America boasts the largest number of Chinese communities outside of Asia. With so many Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia, it’s difficult to discern which authentic eateries serve the tastiest chow mein, the crispiest spring rolls and the most delicate dim sum. Where to go for the best wonton soup, the spiciest Kung Pao chicken and the freshest fried rice, however, doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. For the top Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia worth their soy sauce, check out this list.
David’s Mai Lai Wah
1001 Race St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
David’s Mai Lai Wah is a great place for those with a third-shift appetite. You can chow down on chow mein, salt-and-pepper squid and the chef’s famous pork dumplings with ginger scallion sauce until 3 a.m. David’s also has a liquor license and serves up hard-to-find beers and whiskeys. Add dartboards and jukeboxes, and you have a hard-to-beat place for a date.
123 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Han Dynasty is the go-to restaurant in Philly when you crave deliciously spicy Chinese fare. You have to start out with the dan dan noodles, a scrumptious mix of fresh noodles and creamy sauce with crisp pork nuggets. The dumplings in chili oil with pork nuggets and sesame seeds are a must-have, too. All of the entrees are savory bits of heaven, but the dry pot style chicken, covered in a sauce of bamboo shoots, bell peppers, black mushrooms and peppercorns and served in a sizzling wok, is to die for.
47 E. Lancaster Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
Hunan Restaurant, a Main Line favorite since 1973, came back in 2010 after an eight-month hiatus due to a Peking-duck-meets-fire incident, and it has never been better. The eatery’s loyal fan base not only welcomed back the Foo family, relatives of Susanna Foo, but were thrilled to see the exceptional old standby dishes, as well as some brand new offerings. The hot and sour soup, spicy Hunan chicken and Singapore noodles now share the menu with wok-fried tilapia and Shanghai beignets, sugary banana fritters topped with Capogiro’s vanilla-bourbon gelato. Oh my!
Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen
555 E. Lancaster Ave.
Radnor, PA 19087
Chef Susanna Foo has been named the Top Chinese Chef in the USA by “USA Today” and her restaurant has earned a slew of awards over the years. While many of Foo’s dishes are Asian fusion, a melding of traditional Chinese ingredients with French techniques, guests can still find fabulous, classic, handcrafted dumplings, spring rolls and other strictly Chinese fare on the menu. You can go just for happy hour, but don’t miss out on ordering the dumpling sampler or mushroom ravioli with your drinks.
138 N. 10th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Several of the old mom-and-pop Chinatown restaurants have closed down in recent years, but there is a reason why Ting Wong has outlived its competitors. Don’t let its hole-in-the-wall appearance fool you: Ting Wong makes the best wonton soup this side of the South China Sea. You’ll also want to sample the roast duck, which additionally comes in a soup and is served with shrimp dumplings. The congee and the off-menu noodles with pork take high honors, too.
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.