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Hutong
Photograph: Courtesy of Hutong

The 30 best Chinese restaurants in NYC

The best Chinese food in NYC includes Cantonese pushcart dim sum and fiery Xi'an noodles

Written by
Christina Izzo
,
Dan Q Dao
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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New York has a long lineage of Chinese restaurants showcasing the culinary traditions of nearly every province in China, as well as the fusion fare created by immigrants in the United States. Whether you're looking to sample fiery Szechuan fare at tiny Chinatown restaurants, experience a classic weekend dim sum brunch at a New York icon, or grab top-notch takeout and delivery to enjoy at home, the city has got you covered. These are the best Chinese restaurants NYC has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown

New York's first dim sum house opened in 1920 at a crook in Doyers Street known at the time as "the bloody angle." That Chinatown passage bore witness to the grisly havoc of the Tong gang wars—shootings and hatchet murders—but the bakery and tea shop had a sweeter reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary. In 2010, the 90-year-old stalwart went through a remodel. The most important tweaks, though, were behind the scenes. Now, each plate is cooked to order at the charming old-school institution, unlike some of the busy banquet halls that dominate Chinatown's dim sum scene.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Midtown East

A spectacular, glittering dining room with Art Deco style for days and peripheral design elements like a long glass hallway with rows of wine bottles illuminated like heist-worthy works of art make Hutong an impressive address. Thankfully, the menu lives up to the aesthetic. Rosé Champagne shrimp dumplings sparkle, too, the mapo tofu has a welcome heat and roasted Peking duck skin crackles like it should.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chelsea

Xiaotu “John” Zhang's expanding Chinese chain has developed quite a cult following. Zhang brought real-deal Szechuan food to Chelsea when he opened a branch there in 1998. His menu passionately describes the history and cooking process behind each dish, providing diners a comprehensive primer on the feast to come. Start with a sinus-clearing bowl of dandan noodles, loaded with dried peppercorns, or opt for the addictive gui zhou chicken, which combines dry-fried hot chilies and tongue-tingling Szechuan peppercorns. If you’re looking for something milder, order a basket of eight succulent pork soup dumplings.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Flushing
  • price 2 of 4

This slightly upscale restaurant serves its modern dishes, like the Tibetan-style pork rib and orange congee with millet, in a theatrical and playful fashion with bright colors and surprising plating. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

Chinese hot pot, customarily stewed with thinly sliced meats, vegetables and stock, gets a brothless showcase at this East Village restaurant from owner Ning Amelie Kang and chef Qilong Zhao. Named literally for “numbing" and "spicy" qualities, the restaurant’s starring dish is a variation on Chongqing-hailing dry pot, a stir-fry-like spread built with a choice of 52 add-ins. Meat options include beef tenderloin, pig artery, fish fillets, squid balls and frog. Beyond the pot, diners can pull up to a 15-seat communal table or a marble-topped counter for snacks like steamed egg custard.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • West Village

Dressed in farm-to-table decor with potted plants in the windows, blond wood pillars and gingham booths, this place has an eclectic, easy to share menu. Head straight for the family-style entrées to mix and match. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

Star chefs like David Chang and David Bouley call this Hong Kong–style institution a favorite for its late-night hours and consistently good eats. Do as Chang does and order the ginger scallion lo mein, or choose from dozens of noodle variations—available panfried or in broth with add-ons like shrimp dumplings, pig’s feet and beef balls. Don’t overlook the rest of the menu: One signature stir-fry features Chinese flowering chives sautéed with your choice of duck, scallops, fish or squid.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

This Chinese chainlet highlights the mouth-tingling cuisine of Xi'an, an ancient capital along China's Silk Road. This location offers the same short menu of spicy noodles and cumin-spiced burgers in roomier digs. Unlike its sparely appointed siblings, a mix of antique touches and modern effects decorate the 40-seat restaurant.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

This 1963-vintage Chinatown eatery reopened in 2011 with the original owner's grandson at the helm. Most of the menu's Shanghai classics remain the same—like soup dumplings, crispy whole fish and cold sesame noodles. There is also an extensive array of dim sum and lunch specials.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Flushing

Where China borders Mongolia in the colder north, the food reflects the terrain—it’s rustic and comforting, loaded with rich lamb and focused more on wheat-flour noodles and buns than the rice ubiquitous elsewhere. Flushing has seen an increase in Northern Chinese restaurants like Fu Run, whose owners are from Dongbei (what was once known as Manchuria). They call their justly celebrated dish the “Muslim lamb chop,” but it’s more like a half rack of ribs: A platter of bone-in, fatty meat is braised, then battered and deep-fried, the whole juicy slab blanketed with cumin seeds, chili powder and flakes, and black and white sesame seeds. Try it with a wonderfully greasy beef-stuffed pancake called a bing, and cold saladesque dishes.

See the best Chinese restaurants in America

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