Becoming a successful Chinese restaurant in the United States is tricky. You need to cater to the American palate, but still be authentic enough to be considered a reputable Chinese joint.
With more than 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, it's not easy picking a top 50. Based on interviews with chefs and Chinese restaurant associations, surveys of local food writers and polls, and our own experience, here are the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the country, arranged by state.
China Magic Noodle House, Chandler, Arizona
|China Magic Noodle House, Chandler, Arizona [yelp.com]|
Watch through a window as the noodles you just ordered are handmade and pulled for you. China Magic Noodle House serves outstanding beef noodles for less than US$10. Huge portions and you can get them dry or with broth. The egg rolls are a good appetizer, but spicy marinated pig ear is also on the menu. If that isn't enough, they serve freshly squeezed juice and boba milk tea.
2015 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, Ariz.; +1 480 786 8002
Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park, California
|Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park, California [latimes.com]|
Beijing Pie House isn't a traditional Chinese restaurant. No white tablecloths, moo shu pork or dim sum carts here. The place trumpets the glories of meat pies -- flaky pies stuffed with searing hot pieces of meat. All for US$7. If you haven't gotten your carnivore on yet, you can always pair your pie with a savory beef roll. Cash only.
846 E. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park, Calif.; +1 626 288 3818
Chef Chu's, Los Altos, California
|Chef Chu's, Los Altos, California [flickr.com]|
Extensive selection, big portions and reasonable prices. Chef Chu's was opened in 1970 by Lawrence C.C. Chu himself. Since then the chef has made countless media appearances and become a best-selling cookbook author.
The Los Altos-based restaurant serves dishes covering all regions of China, but manages to cater to the American palate. Specialties are Peking duck (order four hours ahead) and a scintillating chicken salad with hot-mustard peanuts.
Notable diners include Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter and none other than the Biebs, Justin Bieber.
1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos, Calif.; +1 650 948 2696
Class 302, Rowland Heights, California
|Class 302, Rowland Heights, California [gastronomyblog.com]|
Class 302 is as close as you can get to authentic Taiwan food outside Taiwan. The restaurant is structured like a traditional Chinese classroom. The pork belly rice gets it just right and you know you're in a solid place when you see customers flocking from all over Southern California just to get their tongues on the highly touted shaved snow (shaved ice). Cash only.
1015 S. Nogales St., No. 125, Rowland Heights, Calif.; +1 626 965 5809