If there’s one style of food where we tend to think, “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” it’s Chinese food. To some, this conclusion might seem obvious, and it is perhaps not without some justification. After all, many Chinese restaurants are surprisingly similar, right down to their dish names and descriptions. But in certain parts of the country, you can find Chinese food that’s legitimately spectacular. To honor these restaurants, we’ve rounded up the 30 best Chinese restaurants in the country.
Travel to just about any American city and odds are there’ll be at least one Chinese restaurant (in fact, that’s pretty much a global truism). Convenient, inexpensive, and full of flavor, Chinese food is one of the country’s great adopted cuisines. Sadly, in much of the country it’s still very difficult to find anything other than “Chinese-American” cuisine — sesame chicken, egg foo young, and the like — but that doesn’t mean that great Chinese food doesn’t exist; it’s just usually found on the coasts (especially the West Coast), where the majority of Chinese immigrants have settled. But as you’ll see, that doesn’t mean that great Chinese food can’t be found throughout the country; you just need to know where to look.
From Sichuan and Canton to Shandong and Beijing, we’re a fortunate nation to have so many provincial Chinese cuisines represented. 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 worth writing home about.
The Daily Meal surveyed dining scenes across America to seek out the best Chinese restaurants, examining strip mall holes-in-the-wall, bustling Chinatown institutions, and bold new kids on the block. We consulted our own group of chefs and city experts to ask which restaurants are their favorites, as well as both nationally and locally trusted sources online and in print in cities across the country. Not only are all these restaurants extremely popular and renowned, the dishes they serve are as close to authentic Chinese as possible (or put a playful and creative spin on authentic dishes), are prepared with care and pride, and are astonishingly delicious. These 30 Chinese restaurants are America’s best.