12 Best Chinese Food in Houston – An Insider’s Guide
Discover the best Chinese food in Houston with reviews from local experts. Find your favorite spot and get recommendations for the most delicious dishes!
Houston’s Chinese food scene has flourished over the past decade, extending beyond the original Chinatown in EaDo to vibrant Asiatowns in southwest Houston and Katy. While China Garden Restaurant, which opened in 1969, is often hailed as the city’s oldest Chinese eatery, Houston has evolved into a diverse culinary hub featuring Chinese restaurants that offer a wide range of cuisines using traditional and contemporary techniques and ingredients.
In 2023, the array of options for Chinese food in Houston is vast, and it’s impossible to mention every exceptional restaurant in the area. However, alongside well-known establishments, there are numerous hidden gems worth exploring. To get started on your quest for the best Chinese food in Houston, here is a curated list encompassing consistently delicious Sichuan delicacies, carts brimming with Cantonese dim sum, beloved Chinese American favorites, and much more.
1. Duck N’ Bao
Regarding Peking Duck in Houston, Duck N’ Bao stands out. It quickly gained recognition, earning a spot on the prestigious “Best New Restaurants” list shortly after its opening. As the name suggests, their specialty is the whole Peking duck, which is expertly barbecued to achieve delectable crispiness. The dish has traditional accompaniments such as pancakes, duck sauce, soup, cucumbers, and scallions. However, Duck N’ Bao offers more than just Peking duck; their menu also features other noteworthy dishes like tea leaf pork ribs, stir-fried lotus root, and whole steamed fish. If you’re craving Pecking Ducks, visit their Memorial location at 5535 Memorial Dr., Suite O. Experience the best Chinese cuisine in Houston at Duck N’ Bao.
2. Bamboo House
Located in Humble, this renowned establishment is a strong contender for serving the best Peking duck in Houston. Not only does their Peking duck come with the traditional accompaniments, but they also offer a comforting and flavorful duck soup. However, their offerings extend beyond Peking Duck. The restaurant is known for its generous portions of hearty Sichuan cuisine that satisfy your cravings. For a delightful appetizer, take advantage of the crispy salt and pepper shrimp, and if you’re looking for a filling dish with a spicy kick, try their house-special beef noodles. Experience the best of Chinese cuisine in Houston at this beloved restaurant.
3. The Rice Box
It’s hard to overlook The Rice Box’s vibrant, Hong Kong-inspired neon signs adorning its buildings, making them easily visible from a distance. Originally starting as a food truck, this local chain now operates from four locations in the greater Houston area. The Rice Box specializes in serving Chinese American classics. Whether you’re craving General Tso’s chicken, orange-peeled beef, or flavorful street bites like salt and pepper cauliflower and sweet chili wings, they have you covered. If you’re a fan of the fiery Mala pepper flavor, their Chongqing chicken is a must-try, as it’s considered one of the most delicious in the city. Experience the best Chinese cuisine in Houston at The Rice Box, where you can indulge in their flavorful offerings and vibrant ambiance.
4. Dim Sum Box
In the bustling Katy Asiatown, which has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, you’ll find a thriving Asian food scene with many restaurants, grocery stores, and specialty shops. Among the noteworthy establishments is Dim Sum Box, a counter-service eatery owned by Gilbert Fung, whose family also owns Fung’s Kitchen. While Dim Sum Box maintains its unique identity, it stands out with its delectable offerings, including dumplings, lava buns, and Peking Ducks. To taste some of the best Chinese food in Houston, head to Dim Sum Box in Katy Asiatown, where you can savor their delightful dishes and immerse yourself in the vibrant culinary atmosphere.
5. Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan, an internationally acclaimed dim sum powerhouse, has recently made its mark in Houston with a new location in Katy. A visit to this establishment would be complete with trying their famous barbecue pork buns, a must-have item. In addition to that, their menu features enticing entrees such as sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, which offers a delightful medley of flavors to complement the dumplings. Tim Ho Wan’s extensive dumpling selection ranges from the fluffy shu mai to the delicate har gow, showcasing the flavors that exemplify Chinese cuisine. Finally, indulge in an osmanthus jelly topped with earthy goji berries to complete your meal. For a taste of the finest Chinese food in Houston, head to Tim Ho Wan and experience their culinary excellence.
6. Ginger & Fork
To enjoy an authentic Cantonese dining experience beyond Asiatown, visit this restaurant. They specialize in serving a wide range of dim sum classics that will delight your taste buds. From the delicate xiao long bao soup dumplings to innovative creations like cha siu sliders and squid ink fried rice, their menu offers something for everyone. Be sure to try the must-order Ginger and Fork fried shrimp, their flavorful stir-fried lobster tails, and hot ginger and onion lamb. Their refreshing twists on classic cocktails, such as the eucalyptus daiquiri, add a unique touch to your dining experience. Finally, indulge in some of the best Chinese food in Houston at this restaurant, where you can savor the rich flavors of Cantonese cuisine in a delightful setting.
