Six of the best restaurants in Nanjing

Explore the traditional tastes of China’s Jiangsu province


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Jiangsu province is known as the land of fish and rice for its abundant seafood, but its capital, Nanjing, is home to a dining scene full of local favourites such as steamed dumplings, sesame pancakes, salted duck and noodle broths, as well as a heady mix of continental cuisines. Here are six of the best restaurants in Nanjing.


For vegetarian food: Lu Liu Ju

Flying the flag for plant-based cuisine, Lu Liu Ju – translated as Green Willows – first fired up its woks in 1921. Previously located on the Qinhuai waterfront in the shade of weeping willow trees, it has since relocated to a more prestigious site opposite Nanjing’s Presidential Hall in the busy Hanfu Food Square. Lu Liu Ju’s menu lists all the local favourites, but with silky tofu replacing meat.


For modern Cantonese cooking: Lu Chao

Fresh flavours and seasonal ingredients define Cantonese cooking, and you can taste this much-loved regional food, prepared by expert chefs at Lu Chao. Don’t miss the homemade dim sum, while butter-soft wagyu beef will tempt international palates. The decor and exceptional service make this one of the best restaurants in Nanjing.

Jumeirah Nanjing Lu Chao Business lunch


For Jiangsu cuisine: Nanjing Impressions

For a glimpse of how the Ming dynasty dined centuries ago, step inside Imperial-themed Nanjing restaurant Impressions, and feast on the region’s traditional delicacies. Nanjing’s renowned salted duck brings visitors back here time and again, while the more adventurous opt for duck blood and vermicelli soup. It’s a popular choice among locals, and a traditional stalwart in Jiangsu cuisine.


For halal dishes: MaXiangXing CaiGuan

Serving regional delights that meet with halal guidelines since 1845, MaXiangXing CaiGuan is Nanjing’s first and oldest Muslim restaurant. Its size alone is testimony to its popularity, with tables, chairs and a busy kitchen spanning four storeys and almost 3,000sqm. Feast on Jiangsu favourites, such as steamed beef dumplings and deep-fried squirrel fish coated with a tangy sweet and sour sauce.


For French finesse: En Space

A sleek space next to the spectacular Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, En Space serves food that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious. Food meets art here, with carefully fastened filo pastries alongside salmon, avocado and caviar stacks, served in innovative and creative ways.


For Spanish flavours: Selección Española

Plump prawns, inky squid paella and hearty Spanish casseroles all feature on Selección Española’s inspired continental menu. The restaurant’s starter plates – heaped with salami, prosciutto and cheese – are inspired by the food and flavours of the northern Spanish foodie town of San Sebastian.

The best restaurants in Nanjing are all within striking distance of Jumeirah Nanjing.