In Seattle’s diverse culinary landscape, Chinese food enthusiasts have an array of options. But with all those options in and around Chinatown, which of them truly stands out? From traditional to fusion, budget-friendly to upscale, we’ve curated the top eleven Chinese restaurants in the city.
The best spots for Chinese food in Seattle are:
- Din Tai Fung
- Harbor City Restaurant
- Jade Garden Restaurant
- Honey Court Seafood Restaurant
- Kau Kau BBQ
- Tai Tung Restaurant
- Uptown China Restaurant
- Snappy Dragon
- Sichaunese Cuisine
- SpiceUp Szechuan Cuisine
- Shanghai Garden
The Best Chinese Food Seattle Has to Offer
Because every eatery is unique, it’s a no-brainer that not every restaurant in Chinatown offers trophy-worthy Chinese food. Some swear by the book that it’s one or the other, but due to raving reviews, these 11 restaurants stick out like a sore thumb:
1. Din Tai Fung, Capitol Hill
Din Tai Fung, the Chinese & Taiwanese treasure, is all about xiao long bao – those divine soup dumplings – bursting with pork, chicken, shrimp, or veggies. Step inside this elegant haven, watch chefs create magic through a glass window, and revel in prompt, friendly service. Portions? They’re wonderfully generous.
Founded in 1958 as a Taipei oil shop, it bloomed into a dumpling and noodle paradise in 1972. With 170+ locations across 13 countries, it snagged a Michelin star in 2010. Seattle’s most popular choice is Pacific Place, but smaller Din Tai Fung eateries branch out to University Village, Westfield Southcenter, and Pioneer Place.
Their secret? Premium Kurobuta pork for unrivaled tenderness and flavor. Sip on jasmine green tea or lychee lemonade. Start with crisp, tangy appetizers like cucumber salad and spicy pickled cucumber.
Fried rice options satisfy, and fluffy buns with sweet or savory fillings are a treat. For dessert, savor chocolate xiao long bao, red bean xiao long bao, or sesame buns.
Discover Seattle’s ultimate Chinese delight at Din Tai Fung – it’s all about biting into rich and original Chinese flavors.
2. Harbor City Restaurant, International District
In the heart of Seattle’s Chinatown, Harbor City Restaurant is the go-to for authentic dim sum and Cantonese flavors. Both an experience and an epic journey, it’s packed with steamed buns, dumplings, roasted duck, and seafood.
As you dine, watch carts brimming with delights roll by. The portions are hefty, and the prices? Totally wallet-friendly. Indulge in sesame beef, honey garlic spareribs, or salt pepper soft shell crab.
Elevate your experience with chef’s homemade hot chili oil and sweet soy sauce. Save room for dessert: egg custard, baked buns with egg paste, and sesame sponge cake are irresistible. Quench your thirst with a range of beverages, from tea and coffee to soda and beer.
Open daily from 9 in the morning to 11 in the evening, except for Tuesdays when it takes a breather—Harbor City is the go-to that definitely guarantees a classic dim sum experience in Seattle.
3. Jade Garden Restaurant, International District
Jade Garden Restaurant in the bustling International District is another authentic Cantonese-style eatery that won Seattle’s heart. Truly a place where tastebuds dance – Jade Gardens’ vast menu caters from dim sum to various kinds of seafood to noodles and juicy meats.
Their dim sum (served from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon) is the show stopper – all fresh, flavourful, and fulfilling – they include shrimp dumplings, barbecue pork buns, and egg tarts. More highlights include crispy duck, salt and pepper squid, honey walnut prawns, and beef chow fun: generous portions, reasonable prices, and top-notch quality.
The restaurant’s warm and welcoming atmosphere includes a spacious dining room, a private banquet hall, and catering services. Friendly, attentive staff and fast, efficient service make dining here a fan favorite.
Countless glowing reviews draw foodies from afar, making them loyal regulars. Join the ranks; your taste buds will sing your praises.
4. Honey Court Seafood Restaurant, International District
Just a stone’s throw from Jade Garden, there’s an enticing alternative – Honey Court Seafood Restaurant. Bursting with its own delectable flavors, this spot’s been dishing up delights like crispy prawns with honey walnut, salt and pepper squid, and Peking duck for over two decades.
