The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for Chinese restaurants, so booking a reservation for your family get together is as essential as ordering pork fried rice. Whether you prefer crab rangoons or General Tso’s, and whatever you’re celebrating, these eight Chinese restaurants will hit the spot.
China Live, San Francisco, California
This modern eatery is one of the most highly-acclaimed Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area. Score a seat at the first floor Market Restaurant and chow down on some chow mein. For a more intimate family dining experience, book one of eight tables by George Chen and experience a lavish tasting menu. Make a reservation at China Live.
Golden Temple, Brookline, Massachusetts
Just outside Boston is a Chinese food mecca open until 2AM on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Take the T (Boston’s subway) for a NO MSG dining experience using only fresh ingredients cooked to order. Their modern, elegant dining room is an ideal setting to binge on their insanely extensive menu. Make a reservation at Golden Temple.
Hakkasan, Miami Beach, Florida
Tucked inside the Fontainebleau Resort, Hakkasan is serving up Cantonese cuisine against a backdrop of chic ambiance. The stunning dining room and a large assortment of menu items make this the perfect place for a gathering on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. “With holiday offerings such as dim sum, Peking duck, wok-baked lobster, and a wide range of craft cocktails — it is truly the best Cantonese dining experience in Miami,” says chef Thomas Connell. Make a reservation at Hakkasan.
Imperial Lamian, Chicago, Illinois
This North River neighborhood spot is dishing out a special holiday menu. Bring the whole family and feast on specials like PEI mussels with green curry, cumin-scented dorade, and tofu cake with ground pork. They’ll also have plenty of holiday-themed signature cocktails to toast with. The menu will debut on Christmas Eve through the New Year. Make a reservation at Imperial Lamian.
Lionhead, Seattle, Washington
Known for its flavor complexities, Sichuan cooking is becoming more and more popular in the US. Come for the bao and stay for the chili cumin beef. Pro tip: this place is not for the those averse to a chili or two. Make a reservation at Lionhead.
Shine, Chicago, Illinois
There are options for everyone at this Lincoln Park mainstay. Famous for serving traditional Shanghai food, dishes range from soft shell crab to regional tofu. They also make a variety of sushi and special rolls to snack on. Shine is open for dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Make a reservation at Shine.
Wing Lei, Las Vegas, Nevada
This is the first Chinese restaurant in the country to be awarded a Michelin star, so their holiday dim sum brunch is a must. Located inside the swanky Wynn, this extravagant Chinese food buffet also has tableside service and carving stations to satisfy all your Asian food desires. Make a reservation at Wing Lei.
Big Bowl, Chicago, Illinois
Serving a combination of Chinese and Thai, this chain is famous for mixing quality ingredients with bold flavors. They’ve got a broad menu that includes everything from chicken wonton soup to Thai green vegetable curry. Make a reservation at Big Bowl.
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Katie Lockhart is a Brooklyn-based food and travel writer. When she’s not writing, she’s eating her way around the world and posting it all on her Instagram @findyourhappyplate and blog findyourhappyplate.co.
Photo credit: Barbara Kraft (Wing Lei).