The Best Chinese Restaurants In Miami guide image


The Best Chinese Restaurants In Miami

Soup dumplings, Cantonese barbecue, Taiwanese hot pots, and so much more.

Despite what you may have heard, Miami is not completely devoid of great Chinese food. Hidden among our croquetas, carne asada, and griot are places making excellent dumplings, Cantonese barbecue, delicate Hong Kong pastries, Taiwanese hot pots, numbingly hot Szechuan dishes, homemade tofu, and so much more. Here are Miami's best Chinese restaurants.


Long Gong Chinese Restaurant

Long Gong may look like a generic strip mall restaurant, but it’s unique in that it specializes in dishes from Guanxi. So there are things on the menu at this casual University Park spot you won’t see in any other Chinese restaurant in Miami. A meal here can include a clay pot of hearty braised pork belly and crispy fried taro wedges, delicate scrambled eggs with tomatoes in an umami gravy, and cold shredded chicken drenched in a spicy, numbing chili oil. Ordering the Guilin rice noodles, though, is non-negotiable. It’s a dish from the owner’s hometown and includes a bit of tableside showmanship as a server pours a sweet and savory beef broth into a tureen of noodles and mixes in sliced beef, peanuts, and scallions.

On any given night at 163rd Street's King Palace, you’re bound to find large round tables of people gathered around a lazy susan full of Chinese-style barbecue. This is definitely the place to get great char siu and Peking duck, along with crispy pork belly and soy sauce chicken. However, if you’re looking for more than an endless supply of roast meats, the drunken chicken or jellyfish (both served cold) are ideal ways to start the meal. The stir-fried scallops with lily bulbs and sliced lotus root with Cantonese sausage, bacon, and ham are also two excellent things to order alongside your barbecue feast.

This Bird Road spot has a huge menu of Chinese classics, but the reason we come here is for the dim sum, which they’ve been doing since 1984. This fantastic buffet on wheels consists of over 50 dishes, so pace yourself. There are a few standouts, like the plump pork-and-shrimp siu mai. The shrimp rice roll is excellent and slippery and we point and order it every time we see it roll by too. And those baked roast pork buns are perfectly round and smooth balls of sweet dough with a center of delicious roast pork. Also, Tropical Chinese is just a Miami classic—and one that we still love.

The food at Sang’s is a mixture of traditional Chinese and Chinese-American food, and they do both equally well. They make an excellent General Tso’s chicken (which they call General Cheng’s). Please order that—but there are also solid stir-fried noodle dishes like chow fun, with wide rice noodles seared in a wok with slices of beef. They do dim sum service every day from 11am-4pm, offering some good steamed shrimp and leek dumplings, shumai, and too many other things to name here. It's pretty quiet inside, but they have some round tables good for big groups.

Kon Chau is a great restaurant just off Bird Road, right near Tropical Park. They have American dishes like chow mein and chop suey, as well as more traditional dishes like clay pot casseroles, light Cantonese vegetable dishes, and one of our favorite versions of west lake soup in Miami—featuring ground beef, egg whites, and a pile of fresh cilantro. They also serve some of Miami's best dim sum all day, with a handful of dumpling options like shrimp and pork shumai and green tea mushroom dumplings. The very good steamed roast pork buns are worth ordering too.

This casual yet lively University Park restaurant specializes in hot pots—but not the d.i.y. kind. Instead, you select one of Hi Pot’s cauldrons filled with all sorts of texturally interesting things that cook at the table over portable gas burners. The Taiwanese supreme spicy hot pot—our favorite—includes over 20 ingredients like instant ramen and tofu puffs. If that sounds too busy, they also have simpler pots. But everything is customizable, including the broth’s spice level. The popcorn chicken and the stinky tofu—classic Taiwanese night market snacks—are must-order appetizers. Just make sure to leave room for tong sui, a refreshing dessert soup, especially the mango sago.

The name of this tiny North Miami Beach vendor inside iFresh is a tad misleading. It’s not the seafood that brings us here—it’s one of Miami’s absolute best roast duck and soy sauce chicken. Both birds are juicy and flavorful right down to the bone. They also prepare deliciously sticky spare ribs and rotate a few other roasted meats on the menu. You can also browse through iFresh—one of Miami’s best Chinese supermarkets—or grab a drink at Mi Tea right across the hall while you wait for your order.

To get to Tanka, you’ll have to step into a ‘90s time machine: The Grand Retail Plaza in Edgewater, a vintage mini-mall with pink mannequins in sequin dresses. Luckily, this Chinese-fusion restaurant is grounded in the 21st century with comfortable leather chairs and roomy green banquets. They serve some really good dumplings. But the reason we’d pull a Bill & Ted and come back to Tanka is for their entrees, specifically the peking duck and baby back ribs. Order the peking duck and watch as the crispy skin curls when they flambé it tableside. The meat is tender, slightly sweet, and served with a generous amount of pancakes, chili oil, and housemade hoisin.

Dumpling King in North Miami is one of the best spots for Chinese dumplings in town. The main attraction is the xiao long bao, steamed soup dumplings that burst in your mouth like mini water balloons filled with lava-hot deliciousness. Besides xiao long bao, Dumpling King also makes great pan-fried dumplings with a crisp layer of lacey crust. You won’t have to worry about still being hungry afterward—the pan-fried dumplings are huge and stuffed generously with chicken, pork, beef, or vegetables, and the soup dumplings are just as filling. There are other things on the menu, but you're coming here for a dumpling feast.

This is one of the best restaurants for solid Cantonese dishes around FIU South Campus. It has two airy dining rooms and plenty of big round tables with lazy susans perfect for sharing all the dishes you’ll want to order here. Start with a big bowl of slivered pork and pickled mustard green soup, then follow it up with chewy e-fu noodles in a savory brown sauce, a beef and daikon clay pot, and some of Miami’s best sweet and sour pork. If you see it on the rotating menu, absolutely order the crispy salt and pepper homemade tofu, which looks like a pile of jumbo cheese doodles. 

This Fontainebleau spot (the neighborhood, not the hotel) does some really good Cantonese barbecue. With the exception of one small high-top table on the sidewalk, they’re strictly a takeout operation. The pipa duck—a spatchcocked version of Peking duck with a much crunchier exterior—is worth ordering. King Duck’s crispy pork tastes like chicharrón that got a makeover. And you should definitely get a side of Cantonese pickles to balance out the meats’ richness—we like the green papaya. But the best thing to get here is the house special rice noodles: stir-fried thin rice noodles topped with lap cheong sausage and an assortment of meats, including that amazing crispy pork.

This North Miami Beach spot is one of the best places to make your mouth all tingly. Get the mapo tofu—one of our favorite versions in Miami—and you'll really taste the Szechuan peppercorns. The dan dan noodles are another regional specialty that CY does well. The dining room is a little fancier than some of the other Chinese restaurants on 163rd Street, which is fitting for the quality of the food here.

This Kendall restaurant serves dim sum every day from 11am to 3pm, but Saturday or Sunday is the best day to come for the full push cart experience. The big dining room has a 3D wall installation of two phoenixes looking over the lacquered dark wooden tables, where you’ll see a mix of abuelitas who lunch and aunties meeting for a cup of tea, a few bao, and some gossip. Everything here is solid, but definitely get the baked roast pork buns with a generous amount of char siu filling.

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photo credit: Cleveland Jennings

The Best Chinese Restaurants In Miami guide image