The Absolute Best Fried Rice In The US

You've got to love Chinese takeout. If only those white cartons could talk — any adult can most likely say that Chinese takeout has seen them through breakups, late-night studying sessions, and isolated nights during the pandemic. It's a ubiquitous comfort, a familiar fixture in the mundanities of everyday life. And yet, for so many, it represents something extraordinary: The emotional connection we share with food.

One of this beloved cuisine's foundations actually spans far beyond China's borders. Fried rice was originally concocted in China as a way to repurpose leftover steamed rice (via Eating China). It has since cropped up in many other culinary cultures, including Thai, Korean, and Indonesian variations, and has even reached across the miles to influence how we eat rice in North America. There are tens of thousands of Chinese restaurants across the United States (as of 2016 per Time Magazine) so there are likely endless unique takes on how the dish can be made.

However, the fried rice at your favorite local takeout haunt probably looks a lot like this: rice, carrots, peas, egg, and maybe some scallions. And while we do like our fried rice like we like our cars and rock-n-roll — classic, that is — tons of restaurants across the U.S. offer spins on fried rice, inspired by different culinary infusions, protein choices, and regional influences. We gathered details on all the best places to get fried rice in America in 2022, and here's our ranking.

Krua Thai - Northwest Hollywood, California

Headed for the Hollywood hills? Take a pit stop at Krua Thai, located at 13130 Sherman Way in Northwest Hollywood's Thai Town. Krua Thai is somewhat of a local landmark; it landed on the list of the best places for late-night dining in the LA metro in Vice, and had a dazzling review of its extensive 150-item menu in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The whole spread looks gorgeous, sure — but we're talking about fried rice here, and at Krua Thai, the savory-sweet pineapple fried rice and the ocean's-bounty South Sea fried rice are the crown jewels. The pineapple dish is a combination of egg, cashews, curry, and pineapple, with the option to add your preferred protein. According to the Valley Tribune reviewer, pineapple rice is the perfect option to equalize one of the restaurant's many spicier dishes.

With the South Sea fried rice comes a heap of seafood, salted egg, fresh basil, chili, and a special sauce. Reviewers laud the South Sea plate as "a must have" (per Yelp) and "absolutely wonderful" (also per Yelp).

Paradise Cajun Seafood - Dallas, Texas

Cravin' some Cajun in the Lone Star State? Look no further than Dallas' Paradise Cajun Seafood, where this Asian staple takes on a flair inspired by arguably the liveliest cuisine in the American South. You don't miss out on any of the Cajun trademarks at this restaurant — on the menu you'll find Po'boys, shrimp and crab boils, and a whole lotta catfish — but you can also get your fried rice fix with the Cajun rice, a sweat-inducing dish of fried rice, peas, carrots, eggs, and garlic cajun sauce. Louisiana leaves its mark with the option to add boiled shrimp, fried crawfish, or crabmeat to your rice.

A Dallas Observer food critic described Paradise's garlic sauce as "savory deliciousness," and review pictures indicate that the shrimp piled on top of the rice are absolutely behemoth. Over on Yelp, a reviewer states that Paradise's rice is the best he's ever had. Just proceed with caution — the plate comes with a Texas-sized wallop of spice, too. 

Paradise Cajun Seafood can be found at 3635 Frankford Road, Suite 300, in Dallas.

Andy's Thai Kitchen - Chicago, Illinois

At 950 W. Diversey Parkway in Chicago, you'll find Andy's Thai Kitchen, an authentic Thai hot spot that is reportedly to die for. Chicago Business deemed it one of the best places to get Thai in the Windy City. According to Lonely Planet, there are some quirks about this place — it's BYOB and cash only — but Eater Chicago says that owner and chef Andy Aroonrasameruang learned all about his craft from his mom, and that's when you know the food is going to be good.

A lot of traditional Thai dishes stand out, but reviewers adore the restaurant's many fried rice variations. On Yelp, diners recommend the crab, pineapple, or basil fried rice for more basic options, but for something signature, try the kapi fried rice. This spicy fan favorite is made with a shrimp paste, sweet pork, dried shrimp, mango, fried egg, and onion, per the Andy's Thai Kitchen menu. If you do visit ATK and aren't already all that familiar with Thai cuisine, there's a ton beyond the fried rice to try, but be sure to come with an open and respectful mind — traditional dishes may use organs or fermented fish. Ask for explanations of menu items if you're unsure and let your server know of any food allergies or aversions.

