From a ‘pie house’ specializing in Frisbee-sized xian bing meat pies in California to a Peking duck stall in Flushing, Queens, the U.S. is chock full of life-changing Chinese restaurants, and the vast majority of them will let you take your food to go. So cancel your dinner plans, because we’re rounding up the 15 best Chinese take-out spots in America.
Travel to just about any city in America and odds are there’ll be a Chinese restaurant nearby. Convenient, inexpensive, and full of flavor, Chinese food is one of the country’s great adopted cuisines. But for many, trying to replicate the flavors of Chinese cuisine in your own kitchen can present a challenge — even to the more skilled gastronomes among us. Even if you know how to wok-fry and double-steam with the best of them, ordering Chinese remains one of the most popular takeout and delivery options around, right up there with pizza (but with far more variety).
From Sichuan and Canton to Shandong and Beijing, we’re a fortunate nation to have so many provincial Chinese cuisines represented not just in the larger metropolises but throughout the lower 48 and beyond. Whether you’re sampling San Tung’s addictive chicken wings on the run in San Francisco or tucking into some insanely delicious hand-pulled noodles from New York’s Xi’An Famous Foods, the restaurants on our list are certainly worth writing home about.
The Daily Meal searched America to seek out the best Chinese takeout, from strip mall nooks and holes-in-the-wall to bustling Chinatown institutions and bold new kids on the block. We consulted our own group of chefs and city experts, James Beard Award-winning and nominated chefs like Ken Oringer and Anita Lo and both nationally and locally trusted sources online and in print in cities across the country. Some great places didn't make the list, but after qualifying the food based on authenticity to regional cuisine, speed and of course, flavor, the food from these 15 places emerged as the clear winners.
For those with a coastal bias — don’t despair. There’s many a specialized delicacy to be found all over the country. So brush up on your chopsticks skills, it's time to get down to business. Click here to learn which 15 Chinese takeout spots are America’s best.
Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers. Additional reporting by Zak Feldman.