaza Phase 2, 18 Zhongshan Lu, 新街口中山路18号德基广场6喽F617


Nanjing isn’t the most visually stunning place I’ve ever been— and that’s putting it extremely kindly. However, there are some seriously off-the-wall, kooky places to eat if you’re willing to hit the pavement in search of them. Unlike Hong Kong, mainland China offers something very different in terms of food and vibe.

But…more on Hong Kong later… ;)

 

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