16 Best Restaurants For Chinese Takeout In NYC

These days, most of us are in agreement that Chinese takeout is unimaginably delicious. However, contrary to its current venerated image, Chinese takeout in the U.S. has had a complex, harrowing history. These days, both regional Chinese culinary traditions and distinctly Chinese American foods are offered in New York City's Chinese restaurants, ranging from traditional comfort foods and holiday mainstays to vegan-only restaurants, fine dining, and tongue-in-cheek fast-casual creations. 

There are many Chinese restaurants on this list that are considered so good that they've garnered recognition from locals, critics, and Michelin awards from the historically fine-dining-focused (and Eurocentric) culinary organization. Our round-up of Chinese takeout spots takes you through some of the phenomenal food available from the top of Manhattan down into Brooklyn, and then back up into Queens. It also dips into various regional cuisines, from Fuzhounese to Sichuanese. Our list is by no means complete — there are countless places that could be featured — but it's a good base if you want to make sure you're ordering really solid Chinese takeout in NYC.

1. Junzi Kitchen

Junzi Kitchen serves Chinese bowls, Chipotle-style. This fast-casual restaurant is located in Morningside Heights at 2896 Broadway, and there's also a location in New Haven that serves mostly Yale students.

This spot is geared toward healthy eating. At Junzi Kitchen, you can either order a pre-designed "authentic favorite" bowl, a "healthy choice" bowl, or build your own meal over a bed of noodles, rice, or salad.If you choose your own adventure, the menu features ingredients from all over that you can add to your bowl, such as Cantonese BBQ chicken, Sichuan mapo tofu, and griddled tofu prepared in a northern Chinese style. Junzi also offers homemade chili oil that you can order to-go: in fact, in a partnership with the Met, Junzi has actually created celebratory New Year's gift sets that include two jars of chili oil in different flavors, wrapped in beautiful packaging inspired by silk embroidery dating back to the Qing Dynasty.

You can order for delivery or pickup, and you can also schedule your delivery when it's most convenient for you, even if the restaurant isn't open yet that day.

2. Joe's Home of Soup Dumpling

Okay, hear us out: everyone who's even remotely clued in to Chinese food in NYC knows about Joe's Shanghai, so we want to give a shoutout to another Joe's, located in Midtown at 7 East 48th St, NY. Founded in 1994, Joe's Home of Soup Dumplings may be much less famous than Joe's Shanghai, but this restaurant also serves up some legendary soup dumplings. And more importantly for our purposes here, Joe's Home has great takeout.

Joe's Home of Soup Dumplings serves its xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, in three popular flavors: crab meat with pork, chicken, and plain old pork. Joe's offers Shanghainese cuisine, most recognizable by the xiao long bao, but also discernible from Joe's highlighted signature dishes, which include three different preparations of duck (crispy, braised, and Peking) and old-fashioned Shanghai-style spare ribs. You can also order the Shanghai spring rolls for a true taste of Shanghai: they're made with marinated pork folded up in thin wrappers then fried 'til they're golden, and they're so, so crunchy. You're going to want to eat them as quickly as possible. Order for pickup or takeaway via GrubHub.

3. Nice Day

Nice Day is a Chinese-American restaurant with one location in Midtown at 141 W 41st St, and another in Melville, New York. At Nice Day, the menu is designed to be trendy: each dish is begging to be photographed, with cool Chinese-American fusion innovations like a cheeseburger egg roll and loaded General Tso's chicken fries. The menu also incorporates seasonally popular dishes from all over Asia, which makes this place that much cooler.

This restaurant brands itself as "The Nicest Chinese in Your Neighborhood," and is so confident in this promise that on their website, Nice Day restaurant states, "If it's not the best Chinese food in your neighborhood, let us know and you'll get your money back." What makes it so great, you may ask? Well, Nice Day aims for transparency in its cooking process, making all food to order with high-quality ingredients. Plus, this restaurant is entirely focused on takeout and delivery, which means energy is spent perfecting these meals specifically to be eaten elsewhere. Order off the specialties list to really understand what makes the fusion tick here, and maybe even add on an order of bubble tea, too, for an extra treat.

