Welcome back for another exciting topic about our lives in China! First and foremost, incase you haven’t heard already, I’ve started a YouTube channel! You can click this link HERE to watch my first video. Making videos is a new challenge for me because I have no idea how to film or edit. It’s been a learning experience for sure, but I hope you’ll subscribe to our channel and follow along for a different perspective!
Now, onto today’s topic about what we’re eating in China! There is so much to be said about the food here, so I’ve decided to get creative. Here, you’ll see a breakdown of our meals, what we’re eating, and some of our favorite restaurants in Nanjing. On my YouTube channel, you’ll come grocery shopping with Taylor and I and see a haul at the end! 🙂
Before I jump into the food we’re eating, I need to give you some background information. In America, Taylor was the picky eater and I was willing to try anything. When it comes to eating internationally, the roles are reversed. Weird right? I ate little to nothing during our first week here. I physically could not bring myself to eat anything. I had to get over this phobia real quick, because I was wilting away. Taylor and I set out to find foods we could enjoy eating.
When it comes to food, we have a routine that is consistent and safe. I know what you’re thinking…Ashley, if you moved all the way to China why aren’t you eating all the different foods?! My answer is this: First off, I don’t like a lot of the food here. Second, absolutely everything has changed in my daily life, but the one thing I can control is the food I choose to eat. If you’re coming to Nanjing and looking for Western food that makes you feel comfortable like me, then this is the blog for you!
Let’s start with breakfast! Sometimes, I will walk to Starbucks and grab an iced latte, but lately I’ve been having McDonald’s delivered to my apartment. I order one hash brown and one hot coffee with cream and sugar. It’s so easy and convenient.
Lunch is always provided at the school! (The office for the Nanjing MLB development center is at one of the local schools here.) During the academic year, we eat in the cafeteria with all the other students. Now that it’s summer vacation, we just eat in the teacher’s lounge. This is where we eat our authentic Chinese food. Typically, they have several different proteins and vegetables, and then you can choose between rice or noodles. They also always serve soup, which is more like a drink for them. The food isn’t bad, but it’s never warm. Normally, I try to stick with chicken, rice, and a veggie that looks appealing. I always ask the Chinese players what the food is, but they don’t even know what it is half the time, ha! 🙂
Dinner is almost always eaten out. To be honest, this is one of our only expenses here so we don’t mind eating out often. The only dish I’ve figured out how to cook in our apartment is pasta. Once a week we’ll make that and then eat the leftovers another night. If I had to estimate, we eat dinner in our apartment 2 nights a week. On the nights we choose to eat out, we have 4 staple restaurants that we love!
- Blue Frog: This is where we get our burgers! Every Monday night they do BOGO burgers along with BOGO drinks. Do they have the best burgers I’ve ever had? No. But, we ALWAYS see other travelers or expats here. They also serve brunch on weekends!
- James: This is probably my favorite place at the moment! I think it’s a great spot to end our week, because we can enjoy a drink and relax. It’s an Italian restaurant and I haven’t tried anything bad yet! I really love their caesar salad, pizza, and spaghetti!
- Lugas: Here, you’ll find a lot of Mexican and Italian food. This is probably one of the cheaper options, but they have great comfort food! I’m not a fan of their pasta, but their pizza, nachos, and mozzarella sticks are fabulous!
- Finnegans: This is an Irish pub that we’ve only eaten at once, but discovered it through friends who live on this side of town. The owner is Scottish and we had a great time talking to him and learning about his story! Of all the places we eat, this is the most expensive, but that’s because it’s all imported. However, when I’m craving some pulled pork or fish and chips, this is the place to go!
I’m happy with the restaurants we’ve discovered so far! If you’re traveling to Nanjing and looking for western food, I’d recommend any of these places! You’ll also find a lot of other travelers and expats eating here, I promise! Each week we rotate where we go, and we almost always eat with friends from work. Although we eat a lot of the same food here, our diets have changed significantly. We eat way less than we used to, and we eat a lot more fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Taylor and I have both seen a drastic change in our bodies and overall health since being here.
I hope you enjoyed reading about what we’re eating in Nanjing! I’m sure it will change a little as we grow more comfortable here. Don’t forget to check out our grocery haul on YouTube!