Written by 3:52 am Dining & Wine, Restaurants

25 Best Chinese Restaurants in New York City

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The greatest Chinese restaurants in New York City provide both traditional dim sum and a brand-new, hardly available fiery Peking duck.

Excellent Chinese restaurants have a long history in New York City, showing both the fusion cuisine developed by immigrants in the country and the culinary customs of almost every province in China. The city offers a wide range of dining alternatives, whether you want to try hot Szechuan cuisine at quaint Chinatown eateries, have a traditional weekend brunch with dim sum at a local landmark, or order outstanding takeout or delivery to enjoy at home. These are NYC’s top Chinese eateries.

1. Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Photo: nomwah

The first dim sum restaurant in New York opened its doors in 1920 on a seedy corner of gang-infested Doyers Street. But at least the bakery and tea house had a stellar reputation for its world-famous moon cakes and almond biscuits. To maintain the parlour’s traditions during its almost 100-year history of operation, ownership has stayed within the restaurant family. The mainstay was updated in 2010 with a new décor (antique lighting, framed historical images), as well as a menu redesign that included made-to-order meals rather than dim sum in bulk.

The hectic banquet rooms that predominate in Chinatown’s dim lunch scene are nothing like Nom Wah. Instead, the dining room is considerably cosier and inviting, from the couples huddling under vintage pictures of a glamorous Chinese movie actress to the chequered tablecloths atop Art Deco tables. The cuisine is also exceptional; compared to the competition, this restaurant’s dim sum tastes fresher and is more reasonably priced. Try the flaky fried crepe egg roll, the delicate stuffed eggplant loaded with a spicy shrimp and squid combo, and the incredibly fluffy large roasted-pork bun. Additionally, it continues to serve tiny dishes long after other dim sum restaurants have shut their doors. 

2. Hutong

Photo: Hutong

In the former location of Le Cirque, northern Chinese cuisine takes on an elegant and sometimes spicy twist. This well-known restaurant, which has outlets in Hong Kong and London, offers hallmark dishes (the Peking duck is a must), seafood, and dumplings against the background of a glammed-up Art Deco room.

Since October 11, it has been offering Flaming Peking Duck, a unique eating experience, three evenings a week (Monday through Wednesday).

The duck’s skin is wonderfully crisp and seasoned thanks to a 36-hour air drying process and an infusion of the best Sichuan green chilies, star anise, powdered black pepper, and Hutongs own chilli paste. It is roasted for 40 minutes before being set ablaze with Chinese rose wine and rum. As the flames rise from the pan directly in front of you, a divine aroma fills the dining area. With each mouthful, the chef releases delectable, fragrant flavours by expertly carving the duck tableside over fire. Following that, the duck is served with customarily produced steaming pancakes and is unusually coupled with shredded papaya, sweet cantaloupe, as well as customary cucumber and spring onions. The classic duck sauce and the new honey mustard sauce, which goes well with the duck’s aromatic spices, are the two sauces that are accessible to customers. The new Flaming Peking duck, which costs $108 for a complete bird, is now offered every evening.

3. Grand Sichuan

Photo: mygrandsichuan

The Chinese business owned by Xiaotu “John” Zhang has become something of a cult. When Zhang established a branch in Chelsea in 1998, he offered authentic Szechuan cuisine to the area. His menu ardently explains the origins and preparation methods of each dish, giving customers a thorough introduction to the meal to come. Start with a bowl of dried peppercorn-filled, sinus-clearing dan dan noodles or go for the tongue-tingling gui zhou chicken, which blends dry-fried fiery chilies and Szechuan peppercorns. Choose a basket of eight delectable pork soup dumplings if you’re searching for something a little softer.

A wide variety of over 80 meals are available at this Chinese business, including real regional specialties from Hunan, Shanghai, Cantonese, and, of course, Sichuan cuisine, which is known for its fiery double-cooked pork, delicate lamb, and crispy quail. Favourites include the plump crab and pig soup dumplings and the braised sliced beef in Sichuan style with chilli sauce, however the latter is an inferno on a platter and not for the weak of heart.

4. DaXi

This relatively premium restaurant offers its contemporary cuisine in a dramatic and fun manner with vivid colours and unusual presentation, such as the Tibetan-style pork rib and orange soup with millet. 

