From shrimp fried rice to egg foo young, Americans love Chinese food. It’s hard to imagine there are many towns in the entire country that don’t have their own go-to spot for fried wontons, egg drop soup, and pork lo mein — and try as we may to recreate our favorite take-out dishes at home, its never quite the same as going out. Just as common as Chinese restaurants, however, are arguments about which one is best. All 50 of these local favorites can easily make an argument for tops in their respective states.
Taiwanese flair is the name of the game at Mr. Chen’s. Locals rave about hefty portions and out-of-the-ordinary dishes. The price is right and the menu is overflowing with vegetarian selections.
If you find it odd to eat Chinese food in a bakery, get over that hang-up and experience one of the most unique Chinese joints in all of Alaska. Charlie’s Bakery & Chinese Restaurant is known for its service as much as its outrageously good food and baked treats. Try the pot stickers and Mongolian beef, then leave with a custard bun for later.
Anyone who’s been to China will tell you that much of the Chinese food served in America isn’t what’s eaten there. That’s not the case in Chou’s Kitchen, which is well-known and loved for its authentic cuisine from Northeastern China. Suan cai clay pot, cumin and caraway lamb, and pork and chive dumplings — just a few fan favorites.
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At Three Fold Noodles and Dumplings, the menu and the space itself embrace a minimalist philosophy — but that doesn’t mean that anything is lacking. Steamed buns, hot dumplings, and endless noodles keep the crowds coming back, as do the fair prices and quick, friendly service.
In a state with as many legendary Chinese restaurants as California, it’s hard to pick just one. Those in the know choose Ma’s House. To get halal Chinese food at its finest (with no pork or alcohol on the menu) often comes with a wait, but it’s worth the time thanks to delicacies such as lamb noodle soup and hand-cut chow mein.
It’s easy to drive past the nondescript strip mall that hosts Overseas 101, but Chinese food lovers make sure to stop. The beef is as tender as the portions are huge. Not in the mood for skewers? Try the wildly popular tofu and wonton soup or the cream cheese wontons.
Unlike so many beloved casual holes-in-the-wall, Great Taste is an upscale, white-tablecloth experience for the Chinese food connoisseur. The staff is as professional as any you’d find in a fine dining hotspot. Insiders recommend ordering the crispy Peking duck, which is carved right at your table.
Known for traditional fare from the Hunan region, Confucius is stellar all year round, but specializes in seasonal cuisine. Traditionalists rave about the authentic offerings, but there’s also plenty of “Americanized” Chinese food for anyone seeking something familiar.
A time-tested local favorite, Leanh’s is all about quality, made-to-order Chinese food. There is, an impressive variety of options, as the pan-Asian menu includes an array of Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes.
Peking might have a strip mall exterior, but inside it’s all elegance. Known for authentic Hunan, Cantonese, and Szechuan fare, Peking keeps loyalists keep coming back with consistently excellent food. Try a Cass beer with Mongolian beef and make sure to order the hot tea — the beverages are as good as the food.
This small shop in Honolulu’s Chinatown is usually thronged with diners looking for authentic tastes from China’s coastal Guangdong Province, though the menu here revolves around a beef flank noodle dish with noodles made fresh daily. “Authentic” means the menu offers little hand-holding, and you can’t expect a busy staff to help much — so newcomers to Chinese cuisine should go into Lam’s Kitchen with a sense of adventure or a more experienced friend.
The entire menu at Red Pavilion comes in gargantuan portions at fair prices.The honey almond shrimp is a fan favorite, but the soup is the real game changer. Try the wor wonton or the egg flour soup. Even better, nearly everything on the menu can be made gluten-free.
Cocktails and craft beer complement classic Thai and Chinese dishes at Big Bowl. The glazed salmon over fried rice and pad Thai are part of the reason the place stays packed, but another reason for the crowds is the staff’s reputation for going the extra mile.
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Good luck finding better pho anywhere in Indianapolis than what’s served up at the low-key Egg Roll No. 1. Even though a winding line is standard operating procedure, service is fast at the lauded Vietnamese/Chinese fusion joint.
Open late and fawned over by locals, Dumpling Darling started at a farmers market in 2014. Since then, the dumpling specialists have expanded their menu to include dumplings from around the world and a full menu of Asian fusion. At Dumpling Darling, it’s all about real ingredients and real food in a fun, warm and inviting space.
