When it comes to Chinese, we say: Don't call in for takeout when you can dine out and still get a wonderful (and authentic) meal.
You could argue that South Florida isn't the sort of place that has a long lineage of Chinese restaurants. But we are not without some fairly decent options, everything from swank new spots like Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Restaurant to old stalwarts like Silver Pond specializing in destination-worthy Asian eats.
To help you pinpoint the best spots in the area for traditional Hong Kong-style or superb Szechuan, we’ve unsheathed our chopsticks in some of South Florida's most serious Asian eateries for this list of best Chinese restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Some spots offer
P.S.: Did we miss your favorite spot? Join the conversation in the comments. And just remember, if you're looking for dim sum, you'll want to check out our other list highlighting our favorite spots for Chinese small plates here.
10. Got Rice?
4619 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call 561-907-6888, or visit gotricewestpalmbeach.com.
Although this West Palm Beach eatery doesn’t pack the same heat or boast the gargantuan menus of many Chinese restaurants, what it does offer is a from-scratch General Tso's or calibrate-your-own-heat sesame chicken. Sweet-and-sour soup is homemade fresh daily, a broth that is neither too gelatinous nor too sweet. Get out of your takeout rut and opt to dine-in; the quaint dining room has friendly, personable service. The dish to order here is also the signature special: the Dynamite Shrimp, tempura-fried shrimp beneath a sweet and spicy mayo sauce served over a bed of lettuce (pictured here).
9. Uncle Joe's
4367 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-799-9883, or visit unclejoeschinese.com.
Set on Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens, this pint-sized Chinese spot is one of the area's best-kept secrets. Serving an array of Hong Kong-style dishes for eat-in, takeout, and delivery, the restaurant offers all the old reliables (and more). While the Americanized honey chicken and crab rangoon are as good — if not better — than anything else you'll find around, the traditional dishes are the reason to check it out. Dishes like chow fun, roast duck, and Yu Hsiang eggplant offer a true taste of the country, right here in Palm Beach County.
8. Rainbow Palace
2787 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park. Call 954-565-5652, or visit rainbowpalace.com.
Creative touches transform even simple Chinese wonton and
7. Singing Bamboo
2845 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. Call 561-686-9100, or visit singingbamboo.com.
Family-owned and -operated for more than 20 years, this West Palm Beach restaurant offers a huge selection of delicacies for even the pickiest Chinese food aficionados. The restaurant is old-school-style enough that entrées are served with domed covers, causing a bit of table congestion when four people dig in at once. The menu encompasses every diet imaginable from, full-on meat lover to heart-healthy and vegetarian. As is the case with all our other picks, the authentic dishes are our favorites. Shrimp dumplings submerged in a rich egg noodle soup broth are some of the best around; moo shu pork and Peking duck are good to split for two; and seafood, such as hot and spicy shrimp and calamari black bean sauce, is always fresh. Vegetarians have options here too, including eggplant in hot garlic sauce. The
6. Christina Wan's Mandarin House
664 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-527-0228, or visit christinawans.com.
Wan's feels like a throwback to the old New York Chinatown of the
5. Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Cuisine
8525 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-367-7730, or visit goldmarquess.com.
Forget boring old General Tso's chicken, shrimp fried rice, lo mein, or chop suey. If you’re in search of a bit more color — and maybe with a full liquor bar and push-cart dim-sum service — you’ll need more than just your average Chinese takeout spot. For that, you’ll want to head to Gold Marquess Fine Chinese Restaurant in Pembroke Pines, a spacious dining room with a 20-seat bar and luxe private dining area that has already welcomed the likes of the Houston-based consulate-general for the People’s Republic of China. The menu offers a unique list of daily chef's specials that changes every few weeks or so, allowing the restaurant's former New York City Chinatown chef some creativity, like crab and seafood pumpkin soup or salt and pepper duck tongue. If you really want to go authentic, however, order the Peking duck. Everything about this dish — here a house specialty — is enjoyable, from the tableside presentation to the option to customize the dish with a number of finishing touches.
4. Dragon City
6708 Stirling Road, Hollywood. Call 954-894-8393.
Dragon City, a Hollywood Hong Kong-style Chinese restaurant minutes west of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, stays open really late but merits return trips at any hour. A simple, austere room with the usual hanging roast ducks and fish tanks along a wall is set apart via the sheer number of tanks filled with creatures ready to be cooked. What it may lack in refinement next to some of its rivals it makes up for with a lengthy menu that doesn't shy away from oddities and assertive flavors. And you have to see the "red menu" if you want to order some of the really, really good stuff.
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3. China Pavilion
10041 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-431-2299.
Known for its traditional Cantonese dim-sum offerings, this spot is actually frequented by South Florida's Chinese community — and that's pretty much why it got our pick for Best Chinese Restaurant in 2013. Hidden near the back of a Pembroke Pines strip mall, it serves a selection of cooked-to-order specialties like veal with black pepper, pork buns, and fun gor (a steamed dumpling filled with mushrooms, ginger, scallion, and tiny dried shrimp). While its small plates are a big part of the draw, the seafood is what most people come here for. Tanks stacked across and entire wall hold live tilapia, lobster, and golden crab — it's fresher than almost anything else around.
2. Silver Pond
4285 N. State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes. Call 954-486-8885.
Despite its strip-mall environs, Silver Pond in Lauderhill doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside you'll feel like you're in China — and not just because of the decor, including a Chinese mural at one end and a wall of fish tanks at the other with wriggling lobsters and Dungeness crab. This bustling Chinese restaurant dishes out a Hong Kong-influenced menu where you'll find groups of Chinese families feasting on an epic menu of Cantonese cuisine. Seafood is most represented, including steamed whole tilapia (pictured here), sea cucumber, abalone, and conch. The lobster is among the best in the area, regardless of culinary genre. Aside from seafood, try the bird's nest with savory vegetables, crispy Hong Kong chicken, steamed chicken feet, or the Peking-rubbed pork chops for authentic dishes.
1. Gou Lou Cheong BBQ
4139 N. State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes. Call 954-739-7377.
If Americanized Chinese food like fried rice, organg chicken, egg rolls, and wonton soup are the only things that come to mind when you think of Chinese food, this isn't the spot for you. If, instead, you're looking for perhaps the best Chinese roasted barbecue pork (chasiu) or roast duck in town, then this is your spot. They say the owner of this small, decade-old takeout spot is the former proprietor and chef of Hong Kong City BBQ in Tamarac, one of the area's best dim-sum restaurants. It would make sense, seeing as dining here is akin to walking into one of the best spots in New York City's Chinatown — or perhaps an eatery in China itself — with whole roast ducks and slabs of barbecue pork hanging from the ceiling. One note: The restaurant accepts only cash, so arrive prepared.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.