When it comes to Chinese food, where do you go to get the best of the best? The answer may surprise you. While there are certainly some great Chinese restaurants scattered across the country, the truth is that some of the tastiest and most authentic Chinese cuisines can be found in small mom-and-pop shops tucked away in neighborhoods you’d never expect. So if you’re looking for a real culinary adventure, forget about heading to your local Chinatown – here are four off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods where you can find some of the best Chinese foods in America.
Rice Village, Houston, Texas
Houston’s Rice Village area has long been known for its burgeoning Asian population and cuisine thanks to the many international students attending Rice University and other institutions in the area.
The best Chinese foods can be found at China Garden (4912 Kirby Dr), Happy Family (4923B Rice Blvd), and Jenny Lou’s Cafe (5655 Buffalo Speedway). China Garden is a great family-style restaurant with classic American dishes like sweet and sour chicken and fried rice alongside more authentic regional specialties like spicy Mapo Tofu and double-cooked pork belly. Happy Family specializes in Northern Chinese dishes like Peking duck served ten different ways while Jenny Lou’s Café serves up popular dishes like kung pao chicken and steamed dumplings in a casual and friendly environment.
Little Village, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood is home to one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia itself.
Authentic Chinese food can be found at Taste of China (2642 West Cermak), Zheng’s Café (2710 South Blue Island), Lam’s Garden (2734 West 24th St), Chiu Quon Bakery & Fast Food (2370 West Cermak Rd), and Aroy Thai & Sushi Bar (2851 West Cermak Rd). Taste Of China features classic dishes like orange-flavored chicken along with more unusual fare like jellyfish with garlic and chicken feet. Zheng’s Café is famous for its Peking duck and handmade noodles while Lam’s Garden serves up classic Cantonese dishes like roast pork, Peking spare ribs, and beef chow fun. Chiu Quon is a great spot for dim sum and baked goods while Aroy Thai & Sushi Bar offers a diverse menu of upscale Asian fare in a sophisticated atmosphere.
Beverly, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood has also become an off-the-beaten-path destination for the best Chinese foods thanks to the neighborhood’s large Chinese population which includes many first-generation immigrants from Hong Kong who brought their tried and true cooking techniques here.
Authentic Chinese food can be found at China Pepper (7518 S Western Ave), Oriental BBQ & Noodles, Inc. (7457 S Western Ave), and Beverly Hotpot & Grill Buffet (5800 S Western Ave). China Pepper specializes in fiery Szechuan cooking while the other two restaurants specialize in Cantonese fare. Orient BBQ is known for barbecue duck and dim sum while Beverly Hotpot & Grill Buffet features a buffet with over 100 items to choose from along with à la carte dishes like a crab with ginger and scallions.
Kensington, Brooklyn, New York
Located in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant Chinatowns, Brooklyn’s Kensington neighborhood is one of the best places to find authentic Chinese food in New York City. Authentic Chinese food can be found at Golden Woks (718 Church Ave), Yi Palace (1448 Nostrand Ave), and Bo Ky Restaurant (689 Franklin Ave). Golden Woks serves up simple dishes like General Tso’s chicken and offers a plethora of classic menu items ranging from kung pao shrimp to beef chow fun. Yi Palace specializes in small plates featuring Peking duck and another Cantonese fare while Bo Ky specializes in Northern Chinese dishes like hot and sour soup, Shandong-style lamb chops, and Peking duck served six different ways.
The best Chinese foods are the ones you’ve never tried before. So, if your favorite spot doesn’t have what you want, try our list of restaurants that will make it worth traveling to get a taste of something new! The variety of flavors and styles available in China are endless, so use this list as your starting point for discovering where to find the best Chinese food near you. Whether you’re looking for dim sum or curry noodles, we’ve got some suggestions for how to spend less time searching and more time eating!