We suspect you usually end up eating most of your Chinese food after a Google search for “nearest Chinese restaurant to me” in Charlotte, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes you’re in the mood to step out of that comfort zone and try something beyond your standard Sesame Chicken order.
To help you out, we dug around in our archives and asked our foodie friends, a few restaurant experts and CharlotteFive readers for recommendations. What we came up with are a few restaurants that offer a more authentic taste of Chinese flavors and fun dishes you probably won’t find anywhere else, along with some familiar Chinese American favorites.
Here are some of the best Chinese restaurants to try in the Charlotte area:
What to try: The lunch offerings include a rice bowl special with a choice of white, brown or fried rice and your choice of veggies only or protein with teriyaki or hibachi sauce ($7.95 to $9.50).
What to know: This takeout restaurant recommended by the general manager at YaMe Asian Noodles, Karina Li, offers online ordering or takeout by calling 704-843-5888. It’s closed on Sunday.
What to know: You can call the restaurant at 704-845-6282 or order online for delivery via ChowNow. Note that spices and sauces can be altered to your tastes, and you can get your order steamed if you’d like. Specialty dishes and seasonal vegetables are also available.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
What to try: CharlotteFive reader Allie McNeal reports that the Crab Rangoon ($5.50) are “AMAZING!”
What to know: Online ordering for pickup is available, but there’s no delivery option. You can also call 704-552-8888.
Neighborhood: North Charlotte
What to try: Fu Shing’s family meal ($39.99) includes quart-size servings of General Tso’s Chicken, Chicken with Broccoli and Shrimp with Broccoli, plus Crab Rangoon, Egg Drop Soup and three Egg Rolls.
What to know: Call 704-394-9885 or order online at this spot recommended by CharlotteFive reader Ashley Langan.
What to try: CharlotteFive writer DeAnna Taylor’s go-to order is wonton soup ($2.25) and chicken lettuce wraps ($7.25).
Location: 3016 Weddington Road, Matthews, NC 28105
What to try: Charlotte food blogger Kenty Chung’s favorite at Lam’s is the Lobster Hong Kong Style (market price), while food writer Kathleen Purvis has noted the beef tripe ($10), served cold with a fiery red chile oil. Joel Tracey of Raydal Hospitality called Lam’s “the real deal Holyfield Sichuan,” saying it has the best Mapo Tofu he’s had outside of NYC. ($14).
What to know: The restaurant featuring authentic Chinese cuisine, which moved to a larger space in Matthews in March 2021, is temporarily closed on Tuesdays. Online ordering is in the works, but call 704-821-0676 for takeout.
Neighborhood: Regent Park
What to try: Purvis has recommended the Bi Feng Tang Fried Crab ($28) on the Cantonese classics portion of the menu. Chung goes for the Salt & Spices Pork Chop, also among the Cantonese classics. ($14.50)
What to know: This strip mall restaurant is widely recognized as one of the most authentic places to eat Chinese food in the Charlotte area, and you can go off-menu if you’re adventurous enough. There’s sushi, too. Call 803-548-8191 to order.
What to try: If you’re eating in person, don’t miss the Bubble Waffles, which are popular street food snacks in Hong Kong, where the restaurant owners grew up. You can customize them with toppings, drizzles and your choice of ice cream (price varies).
What to know: The Blakeney restaurant recommended by Chung and CharlotteFive reader Dr. Megan Ding focuses on updating classic Asian food with modern flare — and fun. There’s a menu of specialty boba drinks, as well. Online ordering is available, or you can call (980) 406-3894.
Location: 2214 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203
What to order: CharlotteFive reader Duffy-Marie Bengel recommended this spot, which offers entrees you create with a choice of sauce and protein, along with white, fried or brown rice (starts at $9 for veggies and tofu up to $14 for a combo with beef and shrimp or chicken, pork and shrimp).
What to know: You can order takeout online via ChowNow or by calling 704-333-1837 from this restaurant, owned by the former co-owner of Zen Fusion in Dilworth. Delivery is available via UberEats or DoorDash.
Location: Inside The City Kitch, 2200 Thrift Road, Suite 2, Charlotte, NC 28208
Neighborhood: Wesley Heights
What to try: The Insta-worthy Dumpling Flight ($10.95) comes with a variety of scratch-made dumplings in various colors with your choice of six sauces, including Scallion Garlic and Ma-La Szechuan Style. CharlotteFive reader Michelle Wang also recommends the Ma-La Dried Peppers Chicken ($11.95), Braised Beef Noodle Soop ($11.95) and the lamb skewers ($9.95).
What to know: The City Kitch is a hub for restaurants focusing on takeout and delivery. Orders from the restaurant are available online or by calling 704-218-9691.
Location: 10106 Johnston Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
Neighborhood: South Charlotte/Pineville
What to try: Chung, who said it’s the “best Chinese American” spot in town, suggests the crispy scallion chicken ($7.75.).
What to know: You can also build your own dish at this Taiwanese restaurant by choosing a protein with veggies or cashews and a pre-selected sauce, or a protein and a specialty sauce such as Sa-Cha, Szechuan, Kon-Bo or Black Bean sauce. Delivery is available via GrubHub or call 704-542-8038 to order.
Location: 8418 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28210
Neighborhood: South Charlotte
What to try: CharlotteFive writer Emiene Wright recommends a Chengdu style dish, such as the Diced Chicken with Diced Pepper, Chengdu-style ($15).
What to know: You can go off menu if you ask, but there are plenty of adventurous options available at this Szechuan restaurant, such as Frog with Pickled Peppers in Spicy Sauce, lotus root slices and fish balls. Call 704-315-6989 to order or place an order for pickup online.
Neighborhood: South Charlotte/Pineville
What to try: CharlotteFive reader Kerwin Pellas orders up House Fried Rice ($13.50) and Sweet and Sour Chicken ($14.95), while Hailey Jerome goes for the Orange Chicken, (called Tangerine Chicken on the menu, $14.95). Fellow CharlotteFive reader Julian Powell opts for Sesame Beef ($16.50) and Honey Chicken ($14.95).
What to know: This reader favorite is closed on Monday and encourages reservations if you’d like to dine in. To order takeout, call 704-541-1688.
Location: Inside Optimist Hall at 1115 N. Brevard St. # 14, Charlotte NC 28205
Neighborhood: Optimist Park
What to try: The restaurant has touted its Pad Kra Pow, with Thai chili beef with basil, rice and a fried egg ($15).
What to know: This Asian fusion restaurant that blends Southeast Asian flavors offers online ordering with pickup from Optimist Hall or by calling 980-309-0670. Delivery is available via DoorDash or UberEats.
What to try: The restaurant’s chef, Wei Min Liu, recommends the Szechuan Wontons or Shanghai Soup Dumplings ($7 each).
What to know: Takeout at this fast-casual restaurant is available at a separate station in the restaurant by calling 980-498-2006, and delivery is available.