Cheap Eats 2016: Nanjing Bistro

Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Nanjing Bistro

11213 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030
Good for Groups

If you’re not familiar with Jiangsu cuisine, don’t worry—this bright restaurant offers a delicious introduction (and a pictorial menu for easy ordering). Start with salted duck, a delicacy of the region—it’s not “salty” at all but lightly cured to emphasize the bird’s meaty flavor, and served in fat slices. Groups can splurge for one of the kitchen’s head-turners: a whole “flower fish,” scored crosswise and fried so it resembles a pinecone glazed in a sweet-sour sauce. Still, don’t overlook humbler offerings like spicy cucumbers. The julienned slices arrive in a bright toss of garlic, chilies, and cilantro—a dish that makes you wonder why there aren’t more Jiangsu restaurants around.

Also good: Spicy wonton soup; pork with hot garlic sauce; stir-fried string beans; fish in hot-pepper broth.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.