Brightly colored with a laid-back vibe, Blue Koi Noodles and Dumplings is known for its bubble tea, although it also boasts a full bar and a nice selection of loose teas. Try the pork dumplings and don’t be shy about mixing and matching sauces and dips.
A small restaurant that seats about 30, KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia has decor almost as perfect as the food. Kung fu posters adorn the walls as diners sip craft beers and enjoy Taiwanese delicacies such as the spicy dynamite egg roll. Daring souls should try the beef and broccoli at spice level two.
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Louisiana is known for so many foods — but Chinese is not one of them. Good Chinese restaurants are few and far between, which makes Kuan Lim’s Lucky Palace even more special: It leans toward the gourmet, with a wine list that The New York Times has written about as drawing those in the know from as far as California and France (who must remember not to be put off by the Palace’s setting in an unimpressive motel). Try the Northern Style Duck with Steamed Buns.
Known over the years for its live music and events as much as for its food, Empire serves authentic dishes from around China. The duck fried rice and kung pao chicken are unforgettable, and the cocktail list is worth a visit in and of itself. Vegetarians and vegans will have trouble choosing from all the options.
Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant is worthy of a best-in-state mention on portion-size-to-price ratio alone. The famously friendly staff only adds to the experience. The familiar Americanized Chinese cuisine is widely considered among the best in the region — and the state.
Casual but bustling, Sichuan Gourmet is upscale but affordable. The Sichuan specialties that made it locally famous are spiced to order. The drinks are hot, the tea is gourmet, and the twice-cooked bacon and dry pepper beef are as good as the service.
You’ve had lo mein, but never like this. Chinese-style crispy lo mein is just one reason to stop at Rainbow Restaurant next time you’re in or near Farmington. Nothing is frozen, everything is made fresh to order, and gluten-free options abound.
The egg rolls are crispy, not greasy. The staff is warm, inviting, and fast. The fried dumplings are massive and flavorful. It’s Weng’s Kitchen, you’d really have to try hard to find a bad review.
Mr. Chen’s is more than just a locally famous Chinese restaurant. The dining area is tucked inside a bustling Asian market. Fans rave about the owner and supporting staff as much as they rave about the food.
Wan Fu is famous for its rice soup and Hong Kong-centric seafood dishes, but the deliciousness doesn’t stop there. The Mongolian beef and moo shoo pork get rave reviews, as well. No matter what you order, expect to bring some home. Prices are fair and portions are huge.
Although some impatient customers gripe about the wait, Pagoda Thai and Chinese Restaurant is busy because it’s popular — and it’s popular because it’s probably the best spicy food in the region. Pagoda makes all dishes fresh and authentic to old-world recipes. If you’re undecided, try the Thai basil.
Locals often stop into Ming’s House to enjoy the unusual triangular crab rangoon. For others, it’s the wide selection of vegetarian fare. Either way, portions are big, and prices are not.
CrawFish is famous for its build-your-own seafood platters, and the staff is known for its friendly demeanor and stellar service. When you’re there, try the crawfish that gave the place its name. Limited indoor seating is available.
It’s all about atmosphere at North Garden Restaurant & Lounge, which is cozy and inviting, with a famously friendly staff and a cool bar crowd. The food, of course, is spectacular.
Philadelphians know Han Dynasty‘s central location in the city. New Jerseyans flock to the suburban satellite outlet, which is as good or better than the larger city locations. Expect the same giant portions of authentic spicy Sichuan dishes such as pepper shrimp and dan dan noodles that you’d find at Han in Philly.
Ming Dynasty claims to be “the only restaurant in Albuquerque serving authentic Chinese dim sum, Szechwan, and Cantonese cuisine.” It’s certainly among the best not just in the city, but in all of New Mexico. Traditionally, follows up every meal of fantastic classic Chinese fare with an especially nice touch: a warm towel.
New York City
There are more than a dozen Xi’an Famous Foods locations across New York City — and every one of them has reviews higher than 4.5 stars. Family-owned since it first appeared as a stall at a shopping mall in Queens, the restaurant is known throughout the city for its dishes from Xi’an, China. Try the cold skin noodles, lamb pao mo soup and housemade flat bread.