4. Cafe China

If you were eating in, Cafe China would be a good move: this three-floor Chinese restaurant is located in Midtown at 59 W 37th St, and has tons of seating that suits different vibes, from intimate date nights to corporate work gatherings. The website warns possible consumers that at Cafe China, "You might eat too many red chili peppers," "You might drown your heartbreak in cup after cup of hot tea," and "You might never want to leave."

It makes sense when you take into account all the gorgeous Sichuan food on offer (and the jazzy cocktails that might help trap you). At Cafe China, all the food is aesthetically pleasing. The whole fish with Asian chilis is astounding, and the tea-smoked duck is served with two fluffy wheat buns. The chive pancake has these gorgeous crimped edges, like a flattened pie, and is stuffed with chives and dried shrimp, a winning combo. Half of the dishes on the menu are accentuated by Sichuan peppercorns, so watch out — your mouth may be numb by the end of the meal! You can order from Cafe China for pickup or delivery.

5. Spicy Moon

Being vegetarian or vegan often rules out ordering most Chinese takeout — unless you're sticking to pure tofu, it's hard to guarantee that no animal products were used in the making of a dish. This is why restaurants like Spicy Moon are so important. This spot cares deeply about animals, which is why none of the food on the menu includes animal byproducts — it's all vegan. Above the door at the West Village location, the phrase "Love All Animals" is written; there's also a quote from Len Goldberg prominently displayed that says, "Do you think that coyote wanted to live her life or die for decoration?" 

This plant-based restaurant serves Sichuan cuisine. The menu features some killer Dan Dan noodles made with Beyond Beef; the sesame noodles also come well-reviewed, as does the kung pao style tofu and veggies. There are Spicy Moon locations in both the East and West villages, and you can order from these locations for pickup or delivery.

6. Tim Ho Wan

Which restaurant makes the best dim sum in the city is, of course, a heated debate — but no one who has eaten at Tim Ho Wan would deny that this restaurant is a serious contender for first place. Tim Ho Wan's dim sum style comes straight from Mong Kok, Hong Kong, where chefs Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung opened the first Tim Ho Wan location. 

The original Tim Ho Wan was awarded a Michelin star in 2010, and the chefs duly began expanding their reach to other Asian countries — and, eventually, the U.S. Now, NYC is lucky enough to be host to two Tim Ho Wan locations: one by Union Square and another in Hell's Kitchen.

At Tim Ho Wan, the menu is divided into types of preparation: you've got your steamed section, your pan-fried, even your blanched. (For what it's worth, there's only one thing in the blanched section, and it's lettuce). The shumai, or steamed shrimp and pork dumplings, are delicious here, with a gorgeous yellow wrapper and a raisin in the center of each open-faced dumpling. Don't miss out on the BBQ buns, either. Pickup and delivery are both available.

7. Nom Wah Nolita

The first location of Nom Wah opened on Doyers Street in 1920, which makes it the oldest continuously-running restaurant in Chinatown. This original shop, the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, was primarily a bakery. Back then, Nom Wah was famous for its mooncakes, with people waiting in long lines for the pastries. According to Nom Wah's history, dim sum and other food took a backseat to the bakery operations for most of the 20th century.

In 2015 and 2016, however, new locations of Nom Wah opened in Philly's Chinatown and NYC's Nolita, with menus that emphasize dim sum. In Nolita, the fast-casual vibe has taken over, creating a more down-to-earth eatery than the traditional Tea Parlor. The menus feature both Chinese American dishes and Cantonese cooking. Nom Wah is known for some of the best NYC dumplings, including har gow, or shrimp dumplings, just look so perfect — wrappers have a gorgeous, wrinkly-chic pattern, and come with a phenomenal dipping sauce. The egg rolls here are also a fan favorite.

8. Shu Jiao Fu Zhou

Shu Jiao Fu Zhou is a Fuzhounese dumpling house located in Chinatown at 295 Grand Street. The dining room of this shop is pretty cutthroat — you need to fight off hordes of TikTok fans and savvy Chinatown locals to secure a seat at one of the large communal tables — so taking your food to go is a better bet. 