Daytime cravings? Dive into dim sum treasures: steamed shrimp dumplings, BBQ pork buns, and egg tarts. And here’s the kicker – they’re open late, until 2:30 a.m. on weekdays and 3:30 a.m. on weekends, making it your late-night savior.
Step inside this spacious haven with ample tables and lazy Susans, perfect for sharing with friends and family. If home’s your scene, go for online carryout or delivery.
Honey Court Seafood Restaurant, a local and visitor favorite, has your Chinese cravings covered. Don’t miss it next time you’re in the mood for some serious flavor.
5. Kau Kau BBQ, International District
Seattle’s Chinatown is filled with little pleasures brimming with flavor, but at Kau Kau, you’ll come across a charmingly small shop with plenty more to offer. Since 1974, they’ve been grilling up delights like their famous crunchy, sweet-red-crust barbecue pork.
Don’t miss the tender roasted duck and marinated soy sauce chicken. For the adventurous, try the crispy-skinned roasted pig. Beyond barbecue, Kau Kau offers hot pots, noodles, fried rice, and seafood.
Explore potted oysters with ginger and onion, curry beef noodles, honey walnut prawns, or fried squid with pepper sauce. Vegetarian-friendly, with options like vegetable fried rice and bean cake soup available.
This family-owned gem in Seattle’s Chinatown is named after “good food” in Hawaiian. The legacy of tradition and flavor has been passed down from Father to daughter and remains a prime example of exquisite Chinese food and an icon in Seattle’s culinary scene.
6. Tai Tung Restaurant, International District
For a taste of history and authentic Chinese cuisine, Tai Tung Restaurant is a must. Established in 1935 by Grandpa Quan, an immigrant from Hong Kong, it’s Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurant in the International District.
Generations of loyal customers, including legends like Bruce Lee and Anthony Bourdain, have graced its tables. You can even dine at Bruce Lee’s dedicated table, where his favorite dish, beef in oyster sauce, awaits.
Tai Tung offers a range of dishes, from classics like egg foo young to their specialties: sweet and sour pork, egg rolls, and beef chow fun. Portions are hearty, prices are fair, and service is warm.
Step into nostalgia with the original neon sign, iconic photos, and vintage décor; it opens daily from 11 in the morning to 8 in the eve and is a rare family find for Christmas Day. Overall, Tai Tung is the ideal place to discover history on a plate.
7. Uptown China Restaurant, Uptown
A Seattle classic, Uptown China Restaurant has been dishing up timeless Chinese cuisine for 30+ years. Lunch, dinner, happy hour, or catering – they’ve got it all. Dine in their cozy space, order online for delivery or takeout, or book their lounge for private gatherings.
Owned by Yu-Mei Wang, a culinary enthusiast devoted to serving fresh, flavorful fare. She’s all about connecting with regulars and making new pals, plus her community support game is strong – fundraisers and charity donations are part of the deal.
Must-tries include Mongolian Beef, General Tso’s Chicken, Honey Walnut Prawns, and Sesame Chicken. Vegans variety? They’ve got you covered with a plant-based menu with tofu, mock duck, and veggie delights.
Grab a cocktail, beer, or wine from their bar and sink into Uptown China as your go-to for relaxation, indulgence, and a whole lot of fun.
8. Snappy Dragon, Maple Leaf
Snappy Dragon, a family-owned gem, has been delighting Seattle since 1993. Judy Fu, their culinary genius born in China and raised in Taiwan, has over 50 years in the restaurant biz and is among Seattle’s finest.
Locals are crazy about their Authentic Mandarin and Szechuan wonders, including homemade noodles and dumplings. Veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options abound – there’s a full bar and catering, too.
Awards? Countless. From Bon Appetit to Zagat, Snappy Dragon’s racked up accolades like no other. The evidence is definitely found in the Crispy vegetable spring rolls, BBQ pork, Mongolian beef, Szechuan noodles, crystal prawns with mushrooms, and green onion pancakes – all the talk of the town.
