Where can I find authentic Chinese food in America?

I know that a typical Chinese restaurant here in the U.S. is not real Chinese food.  It's not even close.  Somebody once told me you'd have to go to the Chinatowns to find the real food.  Is that right?    

7 Answers

Relevance
  • Alpha
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    To find authentic Chinese food is not a simple matter of going to an eatery in Chinatown.  While the restaurants in Chinatown will mostly cater to Asians and people of Chinese descent, plenty of non-Asians visits Chinatown.  Furthermore, what makes an authentic Chinese dish authentic is not just how it is cooked, but what ingredients are used. These days it is easier compared to in the past of getting the authentic ingredients, but even so there are many spices, vegetables, seasonings that are not readily available or cannot be gotten fresh, but in canned or preserved form. This can and does change the flavor a lot.

    But all this is really not even important and misses a very important point: just because a dish is authentic does not mean you are going to like it or like it more. There is a reason why ethnic foods when transplanted to another country are usually changed to fit the taste of locals.  I can name plenty of authentic Chinese dishes that would gag you assuming you actually forced yourself to eat it. And there are plenty of authentic dishes that while appealing to a Chinese, would not to a Westerner.

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Yeah, it is. Chinatown is available in most large cites. 

  • John
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Especially here on YA there will always be a "Well I lived in China and there IS no REAL Chinese food in America....Snoot!"

    I am in San Francisco and it's pretty much everywhere, some better, some worse. First off, we don't eat in corporate franchise restaurants of any kind. Our go-to place for some years now is owned by Chinese people who speak broken English.

    Rule #1 - if you like it, it's good. You don't need to go chasing after some "authentic" label.

    Look at the menu. If it doesn't have duck just move on, even if you don't like duck. The biggest category should be fish and after that pork. Our place has a tank to hold lobster, crab and fish, that would be good.

    Chinese people are no different from you, they like to eat good food. Hummingbird tongues are only in the movies. Most Chinese is not strange, it's just Asian flavors. Another thing you might find on an ethnic menu would be "innards". If they have those you came to the right place.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    If you are in NY, you go to a part of Queens County, called Flushing where there are dozens of authentic asian establishments that are not tainted by American style 'chinese' dishes.   There are Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants to dine from. 

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    I think it depends where you are in the US. I'm in Boston. Our Chinatown has been gentrified, and all the fabulous, authentic places are gone. Malden, north of Boston, has a high Asian population and some pretty good Chinese restaurants. To answer your question, it depends. I have a dear friend from Hong Kong, and we have switched from Chinatown to Malden for our dining.

    Someone told me years ago that the best is in San Francisco and the next is Boston. I lived in New York City and assumed the Chinese food would be outstanding, but it was yucky.

    The advice to ask a college student is brilliant.  

  • 4 weeks ago

    Chinatown works in San Francesco and Paris. I don't know about others.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Find some Chinese college students and ask them.  I live in Pittsburgh, and we have a ton of authentic Chinese restaurants due to all of the Chinese grad students and undergrads at schools like Carnegie Mellon.  There are several where they give you the menu in Chinese as the default and you have to ask for the English version if you don't read Chinese.  

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.