The real deal here is the dumplings, which are available in either small or large portions, meaning either six or 10 dumplings, for an insanely low price tag. These dumplings are bumpy and wrinkly-looking, but the flavors are great. You can get them in several meat flavor combos, but we definitely recommend the chicken and chive dumplings. In addition to great, filling dumplings, Shu Jiao also offers perfect wheat noodles with peanut butter sauce — the sauce is thin, the noodles are cooked al dente, and everything gets a little slippery, but it's okay in the end. You can order either fresh or frozen food from Shu Jiao Fu Zhou, for pickup only.

9. China North Dumpling

China North Dumpling is a tiny dumpling shop right by Seward Park, located at 27A Essex Street. The red awning out front just reads "Homemade Dumpling," so it can be easy to miss. If you keep an eye out while walking, there's a swinging yellow sign that says North Dumpling on it, so you'll know you're at the right place. 

Inside, there are just a few stools and a counter, behind which you can watch the dumplings being made. You can get 12 pork and chive dumplings for only $4 here at the time of publication — a steal, especially given the fact that you can watch them being formed in front of you. The dumplings are flavorful and packed with ground meat and chives. No matter if you're getting the fried or steamed option, they're delicious and cost-effective. Plus, if you want to stock up, you can get a pack of 40 frozen pork or veggie dumplings, at a price point significantly cheaper than the ready-made ones.

This shop also offers several pancake flavors, like sesame or chive, and there are various soups you can order. But if you're not ordering dumplings, you might need to reevaluate your reasons for coming in.

10. Bo Ky

Bo Ky is one of the few restaurants serving Teochew-style food in Chinatown, located at 80 Bayard Street. Teochew cuisine hails from the Chaoshan region in the Guandong Province of China, which has a large South Asian population; for this reason, Teochew cuisine includes both classic Chinese dishes and meals we are more likely to think of as Vietnamese, like pho. 

Bo Ky's menu is extensive but inexpensive. One classic Teochew dish that Bo Ky does really well is the braised duck, which is listed on the menu as Country Style Duck. The Country Style Duck has been braised until the skin becomes thick and floppy, which sets it apart from the more well-known Peking duck preparation. After braising, the duck is dressed with a thick soy-based sauce and then served with a light, tangy dipping sauce. The curry chicken at Bo Ky has also won many admirers, and many customers are shocked at the price of the lemongrass-grilled steak over rice. Of course, the pho is nothing to sneer at either. 

11. Dim Sum Go Go

At Dim Sum Go Go, every single dish is made to order. As this Cantonese restaurant's website cutely states, "We do not have the chaos of the carts, but we do have the highest expectation of quality first." That means you're not missing out on the classic dim sum ethos (read: chaos) by ordering in. 

Dim Sum Go Go opened its first location, which rests right between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, in 2000. Since, it has been rated by both the Michelin Guide and Zagat and with reviewers commenting on its wild popularity and how hard it is to get a table. Luckily, by ordering in, you get to skip the fight and get straight to the dim sum. 

Every type of dim sum is done well here, so you can't really go wrong, but the rice rolls with shrimp are especially great. Don't miss out on the steamed pork buns, either. You can either order fresh-cooked dumplings, or frozen dim sum, which you can then steam and fry at home yourself.

12. Kings Co. Imperial

Kings Co. Imperial serves up Chinese-American fare with intense attention to detail. Kings Co. Imperial opened its first location in Williamsburg in 2015, and since then, it has spread to the LES and downtown Brooklyn. Owners Josh Grinker and Tracy Young are so intent on controlling their product that they've actually entered into an agreement with a Chinese family that makes soy sauce in the traditional manner on the Pearl River Delta to produce an exclusive Kings Co. Imperial recipe. This specially-made soy sauce is used in most Kings Co. dishes, and its bright, salty flavor has become a hallmark of this kitchen and the brand that the owners are starting to build.