Chino Bandido - Phoenix, Arizona

Over in the Southwest, Chino Bandido is up to something delicious. This Mexican-Chinese fusion restaurant in Phoenix holds a solid local reputation for its whopping 90,000 different dish combination options (via Phoenix New Times). Our favorite frost-tipped culinary crusader, Guy Fieri, even paid the restaurant a visit in three different episodes of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," according to the Chino Bandido website.

We're not sure where else you could get a quesadilla and egg foo yung under the same roof — besides maybe a food court — but patrons can't say enough about Chino Bandido's jerk fried rice, especially when topped with the sweet-n-spicy signature Jade Red Chicken or the pollo diablo. The dish is apparently delectable enough to earn the restaurant a spot in the best restaurants in town lineup by Phoenix New Times. Fried rice fiends on Yelp say the jerk fried rice never disappoints, with one reviewer in particular swearing they could live on the stuff.

Passing through Arizona and want to pay the Chino Bandido a visit? Head to 310 W. Bell Road in Phoenix.

A+ Hong Kong Kitchen - Seattle, Washington

According to an Eat This, Not That! survey, the best Chinese takeout in Washington is in Seattle's Chinatown at 416 6th Avenue South. You probably know Seattle as the coffee capital of the U.S., but you can apparently add elite fried rice to the list. According to iHeart, A+ Hong Kong Kitchen is adored for its "authentic, high-quality" Chinese food. While not fried rice, the restaurant's stir-fried rice rolls were deemed "the best dish in [Seattle's] International District] by a food writer with The Infatuation.

Fried rice is used as a base for the restaurant's many dishes that come baked in traditional Cantonese clay pots — and foodies rave over it. One Yelp reviewer swears by the A+ Lovers' fried rice, which is a bed of fried rice with a chicken and mushroom tomato sauce on one side, and a shrimp and vegetable cream sauce on the other. Several others recommend the salty fish fried rice — with the restaurant's XO sauce of course.

Sabor a Peru - Miami, Florida

This renowned fried rice comes to us from South Florida. A visit to Sabor a Peru, located at 2923 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, would be a visit wasted if you don't try the seafood fried rice — or that's what reviewers say, anyway. On Four Square and Yelp, diners love the seafood fried rice, which is heaped with mussels, scallops, shrimp, and calamari. Reviews state that the dish is worthy of five stars, the best they'd ever had, and cooked perfectly. 

If you want to take it from a more authoritative voice in the Miami dining scene, The Infatuation Miami dubbed Sabor a Peru one of the best restaurants to visit in Edgewater, and described it as "simple, classic Peruvian dishes" offered at prices that won't blow your wallet. There are a number of ways to enjoy fried rice in simple and classic Peruvian fare even if you don't enjoy seafood; there's an omelet with grilled steak, fried rice, and beans that is a standout in reviews, too.

Coconut Thai - St. Paul, Minnesota

Heavenly fried rice exists even in the far reaches of the north. There's a strong Thai food scene in the Twin Cities, and a crowd favorite is situated at 720 Grand Avenue in St. Paul. In a roundup of the best in local Thai haunts, Discover the Cities included Coconut Thai for its outstanding squash curry and pineapple fried rice, a salty-sweet fried rice that's served on a half-pineapple. 

Yelpers rave on Coconut Thai's fried rice, both the pineapple version and the basic option with protein. According to Coconut Thai's menu, the iconic pineapple fried rice is made with fresh pineapple, cashews, egg, raisins, carrots, green onions, and peas — and the portions are reportedly big enough for two. Is this a luau? No, it's Minnesota.

If you're not a fan of pineapple, Coconut Thai's fresh sweet basil fried rice, crab fried rice, and classic Thai fried rice all look divine. No matter what you pick, you're set to get a fried rice fix here.

Ohn Korean Eatery - Houston, Texas

The mastermind behind Houston's Ohn Korean Eatery is a legend of sorts in the southern Texas city's Asian dining scene. Ohn Korean Eatery is far from his first venture; chef and restaurateur Mike Tran also spearheaded the creation of Aka Sushi House, Tiger Den, Mein, and Night Market, all in Houston (via Houstonia Magazine). It's safe to say we trust him with the task of whipping up the best fried rice in the gulf-side city's metro.