This reviewer spent a semester studying abroad in Chengdu, Szechuan province, and has since been looking for those exquisite tastes again. At Da Xi, the surprising palatial restaurant on the second level of Flushing’s New World Mall, above the Main Street station at the end of the 7 subway, that hunt finally came to a wonderful conclusion. (The service, however, may sometimes be strangely antagonistic: “That’s spicy!” “That’s a lot!” and “That’s cold!”). For the type of culinary excursion that will leave you yearning for these decadent flavours for years to come, combine the shredded potatoes with the sautéed pork prepared in the Chengdu manner. Keep a bowl of black fungus salad on hand to serve as a tart yet refreshing palette cleanser. Use sour plum juice to wash down the spice. The $1.99 dry Tibetan pork ribs served in a floral birdcage and the K5 fried dessert (available solely on the Chinese menu) presented as doughy small red bean-filled pears with clever burnt-carrot stems are presentation highlights. Later the following week, we returned and waited for the restaurant to open. And we weren’t the only ones in line.

5. MáLà Project

Photo: Mala Project\ Screen Grab

In contrast to the traditional Chinese hot pot, which is cooked with thinly sliced meats, veggies, and stock, owner Ning Amelie Kang and chef Qilong Zhao provide a brothless version of the dish at their East Village eatery. The restaurant’s signature dish is a variant of Chongqing-hailing dry pot, a stir-fry-like spread created with a choice of 52 add-ins, and is named literally for “numbing” and “spicy” properties. Fish fillets, squid balls, fish fillets, beef tenderloin, and pig artery are among the available meats. Beyond the pot, customers may draw up to a marble-topped bar or a 15-seat communal table for small bites like steamed egg pudding.

6. RedFarm

Photo: RedFarm (New York) \ Screen Grab

This restaurant boasts a diverse, simple-to-share food and is decorated with farm-to-table elements like planters in the doors and windows, blond wooden pillars, and gingham booths. To mix and match, start with the family-style entrees.

7. Great New York Noodletown

Photo: The Great New York Noodletown

This Hong Kong-style establishment is well-known for its late hours and dependably excellent food. Numerous noodle types are available, including those that are pan-fried or served in broth with extras like shrimp dumplings, pig’s feet, and beef balls. Also, remember to check out the remainder of the menu: Chinese blooming chives are cooked along with your selection of duck, scallops, fish, or squid in one special stir-fry. 

8. Xi’an Famous Foods

Photo: xianfoods

This Chinese chainlet showcases the mouthwatering food of Xi’an, a historic city on the Silk Road in China. In more spacious surroundings, this branch has the same limited menu of hot noodles and cumin-seasoned burgers. The 40-seat restaurant is decorated with a blend of antique accents and contemporary effects, in contrast to its sparsely furnished siblings.

9. 456 New Shanghai Cuisine

Photo: 456-Shanghai-Cuisine \ Screen Grab

The grandson of the original owner resurrected this Chinatown restaurant from 1963 to 2011. Shanghai cuisine staples like soups, dumplings, crispy whole fish, and cold sesame noodles are still a large part of the menu. There is also a wide selection of lunch specialties including dim food.

10. Lan Sheng

Photo: lanshengszechuan

A more recent addition to Midtown’s list of excellent Szechuan restaurants competes well with Szechuan Gourmet and Wu Liang Ye. In meals like mouthwatering dan dan noodles garnished with soggy spinach and a savoury crumble of pork and Szechuan peppercorns, Lan Sheng delivers on spiciness and sophisticated flavour. Sliced lamb with Szechuan pickle and celery is a hot, greasy joy. The sautéed green beans with minced pig are supple within with blistered, crispy exteriors.

11. Pacificana

Photo: nyctourism

One of our favourite places in the city for dim sum is this 450-seat outdoor mansion. In the open kitchen, everything is prepared to order, including the mouthwatering crab soup dumplings, the crispy suckling pig, and the soy-sauce duck tongues.

12. Yun Nan Flavour Garden

Photo: yunnanssg\ Screen Grab

This takeaway restaurant is managed by a couple who are natives of Kunming, the provincial capital of the southeast Yunnan region. It is a real mom-and-pop establishment. The citrus and herb emphasis of neighbouring Southeast Asia is borrowed by the local cuisine. Hot and sour soup with pig dumplings and thin home-made rice noodles that are served cold with minced pork, browned peanuts, and a zingy, sweet concoction of chile oil, vinegar, and soy sauce are among the restaurant’s best-sellers. With delights like crunchy pig skin or braised chicken, more noodles are provided in a flavorful bone broth.

13. Han Dynasty

Photo: Han Dynasty

Han Chiang, a native of Taiwan, has developed an underground following in the Land of Brotherly Love because of his hot Szechuan cuisine and has subsequently moved into NYC. Spiced chicken wings, chilly slices of bone-in rabbit with peanuts, and exquisite pork wontons are surrounded by cheerful yellow walls from the Han Dynasty and Chinese painter paintings. The much-discussed dan dan noodles have a springier texture than others and a skillful blend of throat-burning chilli oil and calming sesame paste.

