Duck Blood Soup @ Confucian Temple.
The Nanjing classic. The legend goes, a man wanted duck for dinner. While killing, he held a bowl to the duck’s neck to prevent a mess. Things got messy, and he accidentally dropped his noodles into the blood bowl. Despite the confusing chain of events, the end result is actually pretty fresh. Search around Confucian Temple or Lao Men Dong for a small shops and ask for 鸭血粉丝汤.
Tea and Snacks @ The tea shop on the 5th Floor of Xin Hua Bookstore
No visit to School 1 is complete without a detour here. This cozy little shop brews some of the best Taiwan oolongs currently available in the mainland. It’s located on the top floor of the massive Xin Hua bookshop, which also has a decent collection of books in English.
Lamb @ Alading Fengwei Canting
You can order an entire lamb! They wheel it out on a little cart and carve it with a large knife for your table. This is perfect for when you have Xinjiang on the brain, but can’t afford a 3 day train trip to China’s far western frontiers. Make a reservation, they will need at least 24 hours to cook the beast. And you will need at least 24 friends to feast.
Sheng Jian Bao @ Yang’s
This is the Mona Lisa of fried food.
Yellow Wine @ Nanjing Impressions
With at least half a dozen locations across Nanjing, sooner or later you will find yourself here. The food is great, the atmosphere is warm, and the staff is costumed in Qing Dynasty robes. While the seemingly-endless dishes of traditional food are the obvious draw, don’t miss huangjiu, or Chinese yellow wine. A little sweet and a little sticky, yellow wine is fermented with medicinal herbs, spices, and flowers.
Brunch @ Herb Spice
Serving brunch until 4pm, so it’s people-who-don’t-like-weekend-alarms friendly. While everything on the menu is good, don’t sleep on the mashed potatoes. I’ve also heard a rumor that if you press a small white button on the wall near the bathrooms, a secret door will reveal a prohibition-era style whiskey bar.
Espresso Shots @ Fish Tank (X Space)
An art gallery filled with sculpture, mostly confusing and terrifying things. They also happen to have the best coffee in Nanjing.
Dim Sum @ Zifeng Tower
Located at the 47th floor of Nanjing’s tallest building, this Hong Kong style restaurant serves all you can eat dim sum. There is an incredible view of Xuan Wu Lake and Purple Mountain. It’s perfect for Birthdays, New Year’s brunch, and Hungry Sundays.