If you’re craving a bowl of dan dan noodles, a pile of delicate dim sum, or some sweet and sour chicken, you’ll find plenty of places to indulge your cravings in Cleveland. The city is jam-packed with Chinese restaurants, dim sum joints, and noodles houses, all of which promise to pamper your tastebuds with some first-rate Asian flavors. Next time you’re in the mood for an authentic Far East dining experience, here are ten of the top restaurants to try some of the best Chinese food Cleveland has to offer.
10. Szechuan Gourmet (1735 E 36th St Cleveland, OH 44114)
Spice fans shouldn’t miss Szechuan Gourmet, a Cleveland favorite where Sichuan cuisine is the star attraction. Expect lots of garlic, sesame, chili, and, more than anything else, Szechuan peppercorn, a uniquely flavored seasoning that, once tasted, is never forgotten. Ease yourself in with the Spicy Dried Pot before turning up the heat with the mind-blowingly spicy Deep Fried Green Pepper.
9. House of Hunan (18 Public Square, Medina, OH 44256)
If you can’t decide whether you want Thai, Japanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese, make the short journey over to House of Hunan in Medina, an elegant eatery with a big menu packed with a huge selection of eastern flavors. Try some Pad Thai, a plate of super fresh sushi, or indulge in a Chinese classic like Kung Pao Chichen. There’s also an excellent selection of vegetarian options, including scrummy curry vegetables with fried tofu.
8. Phusion Cafe (11611 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106)
Enjoy a new taste experience at Phusion Cafe, a superbly friendly restaurant that puts the focus squarely on the cuisines of the Hakka people of southern China and Tawan. The food is incredibly lively, with fresh, zingy ingredients that pack a huge flavor punch. The pork belly stew is deep, savory, and unctuous, with just the right amount of piquancy to cut through the tender, fatty slivers of meat. Other dishes not to miss include the five-spice duck and beef in satay sauce.
7. Li Wah (2999 Payne Ave Ste 102, Cleveland, OH 44114)
It’s no secret that Li Wah serves up some of the best Hong Kong-style dim sum in Cleveland’s AsiaTown. Pop by between 11 am to 3 pm to tuck into delicate soup dumplings, rice noodle rolls, chicken feet, and other tender morsels, all of which are wheeled to your table on carts piled high with steaming bamboo dishes. There’s also a huge selection of appetizers (try the salt and pepper squid), meat and seafood entrees (don’t miss the delicious Hunan style chicken and heart-stoppingly tender lamp stew pot), together with a very decent assortment of vegetarian and vegan options.
6. Siam Cafe (3951 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114)
Enjoy a pan-Asian tour at the Siam Cafe, a friendly restaurant where you can work your way around China, Vietnam, and Thailand courtesy of a menu bristling with Asian favorites like steamed pork dumplings, shrimp wonton soup, beef noodle soup, steamed buns, tender beef ribs in black bean sauce, and Peking duck. If you’re craving crustaceans, choose from a tempting selection of crab dishes made from the live crabs on display in the tanks at the rear of the restaurant. Be sure to save a little room for the indulgent red bean ice cream for dessert.
5. Han Chinese Kabob & Grill (3701 Payne Ave, Cleveland, 44114)
Han Chinese Kabob & Grill was the first restaurant to serve Chinese street kabob in Cleveland. Made from locally sourced lamb from Sandusky, OH, the iconic skewers are a smokey, aromatic delight, with enough spice to give them a bite and enough savory goodness to keep you coming back for more. Good though the lamb version is, the chicken, squid, and beef versions are also too good to miss. If you want a little more variety, try the wontons in chili oil or give in to the temptation of a big bowl of spicy dan dan noodles. For something more substantial, the sliced pork belly in garlic sauce won’t disappoint.
4. Szechwan Garden (3800 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, 44107)
Named one of the best Chinese restaurants in Cleveland by clevelandleader.com, Szechwan Garden will take you on a culinary journey you’ll be in no hurry to come back from. Top picks on the bold, jam-packed menu include the Hunan Lobster, War Sur Gai, and Mandarin Crispy Duck. Vegetarians are exceptionally well catered to with the mile-deep Zen menu, which, among other things, includes a vegetarian take on General Tso Chicken (vegetarian chicken accompanied by bamboo shoots, broccoli, water chestnuts, napa, and baby corn served in a mildly spicy red sauce) that even committed carnivores will devour.
3. Emperor’s Palace (2136 Rockwell Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114)
The moment you set foot over the threshold of Emperor’s Palace and get an eyeful of the elaborate gold decoration and traditional artwork, you know you’re in for a treat. Fortunately, the menu doesn’t disappoint, offering a huge assortment of meat, seafood, and vegetarian entrees, noodles, fried rice dishes, and soups, along with a mind-blowing dim sum selection that no dumpling fan will want to miss.
2. LJ Shanghai (3142 Superior Ave E, Cleveland, OH 44114)
As clevelandmagazine.com writes, this AsiaTown favorite has already drawn rave reviews for its xiao li bao, but there’s far more to discover here than just the (admittedly excellent) soup dumplings. Give your tastebuds a treat with the knockout cold pig ear salad, the thick, springy pan-fried beef noodles served with soy and scallion, and the pan-fried pork dumplings encased n a caramel crust.
1. China One Chinese Restaurant (2999 Payne Ave #102, Cleveland, OH 44114)
Ranked one of the best Chinese restaurants in Cleveland by foodnewsnews.com, China One Chinese Restaurant offers a tantalizing selection of Chinese dishes, made from only the freshest, highest quality ingredients and prepared using authentic cooking techniques and practices. Standout dishes include tender strips of beef steak and scallops tossed in crunchy Chinese vegetables and doused in oyster sauce, and a hugely satisfying Mongolian beef.