14. Spicy Village

Photo: spicevillage

The tastiest meals at this restaurant that specialises in noodles are hot and have rich, nuanced tastes from Henan. A heap of noodles is covered in a tangy sauce and garnished with chopped cilantro in a plate of hot beef brisket. The dish with the appropriately named “big tray chicken” has a pool of oily soup that is a vibrant orange colour and spiced with cumin and star anise. It goes well with the rustically-textured hui mei, much like the majority of the Spicy Village menu.

15. Szechuan Mountain House

Szechuan Mountain House’s atmosphere is out of this world, and this is the restaurant’s first extension outside of Queens. The string beans with the chile, garlic, fermented veggies, and pork have three distinct flavours: umami, spice, and freshness. The jellyfish salad is crunchy and sparkling. Overall, we are fortunate that the Mountains have come to Manhattan if Manhattan won’t go to the Mountain.

16. Peking Duck House

Photo: joespekingduckhouse

Before putting the roasted duck on the centre display table, your waiter walks the duck by your group. A chef displays his knives in a dramatic manner before cutting the flavorful, tender meat with finesse. Other table guests drool with jealousy. (Don’t they know you don’t have to order the speciality in advance at this place? Pity.) If you choose the “three-way,” your duck will produce the main entrée (together with pancakes and plum sauce for dipping), a vegetable stir-fry with any leftover meat, and a cabbage soup cooked with the remaining bone.

17. Wo Hop

Photo: wohop17

This subterranean eatery, which first opened its doors in 1938, serves traditional Chinese-American fare including chop suey and sweet-and-sour pig. With a neighbouring business above and a more modern outside sitting area, it’s simpler to get a seat at this wildly popular NYC institution. 

18. Little Pepper

Photo: littlepepperrestaurant

Little Pepper’s gorgeous, fiery Szechuan cuisine is the centre of attention because of the minimal décor. The cooked sliced fish is served in a fiery crimson soup that resembles a Thai curry. Here, the dan dan noodles are given new life by the addition of hot minced pork. Be prepared to deal with the Szechuan pepper’s explosive intensity in even basic appetisers like sliced beef.

19. Hunan Slurp

Photo: hunanslurp

Chao Wang, a Hunan native and artist, founded this slurping shop to introduce a flavour of his homeland to New York City. When you arrive, the dining room will be filled with a symphony of slurping sounds. Hometown Lu Fen, served with a spicy bowl of chilli oil and heaped with chopped beef, char siu pork, and a jammy soft-boiled egg over supple rice noodles in a thick broth, invites you to join the chorus. You’ll depart with stuffed tummies, burning lips, and clothes stained with chilli oil, but that’s a little price to pay for being bowled over and looking good.

20. New World Mall

Photo: newworldhotels

Find this basement-level food court by navigating the crowds of people outside the 7 station, where you can chow down on treats like hand-pulled noodles at Lanzhou and a cup of bubble tea at Kung Fu Tea. Go in a group so you may try more meals, expert advice.

21. Hao Noodle and Tea

Photo: HaoNoodleandTea

In this West Village dining establishment, stir-fries and soups prepared with homemade noodles are literally the order of the day. Add delicacies like black sesame rice balls, chilli-glazed bean curds, and bacon siu mai to your dinner to complete it. 

22. Congee Village

Photo: congeenyc

At this large, pleasant LES restaurant, the dozens of congee variations available are only the beginning. Order a few vibrant drinks and choose an entree from the extensive menu, which includes a variety of seafood dishes, soups in various shapes and sizes, and beef, pig, chicken, and veggie options. 

23. Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc.

Photo: Tastyhandpullednoodles

Yes, the noodles at this modest Chinese restaurant are hand-pulled, and yes, they are really excellent. Wheat-based strands come with a long variety of alternatives, including fish balls, Fujianese wontons, and fried tofu, and are served in the sauce of your choice. 

24. 99 Favor Taste

Photo: 99favortaste

The focus of this bi-level restaurant, which is outfitted with crimson banquettes and black-lacquered tables, is hot pots. With the meat (beef stomach, pig brain), vegetable (seaweed knot, lotus root), and noodle (udon, ramen) of your choosing, bases include kimchi, pork-bone, and congee broths. On the menu are items like meat in black-pepper sauce and curry chicken breast.

25. Birds of a Feather

Photo: birdsofafeather

Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang, the restaurateurs of Midtown’s once Michelin-starred Cafe China, have opened a Sichuanese restaurant in Williamsburg that is both as good and well-liked as their first business. Favourites from the cuisine consist of mapo tofu, three-pepper chicken, and tea-smoked duck.

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