In honor of Chinese New Year, here are the top 8 Chinese restaurants in Charlotte.
We selected eight, because it is an especially lucky number for the Chinese. You may remember that the Beijing Olympics began on August 8, 2008 – 8/8/08 – and that was no coincidence.
While there are numerous Chinese restaurants where you can get a good box of kung pao chicken or sweet and sour pork in Charlotte, the eight listed here go beyond the simple take-out counter, offering authentic Chinese menu items, elegant Oriental decor, or both.
Any of these restaurants would be an excellent choice for celebrating the Chinese New Year, a celebration which lasts for 15 days and involves many special “lucky” dishes, including dumplings, fish or seafood, noodles, and more. Here’s a link to a list of Chinese traditions and foods associated with the New Year.
1) Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant
2920 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28205
Dim Sum on Central Avenue is a favorite with Chinese families living in Charlotte. Each year, the restaurant hosts a public Chinese New Year event with teams of dragon dancers dueling over a large stalk of bok choy. Special “Lucky Menus” are served during the New Year season, but all year you can enjoy daily dim sum, chrysanthemum tea, and authentic dishes such as hot pots; ho fun (wide rice noodles) or mai fun (thin rice noodles) with a variety of toppings; chow fun (wide rice noodles stir fried with beef, duck or chicken); Hong Kong style noodle soup; steamed chicken with ginger; roasted or Peking duck; and a variety of seafood dishes from lobster and dungeness crab to whole flounder, salt and pepper squid, and clams in black bean sauce. A wide variety of dim sum is served from traditional carts on weekends – the only time the delicious little egg custard tarts and baked pineapple buns are available.
2) Dragon Court
4520 N Tryon St,
Charlotte, NC 28213
Dragon Court, although housed in the somewhat run-down Asian Corner Mall at the corner of North Tryon and Sugar Creek Road, is worth seeking out for its large selection of authentic cuisine, including a wide choice of dim sum, soothing rice congee (also called jook), and various hard to find specialties. Established by Tony Koos, once the guiding light of Dim Sum, the prices here are a bit below what you’ll find elsewhere.
3) Wan Fu
10719 Kettering Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28226
Housed in an elegant, pagoda like building, this long-time South Charlotte favorite is packed with Chinese treasures and traditional decor. Although the menu is tuned to American taste buds, it includes a wide variety of healthy dishes as well as many traditional Chinese favorites believed to bring good luck in the New Year including the Ruby Dragon, a whole red snapper served deep-fried or steamed.
4) Baoding @ South Park
4722-F Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28210
Contemporary and elegantly decorated with red lanterns amid a cool green interior, Baoding is a Southpark favorite, serving such innovative dishes as boneless Baoding Duck with Grand Marnier sauce, Ginger Shrimp, and several varieties of dumplings.
5) Jo Jo’s China Bistro
7800 Rea Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
Baoding’s fun little sister in the Ballantyne area, Jo Jo’s serves a variety of creative dishes derived from traditional Chinese ingredients, plus American favorites.
6) Shun Lee Palace
4340 Colwick Road,
Charlotte, NC 28211
Very traditional Chinese restaurant has stood the test of time in the Cotswold neighborhood, thanks to well-prepared dishes, attentive service, and a menu of popular favorites. You can still order a Pu-Pu Platter here, along with original dishes such as Honey Peach Chicken, Peacock Lobster, and a wide array of vegetarian specials.
7) Soho Bistro
214 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Nice spot in the Center City popular for take-out lunches transforms into an intimate, candlelit retreat at night. Menu features familiar Cantonese, Hunan, and Szechwan dishes. Specialities included Mulan Duck, Cantonese Shrimp and Scallop, and Honey Walnut Shrimp.
8) P.F. Chang’s
Upscale chain takes Chinese food to the masses – and they can’t get enough. Put together your own lucky meal with handmade shrimp, pork or vegetarian dumplings; oolong tea marinated sea bass or lemon pepper shrimp; spicy Dan Dan noodles; and a Great Wall of Chocolate dessert.
Two locations in the Charlotte region:
Phillips Place in Southpark
6809-F Phillips Place Court
Charlotte, NC 28210
10325 Perimeter Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28216
For more Chinese spots in the Charlotte region visit the website of the United Chinese Restaurant Association of America.