New York City is known for its vibrant food scene, and one cuisine that has always stood out is Chinese food. From dim sum to noodles, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes to try in the city’s many Chinese restaurants. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose where to go. In this guide, we’ve compiled our top picks for the best Chinese restaurants in NYC and some insider tips to improve your dining experience.
- Jing Fong
Jing Fong is a classic dim sum restaurant located in Chinatown. This massive restaurant spans two floors and can accommodate up to 800 people at a time, making it a great spot for large groups. Some must-try dishes include the steamed shrimp dumplings, barbecue pork buns, and turnip cakes. The restaurant can get crowded on weekends, so be sure to arrive early or make a reservation.
- Joe’s Shanghai
Joe’s Shanghai is another Chinatown institution that’s been around for over 20 years. Their soup dumplings, also known as xiao long bao, are a fan favorite and are served steaming hot. Other popular dishes include the crispy fried fish and the sautéed string beans. Joe’s Shanghai now has multiple locations throughout the city, so you can get your soup dumpling fix no matter where you are.
- Mission Chinese Food
If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, head to Mission Chinese Food in the Lower East Side. This restaurant is known for its unique takes on classic Chinese dishes, like kung pao pastrami and salt cod fried rice. The atmosphere is lively and fun, with graffiti art covering the walls. Be sure to try the thrice-cooked bacon, a dish that’s become iconic to the restaurant.
- Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine Restaurant
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine Restaurant is a hidden gem located in the East Village. This small, unassuming spot specializes in dishes from the Fujian province in China. Some standout dishes include the fish ball soup, the pork and chive dumplings, and the fried rice cakes. The prices are also very reasonable, making it a great spot for a casual meal.
- Da Xi Sichuan
If you’re a fan of spicy food, Da Xi Sichuan is a must-visit. This restaurant in the East Village serves up authentic Sichuan cuisine, known for its bold flavors and liberal use of chili peppers. Some standout dishes include the dan dan noodles, the spicy fish fillet, and the mapo tofu. The restaurant also offers hot pot, a communal dining experience where you cook your own food in a spicy broth.
- Xi’an Famous Foods
Xi’an Famous Foods started as a small stall in Flushing, Queens, and has since expanded to multiple locations throughout the city. Their specialty is hand-pulled noodles, served in a variety of dishes like spicy cumin lamb and stewed pork. The restaurant also offers a range of other dishes, including burgers and dumplings. If you’re looking for a quick and tasty meal, Xi’an Famous Foods is a great choice.
- Hwa Yuan Szechuan
Hwa Yuan Szechuan is a Chinatown institution that recently underwent a major renovation. The restaurant now has a modern interior, but still serves up classic Szechuan dishes like spicy diced chicken and dan dan noodles. The prices are a bit higher than other restaurants in the area, but the quality of the food is top-notch.
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is a must-visit for dim sum lovers. This iconic restaurant has been serving up traditional dim sum dishes since 1920, making it the oldest dim sum parlor in Chinatown. Their menu features classic dim sum dishes such as pork buns, shrimp dumplings, and rice rolls. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try their famous egg custard tarts or sesame balls. Pro tip: arrive early to avoid the long lines.
- Spicy Village
Spicy Village is a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in the Lower East Side. Don’t be fooled by its small size – this restaurant packs a big punch when it comes to flavor. Their most popular dish is the Big Tray Chicken, which is a spicy and savory dish featuring tender chicken pieces, potatoes, and handmade noodles. But don’t miss out on their other dishes, such as the cumin lamb and the spicy beef noodle soup.
- Wu’s Wonton King
Wu’s Wonton King is a Chinatown restaurant that specializes in Cantonese cuisine. Their menu features classic dishes such as roast duck, crispy pork belly, and fried rice. But the real standout is their wonton soup, which features delicate wontons filled with shrimp and pork in a flavorful broth. Pro tip: the restaurant also offers a Peking duck feast, which must be ordered in advance.
- King Noodle
King Noodle is a funky restaurant located in East Williamsburg that serves up a unique blend of Chinese and American cuisine. The restaurant’s menu features classic Chinese dishes such as lo mein and fried rice, but with a twist. Don’t miss out on their General Tso’s chicken, which is made with organic chicken and served with crispy rice noodles.
- Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty is a Szechuan restaurant with locations in the East Village and Upper West Side. The restaurant’s menu is packed with spicy and flavorful dishes, like the Dan Dan Noodles and the Dry Pot Style Fish. If you’re not sure what to order, go for one of the restaurant’s set menus, which offer a variety of dishes at a great price. Insider tip: If you’re a spice newbie, start with one chili pepper and work your way up – Han Dynasty’s spice levels are no joke.
RedFarm is a modern Chinese restaurant with locations in the West Village and Upper West Side. The restaurant is known for its playful takes on traditional Chinese dishes, like the Pac-Man Dumplings and the Katz’s Pastrami Egg Roll. But don’t let the whimsy fool you – RedFarm’s food is seriously delicious. Insider tip: The Soup Dumplings are a must-try, but be prepared for a wait – they’re made to order and take some time to prepare.
- Shun Lee West
For a more upscale take on Chinese cuisine, head to Shun Lee West on the Upper West Side. This restaurant has been a fixture in the city since 1981, and its elegant décor and white tablecloths give it a classic New York fine dining vibe. Shun Lee West specializes in Cantonese and Szechuan dishes, with standouts including the Peking Duck, the Spicy Szechuan Shrimp, and the Lobster Cantonese. Insider tip: If you’re in the mood for dim sum, be sure to come for brunch on the weekends – the restaurant’s dim sum cart is legendary.
In conclusion, New York City is home to some of the best Chinese food outside of China itself. Whether you’re in the mood for hand-pulled noodles, spicy Szechuan dishes, or classic dim sum, there’s a restaurant in the city that can satisfy your craving. Our top picks for the best Chinese restaurants in NYC include Xi’an Famous Foods, Shun Lee West, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, RedFarm, Han Dynasty, and Joe’s Shanghai.
To make the most of your dining experience, be sure to keep our insider tips in mind. Don’t be afraid to ask for your food extra spicy at Xi’an Famous Foods or Han Dynasty, and be prepared for a wait if you’re ordering the Soup Dumplings at RedFarm. If you’re in the mood for dim sum, head to Shun Lee West for their legendary weekend brunch cart.
And of course, if you’re looking to recreate some of these delicious dishes at home, be sure to check out chinesefoodsrecipe.com for authentic recipes and cooking tips. With their help, you can bring the flavors of your favorite NYC Chinese restaurants into your own kitchen.
In summary, the best Chinese restaurants in NYC offer a variety of flavors and experiences, from hole-in-the-wall noodle shops to elegant fine dining establishments. No matter what your budget or taste preferences, there’s a Chinese restaurant in the city that can satisfy your cravings. So grab some chopsticks and dig in – you’re in for a delicious ride.