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Barbecue pork in takeout container.
Barbecued pork at Siu Lap City.
Caroline Fontenot/Eater Houston

12 Essential Chinese Restaurants in Houston

Find bone warming hot pots, comforting noodle dishes, and more at these Houston mainstays

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Barbecued pork at Siu Lap City.
| Caroline Fontenot/Eater Houston

Chinese cuisine is not a monolith. With a country roughly the size of Europe, there are different styles of cooking and specialties that are distinctive to each province and region. From spicy Mala cuisine to the deep flavors of Chengdu, Houston is home to a complete array of Chinese regional tastes and cuisines.

Find Sichuan spots, Peking duck, and killer dim sum at these 12 essential Chinese restaurants in Houston.

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Duck n Bao

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Many area restaurants offer Peking duck, but few specialize in this delicacy quite like Duck N’ Bao — so much so that it landed on Texas Monthly’s Best New Restaurants list for 2022. The restaurant’s whole Peking duck is barbecued until crisp and comes with traditional fixings like pancakes, duck sauce, soup, cucumbers, and scallions. The Peking duck is the restaurant’s calling card, but don’t sleep on other mains like tea leaf pork ribs, stir-fried lotus root, and whole steamed fish.

Tim Ho Wan

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Internationally renowned dim sum powerhouse Tim How Wan has recently planted its flag in Houston with the opening of a Katy location. An order of the famed barbecue pork buns is obligatory, but entrees like sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf provide layers of flavor to pair with dumplings. From pillowy shu mai to han gow, the chain’s dumpling selection encompasses many flavors that make Chinese cuisine shine. End a meal with an order of osmanthus jelly loaded with earthy goji berries.

The Rice Box

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A futuristic Blade Runner-esque ambiance meets Chinese street food at this food truck-turned-local restaurant chain. With three locations in the greater Houston area, Rice Box has made a name for itself with a solid menu of fried rice plates, heaping bites of General Tso’s chicken, sesame chicken, kung pao chicken, and pork dishes. Mala pepper enthusiasts, look no further — the Chongqing chicken is among the tastiest in town, loaded with peppers and stir-fried to perfection.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

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With five locations in the metroplex, including a new location at M-K-T in the Heights, Mala offers Sichuan-tinged dishes like dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, and the red-chili-laden, tongue-numbing crispy chicken.

Ginger & Fork

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For a Cantonese dining experience outside of Chinatown, head to this bistro for dim sum classics ranging from pillowy, delicate xiao long bao soup dumplings, to fusion riffs like cha siu sliders, and noodle and rice offerings like squid ink fried rice. The Ginger and Fork fried shrimp is a must-order, alongside stir-fried lobster tails and sizzling ginger and onion lamb. The cocktail program here is strong as well. Expect refreshing takes on classics like the eucalyptus daiquiri.

Siu Lap City

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Cantonese-style Chinese barbecue reigns supreme at this Midtown destination. Diners frequent it for the crispy, fall-off-the-bone Peking duck, but the roasted or barbecued pork offerings are also worthy. For a true feast, order one of the whole-roasted pigs — a meticulously, slow-cooked hog

sure to feed a small army of hungry gourmands.

Spicy Girl

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This friendly mom-and-pop Sichuan hot spot has become a go-to for locals seeking Southwestern

Chinese cuisine in a homey setting. Expect generous portions of pepper chicken, Mongolian beef, and even Peking duck served with a choice of bao or pancakes.

FuFu Café

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To scratch that late-night Chinese food itch, head to this no-frills spot. Open until 2 a.m. daily,

diners can get virtually every dim sum dish imaginable off an extensive menu of western favorites like orange chicken and traditional offerings like lobster, crab, and beef hot pot. After a night of frolicking on the town, nothing will lift spirits more than bites of fried food from the wok and a bubbly hot pot full of noodles.

House of Bowls

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This straightforward Hong Kong-style cafe is a mainstay for Houstonians seeking comforting bowls of noodles and congee. The beef chow fun is the house specialty, but there are also other dishes, ranging from udon to crispy or fried wok noodles. This is no-BS, classic Chinese food done right.

One Dragon

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Shanghai-style cooking is front and center at this hole-in-the-wall Bellaire spot. The menu highlights Chinese staples from xiao long bao to braised pork belly, all done well. Repeat visitors know to order the less-heralded dishes like the braised eggplant and scallion pancakes, perfect complements to any order.

Golden Dumpling House

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This Bellaire take-out-only restaurant does one thing, and it does it really well: dumplings. From soup dumplings to boiled or fried, stuffed dumplings chock-full of options like pork, chicken, and veggies, there is a dumpling for every palate. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are big. Don’t leave without an order of the pan-fried onion cake.

