America’s Best Chinese Restaurants, Part 3: Peter Chang’s China Café

This Virginia chef is a master of Szechuan cuisine
America’s Best Chinese Restaurants

Yelp/ Xida C.

Ma po tofu is one of Peter Chang's most popular dishes.

This is part three in a series revealing America’s best Chinese restaurants. Find part one here and part two here, and stay tuned for the complete ranking.

The famously peripatetic chef Peter Chang, known for his superior Szechuan cuisine and a propensity to disappear… er… move about in the American southeast, has been a little easier to find over the past five years since forming a business partnership with Gen Lee, a semi-retired Chinese chef. Indeed, the question has gone from, “Where is Peter Chang?” to “Which of his seven Virginia restaurants is the chef cooking at on any given day?” The quality is good at all of them, and the menus are almost identical. Peter Chang's China Cafe in Fredericksburg, neither the oldest nor the newest of his establishments, is a good place to start — but any of Chang's locations (also including Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Short Pump [Richmond], Arlington, and Virginia Beach, and Rockville), all in Virginia, will provide a similarly satisfying (and spicy) experience. Try Chang's famous scallion bubble pancakes with curry sauce, and/or the Sichuan-style dry-fried eggplant, spicy dan dan noodles, fried boneless whole fish with pine nuts, pigs’ feet stir-fried with dried chiles and Sichuan peppercorns, and most anything on the “Chefs’ Specialties” section of the menu. 

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