7. Siu Lap City
In the heart of Midtown, this destination is renowned for its exquisite Cantonese-style Chinese barbecue. The show’s star is their crispy and tender Peking duck, which attracts diners from far and wide. However, the roasted or barbecued pork options are equally impressive and should be noticed. For a truly indulgent dining experience, opt for one of their whole-roasted pigs, meticulously slow-cooked to perfection. These generous portions satisfy even the most voracious appetites and are ideal for hungry food enthusiasts. Delight in some of the best Chinese food in Houston at this Midtown gem, where the art of Cantonese barbecue takes center stage.
8. Spicy Girl
This family-owned Sichuan restaurant is a top choice for those searching for authentic Southwestern Chinese cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Locals flock to this friendly mom-and-pop establishment for its flavorful offerings and generous portions. Indulge in dishes like pepper chicken, Mongolian beef, and the classic Peking duck, which can be enjoyed with your choice of bao or pancakes. In addition, take advantage of popular specialties like boiled pork belly with mashed garlic and Sichuan boiled fish. This hidden gem is known for serving some of the best Chinese food in Houston, where you can experience the authentic flavors of Sichuan cuisine in a cozy and welcoming setting.
Renowned restaurateur Mike Tran has made a name for himself with his collection of trendy restaurants in Asiatown, where he offers contemporary interpretations of East Asian cuisines in stylish settings. At Mein, one of his notable establishments, Tran focuses on Cantonese cuisine, featuring delectable dishes such as the flavorful saucy garlic eggplant and the tantalizingly crispy honey-roasted char siu. To complement your meal, indulge in one of Mein’s unique non-alcoholic mixed drinks, like the refreshing preserved lemon 7-Up. When experiencing the finest Chinese food in Houston, Mein is a must-visit destination where you can savor modern Cantonese flavors in a chic and vibrant atmosphere.
10. Hu’s Cooking
For a unique Chinese fusion experience, look no further than Hu’s Cooking, conveniently located near the Medical Center. This restaurant offers a delightful array of dishes that combine traditional Chinese flavors with innovative twists. Indulge in their bubbling seafood hot pots, featuring a lovely mix of shrimp and squid, or savor their giant meatballs accompanied by cabbage. Hu’s Cooking takes pride in offering dishes that may be harder to find at other local Chinese restaurants, such as their flavorful stir-fried rice cake entrees and the beloved three cups of chicken, a favorite in both Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. When seeking the best Chinese food in Houston, Hu’s Cooking stands out as a must-visit destination, where you can explore a fusion of flavors that will leave you craving more.
11. Golden Dumpling House
For those craving authentic Chinese flavors, this Asiatown restaurant specializes in takeout-only service, ensuring you can enjoy its delicious offerings from the comfort of your home. While they serve generous portions of dan dan noodles and wonton soup, their signature dumplings are the true star of the show, attracting repeat customers time and time again. These delectable dumplings come in various cooking styles, including steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or served in soup, with meat and vegetable options available. Indulge in their irresistible pan-fried onion cake, and grab a serving of their frozen dumplings later at home. When finding the best Chinese food in Houston, this restaurant is a hidden gem that satisfies your craving for authentic flavors and comforting dishes.
12. House of Bowls
This no-frills Hong Kong-style cafe is a beloved choice when seeking comforting and satisfying Chinese food in Houston. Renowned among locals, it offers a variety of rice dishes and porridge that will warm your soul. While the beef chow fun is their specialty, their menu also features an extensive selection of noodle dishes, ranging from udon to crispy or fried wok noodles. To end your meal on a sweet note, indulge in their thick slices of Hong Kong French toast, delightfully soaked with condensed milk. For a taste of the best Chinese food in Houston, this straightforward cafe is a go-to destination where you can savor comforting rice bowls, flavorful noodles, and delectable sweet treats in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
No matter what type of Chinese food you’re craving, Houston has something to offer. From the flavors of Sichuan cuisine in one restaurant to the fusion dishes in another, there’s a Chinese eatery to suit every palate. Whether you’re looking for contemporary Cantonese fare, authentic dumplings, Hong Kong-style comfort dishes, or something else entirely, these 12 spots offer some of the best Chinese food in Houston. With their flavorful dishes and comforting ambiance, they are sure to satisfy your appetite and make for a memorable dining experience.
Enjoy exploring the fantastic flavors that each restaurant has to offer! Bon appétit!