The Kings Co. Imperial Mapo Tofu is awesome — house-made tofu so silky it melts away in your mouth, cut into pillowy chunks, and mixed with minced pork, all covered in a sauce with some serious Sichuan peppercorn heat. People love the family-size servings of all the dishes here, and the dim sum has won many admirers. 

You can order online pickup and delivery from Kings Co.; also if you get really into it, you can also participate in a special dumpling-making class with the chefs, and then you'll never have to order Chinese takeout again.

13. New City

New City is a Bushwick takeaway haven only for those in the know. It's located on the popping Knickerbocker Ave, but easily evades notice: the exterior awning, once bright yellow, is faded and turning brown, and the sign just reads, "New City Fine Asian Cuisine." This is one of those special places where you won't know how great it is until you order its takeout (or delivery if you live within 1.5 miles of the restaurant).

When ordering from New City, take advantage of the All Day Special, which allows you to pick two dishes from an "A" list, which includes pretty much every single classic Chinese American dish, like chicken, beef, or shrimp with broccoli, lo mein, and General Tso's chicken, and from a "B" list, which includes meat-centric items like boneless spare ribs, fried jumbo shrimp, and chicken sticks. The special comes with your choice of rice and a side, which could be an egg roll, wonton soup, egg drop soup, or just a soda. It's so good a deal that it's hard to put into a sentence.

14. Chiko

Greenpoint's Chiko used to be a small, fancy sushi counter, offering a 13-course tasting menu with hefty prices. However, when the pandemic hit, it downsized and reframed; now, it's carryout-only, with stellar renditions of Sichuan classics.The best part? The redesigned menu is super affordable, so you can sample everything and your bill will still come nowhere close to what it might have been at the original Chiko.

This menu is extremely limited:it only has seven items, two of which are teas. This means that dishes rotate frequently. If you manage to get your hands on it, Chiko's eggplant with chili garlic sauce is surprisingly tangy; it's flavored with Sichuan peppercorns and contains beef, though the dish can also be made vegetarian upon request. 

Another menu star is the spicy wontons, which are made with a pork filling and swimming in Chiko's housemade chili oil (which is also available for order in six-ounce jars). Honestly, if you go, just order the whole menu — you will not be disappointed.

15. Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao

For a Michelin-recommended meal in Flushing, Queens, head to Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. Here, you can get a bunch of fabulous Shanghainese dishes, from noodle soups to udon; however, the real event is this restaurant's insane crab and pork soup dumplings. These delectable-looking morsels are the restaurant's pride and joy, with a whole page on the website devoted to both explaining the cooking process, from kneading the dough to steaming the dumplings, and teaching new eaters how to eat the somewhat-tricky Shanghai delicacy. The effort has paid off — these xiao long bao have been named the best soup dumps in the whole city several times over. 

In a fun twist on the classic dumpling, at Nan Xiang, soup dumplings are color-coded to betray their interiors, so you can order what amounts to a xiao long bao Easter basket, pictured above. Despite the fact that there are 150 seats in the new expanded location, Nan Xiang doesn't take reservations and there are still often long lines, so ordering in these multicolored dumplings can spare you some pain, in addition to inviting a little whimsy.

16. Xi'an Famous Foods

Xi'an Famous Foods is a hand-pulled noodle joint. The first location opened in Flushing in 2005, and Xi'an mini-chain has since expanded with several locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The recipes for all the dishes at Xi'an Famous Foods come from the city of Xi'an, which is located in northwestern China. Xi'an cuisine is notable for its reliance on bread and noodles, and for using lots of spices as a result of being a hub of the spice trade in China. 

To make these signature noodles, chefs stretch noodle dough between their hands and slap it down repeatedly on the countertop. This movement creates a flat, thick noodle. Obviously, the noodles are out of this world, but what makes the food at Xi'an Famous Foods extra special is the spicy, tingly sauce made with Sichuan peppercorns. 

You can actually order your own noodle-making kit off of the website Xi'an Kits to try the legendary slapping technique yourself, or just simplify your life, and head to the nearest Xi'an Famous Foods for pickup instead.