Hu's Cooking

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For Taiwanese and Sichuan fusion cooking, head to Hu’s where diners are met with bubbling pots of beef noodles, stir-fried veggie dishes full of pea shoots, bok choy, and egg rolls. Peking duck lovers can turn to the sweet skin duck, a crispy take on the classic dish.

Duck n Bao

Many area restaurants offer Peking duck, but few specialize in this delicacy quite like Duck N’ Bao — so much so that it landed on Texas Monthly’s Best New Restaurants list for 2022. The restaurant’s whole Peking duck is barbecued until crisp and comes with traditional fixings like pancakes, duck sauce, soup, cucumbers, and scallions. The Peking duck is the restaurant’s calling card, but don’t sleep on other mains like tea leaf pork ribs, stir-fried lotus root, and whole steamed fish.

Tim Ho Wan

Internationally renowned dim sum powerhouse Tim How Wan has recently planted its flag in Houston with the opening of a Katy location. An order of the famed barbecue pork buns is obligatory, but entrees like sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf provide layers of flavor to pair with dumplings. From pillowy shu mai to han gow, the chain’s dumpling selection encompasses many flavors that make Chinese cuisine shine. End a meal with an order of osmanthus jelly loaded with earthy goji berries.

The Rice Box

A futuristic Blade Runner-esque ambiance meets Chinese street food at this food truck-turned-local restaurant chain. With three locations in the greater Houston area, Rice Box has made a name for itself with a solid menu of fried rice plates, heaping bites of General Tso’s chicken, sesame chicken, kung pao chicken, and pork dishes. Mala pepper enthusiasts, look no further — the Chongqing chicken is among the tastiest in town, loaded with peppers and stir-fried to perfection.

Mala Sichuan Bistro

With five locations in the metroplex, including a new location at M-K-T in the Heights, Mala offers Sichuan-tinged dishes like dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, and the red-chili-laden, tongue-numbing crispy chicken.

Ginger & Fork

For a Cantonese dining experience outside of Chinatown, head to this bistro for dim sum classics ranging from pillowy, delicate xiao long bao soup dumplings, to fusion riffs like cha siu sliders, and noodle and rice offerings like squid ink fried rice. The Ginger and Fork fried shrimp is a must-order, alongside stir-fried lobster tails and sizzling ginger and onion lamb. The cocktail program here is strong as well. Expect refreshing takes on classics like the eucalyptus daiquiri.

Siu Lap City

Cantonese-style Chinese barbecue reigns supreme at this Midtown destination. Diners frequent it for the crispy, fall-off-the-bone Peking duck, but the roasted or barbecued pork offerings are also worthy. For a true feast, order one of the whole-roasted pigs — a meticulously, slow-cooked hog

sure to feed a small army of hungry gourmands.

Spicy Girl

This friendly mom-and-pop Sichuan hot spot has become a go-to for locals seeking Southwestern

Chinese cuisine in a homey setting. Expect generous portions of pepper chicken, Mongolian beef, and even Peking duck served with a choice of bao or pancakes.

FuFu Café

To scratch that late-night Chinese food itch, head to this no-frills spot. Open until 2 a.m. daily,

diners can get virtually every dim sum dish imaginable off an extensive menu of western favorites like orange chicken and traditional offerings like lobster, crab, and beef hot pot. After a night of frolicking on the town, nothing will lift spirits more than bites of fried food from the wok and a bubbly hot pot full of noodles.

House of Bowls

This straightforward Hong Kong-style cafe is a mainstay for Houstonians seeking comforting bowls of noodles and congee. The beef chow fun is the house specialty, but there are also other dishes, ranging from udon to crispy or fried wok noodles. This is no-BS, classic Chinese food done right.

One Dragon

Shanghai-style cooking is front and center at this hole-in-the-wall Bellaire spot. The menu highlights Chinese staples from xiao long bao to braised pork belly, all done well. Repeat visitors know to order the less-heralded dishes like the braised eggplant and scallion pancakes, perfect complements to any order.

Golden Dumpling House

This Bellaire take-out-only restaurant does one thing, and it does it really well: dumplings. From soup dumplings to boiled or fried, stuffed dumplings chock-full of options like pork, chicken, and veggies, there is a dumpling for every palate. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are big. Don’t leave without an order of the pan-fried onion cake.

Hu's Cooking

For Taiwanese and Sichuan fusion cooking, head to Hu’s where diners are met with bubbling pots of beef noodles, stir-fried veggie dishes full of pea shoots, bok choy, and egg rolls. Peking duck lovers can turn to the sweet skin duck, a crispy take on the classic dish.

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