Ohn is an energetic hotspot for Korean barbecue that slings soju cocktails and Seoul brisket — but the real frontrunner for fried rice lovers is a dish made with stir-fried kimchi, fried rice, sesame, poached egg, green onion, and — if you're feeling frisky — a pork belly or Spam, per GrubHub. Visitors on Yelp can't say enough about how creamily delicious Ohn's kimchi fried rice is, and that the salty addition of pork elevates the experience even further. 

Head to 9630 Clarewood Drive to give this trendy Korean bar-barbecue infusion a try.

Animae - San Diego, California

Next stop, sunny San Diego for some of the best fried rice in California. San Diego Magazine voted Animae the third-fanciest restaurant in the city and third place in service and ambiance. It's not cloth napkins and stylish light fixtures that we're after, though; Animae was also voted best in San Diego for Asian fusion, and you know what that means ... some crazy good fried rice. 

Animae's menu celebrates executive chef Tara Monsod's Filipino roots, according to an interview she had with Eater. Among those roots are some known Filipino favorites, like lumpia and pancit. Monsod brings her heritage and expertise to our favorite starchy Asian side with her duck kimchi fried rice. According to the Animae menu, this dish is made with koji-cured duck confit, forbidden rice (black rice), a soft-boiled egg, and shiso. If you're looking for an option that completely redefines fried rice, this is perfect for you.

You can find Animae at 969 Pacific Highway in San Diego.

Sugar and Spice Thai Restaurant - Boston, Massachusetts

Is there any better way to perk up on a gloomy New England day than with some mouth-watering Thai food? Sugar and Spice Thai Restaurant is a hyper-local franchise of restaurants throughout the Boston and Cambridge areas, and area residents say that Sugar and Spice is easily the best place in Greater Boston to get your hands on some Thai.

Chef and owner Penjan Janburiwong has had a passion for using fresh ingredients to make great food since she was growing up in Thailand, she told Her restaurant has a number of crowd favorites but the kow pad pu, which is fried rice with jumbo lump crab, is a popular choice. Sugar and Spice's other specialty fried rice include the purple fried rice — that's chicken, mango, red onion, cilantro, shrimp paste, egg, and fresh chili — and the moo krob fried rice, which uses crisped pork belly, Chinese broccoli, tomatoes, and onions.

Yelpers say that Sugar and Spice's rice options are delicious, perfectly balanced, filling, and reasonably priced. It's an absolute must-visit next time you're in the Northeast!

Chinese Tuxedo - New York City, New York

Many of us may associate fried rice with old sweatpants and Netflix — but it can be just as much a swanky side dish as it is a takeout commodity, and a great place for upscale fried rice is Chinese Tuxedo, located at 5 Doyers St in the Civic Center of Chinatown. Before we get to the fried rice, can we appreciate how gorgeous and sophisticated this restaurant is? It's nestled in a two-story former opera house, according to Travel Food People.

Chinese Tuxedo's vegetarian fried rice is delicious, Travel Food People reports. This dish is made with vegetarian xo sauce, corn, furikake seasoning, and shiitake mushrooms. Many visitors will recommend you actually try the Johny fried rice, though; this beloved menu item combines fried rice with barbecue pork and bay scallops, says the Chinese Tuxedo menu.

Yelp chatter states that the Johny rice is a "wonderful combination" — it tastes exceptional and is a meal in itself even though it's listed as a side. 

Cafe Anh Hong - Sandy/Salt Lake City, Utah

Sometimes all you want is a small mountain of Chinese takeout — simple and comforting. If you live in or visit the Salt Lake City area, Cafe Anh Hong at 8650 S. 1300th E. will pull through for you. Salt Lake City Menu anointed the Cafe Anh Hong as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Utah, so you just know that you'd be walking out with cardboard cartons chock-full of piping hot fried rice goodness.

On Yelp, visitors say that the restaurant is a hidden gem tucked away in the city's outskirts, and that the fried rice is good enough to be a meal all its own. Locals say that you won't find fried rice near this good anywhere else in Salt Lake City. Its only appearance on the menu, shared by Salt Lake City Menu, is as your standard fried rice with the expected protein add-ons like chicken, pork, beef, ham.

Why'd we include such a basic fried rice at a run-of-the-mill takeout place, albeit a good one? Cafe Anh Hong's fried rice, while it contains no bells and whistles like many of our other ranking restaurants, is symbolic of that nostalgic familiarity we associate with Chinese takeout ... that feeling that can only be replicated by being in your own living room, pajamaed and blanketed, relishing a container of — you guessed it — fried rice.