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Chinese dishes are only part of the reason Red Pepper Asian remains such a favorite for locals and tourists alike. There are plenty of Thai and Malaysian options, and the owner is known for kindness to her customers and staff. The steamed pork dumplings and drunken noodles can compete with any served up anywhere.
Head to HuHot and don’t leave until you’ve plated a creation all your own. The theme is stir-fry, and the name of the game is unlimited, create-your-own dinners. While Mongolian in name, the style of cooking here is largely considered to have originated in China and has little to do with techniques and ingredients of Mongolia. It’s a regional chain, but the quality, price, and atmosphere can compete with any mom-and-pop restaurant.
The Lucky House Restaurant is known for its heaping noodle dishes and amazingly friendly service. Even in the Chinese food mecca that Central Ohio has become, Lucky House stands out as top shelf. A Sunday brunch buffet has been especially popular.
Szechuan Bistro features standout pot stickers, but that isn’t the only beloved dish. The boiled fish is another favorite, as is the egg drop soup and a variety of specialty dishes you won’t find on the standard Chinese menu. No matter what you order, expect speedy, friendly service.
Yuan Su is a vegetarian restaurant known for “modern interpretations of classic dishes.” Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike will delight in an array of unique offerings in giant helpings with fast and friendly service.
New Star has longtime residents claiming it’s the best Chinese food in the entire Pocono region. Ready to become a believer? Try the Singapore mei fun.
The Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese offerings are as good as the Chinese dishes that keep the locals coming back to Apsara. With a huge selection of pork, beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian dishes, there’s definitely something for everybody.
Yellow Ginger is especially well known for its authentic Chinese offerings, but has a pan-Asian menu and serves an impressive variety of regional fare such as roti canai, pad Thai, Thai red curry bowls, and Singapore rice noodles. No matter what you order, you can expect fresh, quality ingredients and made-to-order dishes.
Imperial Garden serves Chinese food at what the restaurant calls “throwaway prices,” especially considering it’s so good, the portions are so large, and the service is so reliably friendly and fast.
The China Cottage is an unassuming place tucked away in a strip mall. The humble location doesn’t take away from the fact that the soups, crab rangoon, garlic shrimp, and dumplings are among the best in Tennessee.
Billed as “authentic Chinese cuisine with a modern twist,” Ginger Fork serves up not just classic Hong Kong and Cantonese fare, but an impressive variety of exotic craft cocktails. The “food as medicine” philosophy is evident in their fresh ingredients. Masks are required.
The decor is luxurious and ornate, the reviews are fawning, and the food is exotic and original. It’s Mandarin, and if you stop there, try the tropical Thai tofu, the pepper tofu, the Mongolian pork, or the Singapore noodles. No matter what you decide, it’s hard to imagine you’d be disappointed.
A family style restaurant known for Taiwanese cuisine, A Single Pebble serves up exotic specials such as steamed chili black bean wontons. The restaurant’s legions of loyal fans rave about the delightful overall experience.
Taiwanese specialities complement classic Chinese dishes in House of Dynasty. Soft music and low lighting make for a serene dining experience, and diners rave about authentic, high-quality dishes such as Singapore rice noodles and broccoli and beef.
Few Chinese restaurants in America boast a history and lineage comparable to Tai Tung. in Seattle. Tai Tung has more than three-quarters of a century of family history, dating back to the grandfather of the current owners who opened for business in 1935. Neither the service nor the food needs introduction to anyone in the Seattle area. When Bruce Lee, a frequent customer, came here, he always ordered the same thing: beef in oyster sauce.
Staffed with friendly servers, China One offers a relatively small menu, but each item could be considered a specialty dish. The pristine environment (even the bathrooms are sparkling) is relaxing and inviting, and the buffet offers a nice spread made from the same high-quality ingredients as the menu items, all for a price that’s more than fair.
Taste of Sichuan offers online ordering for delivery and takeout, but reviewers rave about the hot pot (which can be ordered half-and-half) and the option to add multiple meats to some dishes. The staff also gets praise for being very COVID-19 conscious and always wearing masks.
When you head to Full House, leave some room in the fridge — gargantuan portion sizes all but guarantee leftovers. Between the amazing dinner specials and legendary crab rangoon, the Full House experience is beyond compare.