Just a few steps from the subway station, step into Finnegans and be transported thousands of miles away. This is the real deal, an Irish pub to put all imitators to shame. The welcoming atmosphere and dark wood invite patrons to sit at the bar for a Guinness or an authentic Bushmills. The menu features comforting pub grub from fish and chips and burgers to cottage pie and bangers with mash. As the evening rolls on the bar fills up and before you know it, you'll have a dozen new friends.
This little French-owned cafe is tucked into an alley near Nanjing University. Full of charm, the owners have succeeded in creating a cozy atmosphere that keeps patrons returning. The menu is reasonably priced and full of selections that might prove to be hard to choose between. Upstairs there is a full bar and a foosball table.
Sporting an unusual Spanish facade and Mediterranean dining room, Behind the Wall is known for its live music and noble attempt at Mexican food. The menu includes pizza and pasta, but people come here for the tacos, enchiladas and burritos to the accompaniment of sangria or a margarita. Weeknights feature acoustic Spanish guitar, but the weekend entertainment is turned over to local rock bands. Live music is scheduled from 8p-11p.
Whether coming to sample the tapas selection, sip some sangria or to hear the nightly live music, patrons of Don Quixote come for a one-of-a-kind experience in Nanjing. This open space is comfortably outfitted to accommodate groups both large and small and tends to get packed after 9p when the music starts. Don Quixote's also holds events and hosts touring jazz bands. It can be a bit difficult to find at first, look for the KFC on Zhujiang Road near Guangzhou Road, Don Quixote's is just opposite the KFC.
Operated by Gone With the Wind's Big Scarlet, the Little Scarlet is one of the more popular nightclubs in 1912. Located just across from Soho it is regularly full of tourists and locals during the weekday and packed with dancers and partiers on the weekend. Drinks range from relatively inexpensive beers to upscale wine and alcohol. Fruits and snack trays are available, and if you get there early enough it's possible to get a table. The dance floor is a little small, so it's a great way to meet people if you're alone. -Daniel Clarke
61HOUSE is a bar near Nanjing University. It is an ideal entertainment venue for foreigners in Nanjing. The indoor area is nearly 1,000 square meters. 61HOUSE offers different kinds of snacks and foods. It is also a great place for avant-garde and small bands to perform. In the daytime, it is a bar for friends to meet. At night, it attracts various kinds of music fans. Its atmosphere and unique service make it a very popular place.
The distinct steel gray buildings with flashes of celebratory red dominate this entertainment complex near the Presidential Palace. Every night of the week feels like Friday as young urban professionals come out to play. Featuring some of Nanjing's most lively dancing and drinking, there is an excellent selection of dining options among the courtyards and archways of Nanjing 1912. Often compared to Shanghai's Xintiandi dining and shopping district, Nanjing 1912 is named for the year the Republic of China was established, with Dr. Sun Yat-sen as China's first president, an homage to the zeitgeist of the era's optimism and hope for change. Some popular spots include Blue Marlin, Scarlet and Mazzo.
One of the first restaurants in Nanjing 1912, Blue Marlin is a popular destination for groups who enjoy their small plates, broad beer selection and dance floor. The chef changes the menu regularly to reflect his latest muse and the seasons. One of the best Filipino rock bands in town plays here most nights of the week. Come jam along to classic rock favorites or head upstairs to the pool table and quieter terrace. Happy hour is 4p-7p.
A small dance floor, scattered small tables, two bars and after-hours entertainment are what patrons will find here. Mazzo has unusual events such as beat boxing as well as guest DJs. Music ranges from hip hop to electronica to house.
This pulsing dance club is a nightlife destination in the heart of it all. DJs spin music for pulsing crowds on the dance floor. Private VIP rooms are available upstairs, some of them equipped with karaoke equipment. Drink specials include a good selection of cocktails plus the basics. Drink prices are reasonable for the area. This is not an expat bar but a place where young Nanjingers come to relax. Come join in.