This Snappy Dragon is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 in the morning to 9 in the evening in the Maple Leaf neighborhood and is worth every penny.
9. Sichaunese Cuisine, Yesler Terrace
For authentic, spicy Sichuan cuisine, Sichaunese Cuisine in Yesler Terrace is a must. Since 1999, they’ve been dishing out traditional Sichuan delights like hot beef chow mein, pepper chicken, twice-cooked pork, and Sichuanese boiled fish.
David K, the owner and chef, hails from Sichuan province and is all about sharing his culture through food. The staff? Friendly, attentive, bilingual.
With friendly and bilingual staff, you can easily expect a Cozy and casual atmosphere adorned with red lanterns, bamboo, and Chinese art. Find it in the Asian Plaza, which offers ample parking and is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Sundays, when they start at 11:30 a.m.
Savor Mongolian beef, Mandarin spicy chicken, fried dumplings, and tomato and egg drop soup. Hot pot, noodles, rice, and veggie options abound. Pair your meal with beer, wine, bitters, or americano with wallet-friendly and generous portions. Spice lover? Ask for extra chili oil or peppercorns.
With many raving that it’s Seattle’s best Sichuan spot, expect variety, quality, and a taste of Sichuan in Seattle. Reserve ahead during peak times or order online for a taste of Sichuanese delight!
10. SpiceUp Szechuan Cuisine, Belltown
SpiceUp Szechuan Cuisine in Belltown is your place to be for that alternative Szechuan flavor with a twist. Explore bold, pungent, and spicy Sichuan flavors, including the unique numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns.
Must-tryies include Kung Pao chicken, Mapo tofu, Cumin lamb, and Chong Qing deep-fried chicken. Chef’s picks like General Kwan deep-fried pork rib, Braised duck in beer, and Whole braised fish hot chili hot pot are always tempting.
The restaurant offers a laid-back, spacious setting with TVs and outdoor dining. Order online or get delivery through their website.
SpiceUp Szechuan Cuisine isn’t just about satisfying your palate – but rather a portal to the rich history and culture of Sichuan cuisine. Originating from Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality, it boasts a 3,000-year legacy influenced by diverse cultures and ingredients.
Sichuan cuisine’s claim to fame? Chili peppers, introduced from Mexico in the 16th century, and a medley of spices and aromatics for intricate flavors. Different cooking methods like stir-frying, steaming, braising, baking, and smoking add to its charm.
11. Shanghai Garden, Lower Queen Anne
Family-owned since the ’90s, Shanghai Garden in Seattle’s International District excels in Shanghai, Taiwanese, Szechuan, and Hunan cuisine – think savory, healthy, and flavorful. Nestled on Sixth Avenue, opposite Uwajimaya, this cozy eatery boasts a pink dining room with traditional Chinese decor.
Expect friendly, attentive service and generous, budget-friendly portions – picking from the extensive menu or chef’s daily specials. Chef Hua Te Su and his wife Helen founded two Chinese restaurants in Seattle, which their children now run, keeping their legacy and tradition alive.
Shanghai Garden breaks stereotypes with nutritious choices. Chef Su introduced brown rice, barley grass noodles, and wholesome ingredients. No MSG or artificial flavors; just fresh, natural goodness.
Signature dishes: Shanghai-style smoked fish, lion’s head meatballs, and eight treasure rice pudding (all local favorites). Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available with unique beverages like Barley green tea, Plum juice, and soy milk varieties.
Discover authentic, diverse Chinese cuisine at Seattle’s Shanghai Garden. It’s not just food; it’s a rich history and a warm welcome.
From Din Tai Fung’s iconic xiao long bao to Tai Tung’s rich history, your journey through Seattle’s Chinese cuisine proves to be a kitchen of flavors and traditions.
Whether you’re itching for the fiery kick of Sichuan delights at SpiceUp Szechuan Cuisine or lured by the teasing flavors of Shanghai Garden, brace yourself for an epic showdown of Seattle’s premier Chinese eateries. Your taste buds are in for a gastronomic rollercoaster that won’t soon be forgotten.