Philadelphia might be best known for its soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, but there's more to the city's food scene than dough and cheese. If you're hankering after something spicy, sweet, sour, or maybe a little bit of all three, you'll find plenty of Chinese restaurants ready and waiting to satisfy your cravings. Regardless of whether you're in the mood for some delicate dim sum, sweet orange chicken, or a bowl of spicy, steaming noodles, these are the top ten places to check out for the best Chinese food Philadelphia has to offer.
10. Lee How Fook Chinese Cuisine: 219 N. 11th St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
For affordable prices, hearty portions of classic Cantonese-style cuisine, and exceptional service, this cozy family-run eatery has it covered. Key menu highlights to take for a spin include the hearty abalone and duck soup, an incredibly moreish salt-baked squid, and a black pepper hot pot worth writing home about. There are plenty of options for non-meat eaters too, including a scrummy spicy ma po tofu. Refresh your palate with a bowl of green tea or coconut ice cream for dessert.
9. Chinatown Dumpling House: 1016 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
With its delicious variety of handmade dumplings, this Chinatown institution knows how to keep its loyal patrons happy. Whether you eat them steamed, fried, boiled, or pan-seared, stuffed with soup, vegetables, pork, or seafood, you won't be disappointed. Other items on the menu worth a try include the salt and pepper wings and peanut sesame noodles.
8. Ocean Harbor: 1023 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you've got a craving for dim sum, Ocean Harbor is where it's at. Take-out options are available, but the experience of enjoying beef rice rolls, fried shrimp balls, sui mei, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, and roast pork buns rolled to your table on carts makes it worth booking a table in the banquet hall. If you still have an appetite after feasting on all those steamy hot dumplings, there's also a good selection of entrees such as beef short ribs, chicken feet, and steamed pork to enjoy.
7. Bai Wei: 1038 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you've got fond memories of Sakura Mandarin, don't panic - the name might have changed to Bai Wei, but the food at this Chinese bistro is just as good as ever. Order online for takeout or grab a seat in its cozy dining room and prepare to tuck into a bevy of treats like soup dumplings that burst in the mouth, pan-fried sheng jian bao, juicy double-cooked pork shoulder, flaky scallion pancakes, and hot and spicy stir-fry dry pot.
6. Hunan Palace: 6118 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19151
If you're hunting for some good eats after a night out, don't overlook the charms of Hunan Palace. The prices are low, the service is fast, it's open till late, and the food is guaranteed to hit the spot. Everything is prepared fresh, ensuring a flavor-packed way to satisfy your late-night Chinese food cravings. The shrimp fried rice and the fried scallop come particular highly recommended.
5. CinCin: 7838 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19118
This elegant eatery in Chestnut Hill is overseen by Michael Wei, whose refined menu of authentic Chinese fare is complemented by a sophisticated dining space of dark wooden accents and etched glass panels. The prices are a cut above what you might expect, but so is the food, particularly the brandy-infused beef in hoisin sauce, four flavor beef in lemongrass sauce, and the sautéed jumbo lump crab cake with basil and sweet-and-sour pork. Be sure to save some room for dessert - the white chocolate crème brûlée is to-die-for.
4. Sampan: 124 S. Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Chef Michael Schulson from TLC’s competition series Ultimate Cake-Off is the creative genius behind Sampan, a modern Asian eatery located in a prime position in Midtown Village. Ranked one of the best Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia by gayot.com, the restaurant offers a dizzying array of authentic Asian dishes, made from only the finest ingredients and presented with an artistic flair that guarantees a memorable dining expense. The braised short rib lo mein with apples and bok choy are worth investigating, as is the Kobe beef satay. Stop by during the daily happy hour to enjoy cut-price drinks, buns, dumplings, and grilled skewers.
3. Dim Sum Garden: 1020 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
There are plenty of places offering dim sum around the city, but few do it quite so well as this Chinatown hotspot. It may have only opened in 2013, but it's already acquired legendary status thanks to the talents of Shizhou Da, a chef of over 30 years of experience whose time in some of the world's top Chinese restaurants clearly hasn't been wasted. The shrimp and chicken dumplings are downright heavenly, as are the Shanghai steamed pork soup dumplings, the spicy pork soup dumplings, chives and pork dumplings, and pretty much everything else on the flavor-packed menu. If you're up for venturing away from the dim sum menu, the Shanghai stir-fried noodles won't disappoint.
2. Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House: 1022 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
If you want some of the best Chinese comfort food in Philly, take the advice of theculturetrip.com and head for Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, home to some of the widest, longest, chewiest and most delicious noodles in Chinatown. The ramen and lo mein shouldn't be missed, but then again, neither should the spicy pig ears or the big bowls of broth swimming with slivers of radish and boosed by red chili oil.
1. Sang Kee Peking Duck House: 238 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Named one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia's Chinatown by tripsavvy.com, this local favorite has been keeping customers happy since 1980 with its creative, authentic Chinese cuisine. It was the first restaurant in Philly to serve Peking duck, and today, its namesake dish is still a big part of its charms. But don't limit yourself to just the duck - with a huge array of seafood and meat dishes to tuck into, not to mention a giant assortment of noodles, rice, and vegetarian options, you'd be doing both the chef and your belly a disservice if you don't try a little bit of everything.
Written by Liz Flynn
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