What makes a Chinatown great, you might ask? Well in our opinion, it’s all about the food. Whether you’re ordering takeout or dining in, the variety and authenticity of Chinese restaurants in any Chinatown means you’re never far from your next incredible Chinese food meal. Here are the Chinatowns that made our list for the best in the USA, and our top picks for what to order while you’re there.
San Francisco is home to the oldest Chinatown in North America, established in 1848, and is known for its rumored invention of the fortune cookie. You can try a fresh fortune cookie from the famous Fortune Cookie Factory, or enjoy one at the end of your meal at any one of the neighborhood’s many Chinese Food restaurants.
What to eat: The BBQ Pork Rice Noodle Roll from Sam Wo is a firm favorite among tourists as well as the restaurant’s many long-time regulars. Be sure to order a side of hot mustard for a little extra kick.
New York City
You can’t visit the Big Apple without roaming through the streets of Chinatown, but did you know that New York City is actually home to two Chinatowns? The most famous is in Manhattan and takes up over 40 blocks, meaning you could explore for hours without passing the same restaurant twice.
What to eat: With so many local Chinese food restaurants to choose from, this was a tough pick, but we have to go with the Dim Sum from Jing Fong. Don’t be afraid to try more unusual options like the chicken feet!
Chinatown in Philadelphia is significantly smaller than the other two cities on our list so far, with just 6 blocks to explore. Despite its size, it is just as exciting as the Chinatowns in larger cities, and every street is packed with delicious options for your next Chinese food meal.
What to eat: The roasted duck served with buns from Sang Kee Peking Duck house is simply perfection.
Chinatown in Chicago was one of the first non-coastal Chinatowns in the USA, and has grown to a population of over 70,000. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a sunny day, we recommend ordering takeout from one of the many local Chinese restaurants, and enjoying it picnic-style in Ping Tom Memorial Park.
What to eat: The Stir-Fried Clams with Black Bean Sauce from Original Triple Crown Restaurant is just one of the specialities from this local restaurant known for its fresh seafood.
Chinatown in our nation’s capital may only be home to about 20 Chinese food restaurants, but each one is more authentic than the last. The quality of food makes Chinatown one of the most popular culiniary destinations in Washington, D.C. for both tourists and locals alike.
What to eat: The Salted Fish Fried Rice with Chicken from Jackey Café is one of the most popular dishes on the menu, for good reason.
Boston is home to the only Chinatown in all of New England and has become a cultural mix of many Asian backgrounds including a growing Vietnamese population. It’s also home to some of the best Chinese food on the East Coast.
What to eat: The Peking Duck from China King is exceptional, but only available if you’re dining in. If you’re ordering from the takeout menu, the Roast Duck Wonton Noodle Soup is the next best thing.
Of all the many and diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chinatown has the highest immigrant population. While it might not be as large or as famous as Chinatown in San Francisco, it’s equal when it comes to the quality and authenticity of the many Chinese food restaurants to choose from.
What to eat: The Hainanese Chicken Rice from East Garden Restaurant is simple but incredibly flavorful.
Chinatown in Seattle is more of a hybrid, bordered closely with Japantown and Little Saigon, and while you can easily explore all three in one afternoon, it’ll take much longer to try all the different restaurants on offer. The variety of Chinese food restaurants might seem overwhelming at first, but the good news is you really can’t go wrong!
What to eat: The Signature Dry Pot from Sizzling Pot King. Expect short ribs falling off the bone and vegetables cooked to perfection, plus enough food to feed 3-4 people.
Houston’s Chinatown is so culturally diverse that it’s often referred to as Asiatown. There is a huge variety of Asian restaurants to choose from, including Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Malaysian, and of course, Chinese.
What to eat: Crispy Spicy Chicken from Mala Sichuan Bistro. The name says it all.
Hawaii probably isn’t the first place you’d think of when searching for authentic Chinese food, but you’d be surprised. Spend the afternoon wandering through this vibrant community and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best Chinese food you’ve ever tasted.
What to eat: The Honey Walnut Shrimp from Little Village Noodle House is an absolute must-have.
(image source http://eatricehawaii.blogspot.com)