Dàpái Dàng

Jiangsu in Nanjing

This hectic, fun and vast place, decorated like a Qing dynasty eatery, with waiters scurrying around in period garb and lanterns hanging overhead, is deservedly packed out. There's a handy photo menu for ordering fried dumplings with pork, leek and mushroom (¥12 for three), sliced fish soup with preserved vegetables (¥48), Nánjīng fried noodles (¥16) and oodles of other tasty local dishes.

With eight branches in town, it's a big name in Nánjīng, but if you arrive during a busy period (such as weekends), you'll have to grab a ticket and wait in line outside. It's on the 7th floor of Deji Plaza just north of the Xinjiekou intersection at the heart of town: take exit 7 from the Xinjiekou metro station and take the lift or escalators upstairs.