Where to Find the Best Chinese Food in Arlington, VA
What comes to mind when you think of Arlington, Virginia? Most people immediately think of the place as a political and historical center. After all, it houses the Pentagon, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the grave of John F. Kennedy. As a result, it’s easy to assume there’s nothing fun to do in Arlington. Surprisingly, Arlington is a fun city. For example, if you like to eat, you can visit the Chinese restaurants in the city. You are probably curious about which restaurants you can visit. Here are the top five restaurants to visit for the best Chinese food in Arlington.
5. Kung Fu Kitchen, 3221 Duke St, Alexandria
The restaurant was co-founded by Amy Liang. He lived in Jilin (China) and moved to the United States. After settling in the country, he marveled at how Americans ate salad for lunch. In his home country, they ate heavy meals like fried pork or stews. He couldn’t adapt to their dining style, so he opened his restaurant and introduced Chinese cuisine to Arlington. If you hate salads for lunch like Amy, you can enjoy dishes such as Pan-Seared Peking Duck Buns, Pork Soup Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes, Stir-Fried Chicken Noodles, Kung Pao Chicken, etc
4. Peter Chang Arlington, 2503 N Harrison St
Peter Chang worked in various restaurants before launching his restaurant. He kept moving from restaurant to restaurant because he felt they didn’t share his vision. As a result, he decided to open his restaurant to fulfill his vision. The restaurant is known for its Sichuan cuisine. Sichuan cuisines usually contain a lot of chili peppers, garlic, and onions. Since not everyone likes chilli, the restaurant doesn’t use a lot of it. Some of the cuisines you can order are Crispy Pork Belly, Boneless Whole Fish, Dry Fried Eggplant, Cilantro Lime Fish, Steamed Pork Buns, etc. How good are Peter’s dishes, you may ask? Peter was among the finalists for the 2022 James Beard Award. He was considered an outstanding chef. The award is usually given to exemplary chefs in the fields of cuisine and hospitality. However, it is not only the chiefs who are recognized. Others eligible for the prize include journalists, authors and restaurateurs. If a chef receives an award, it must mean that his dishes are good.
3. Hunan Gate Restaurant, 4233 Fairfax Drive
The restaurant has been in the area for 35 years. They are known for their Northeast Chinese cuisine. The cuisine is strongly influenced by China’s neighbours: Korea, Mongolia and Russia. To ensure that they cater the cuisines of northeast China, the restaurant sources its rice, seafood, noodles and meats locally. As a result, you will eat fresh food from this restaurant. The restaurant does tofu with green onions, aged chicken with mushrooms, chicken with garlic sauce, fish with cumin, cornbread, pork and sour Napa dumplings, and the list is endless. As for drinks, you can opt for the usual soda and water. However, if you fancy a Chinese drink, you can order Chinese herbal tea.
2. Peking Gourmet Inn, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Church of the Falls
In 1978, Eddie Tsui wanted to open a restaurant that served cuisines from northern China. Above all, he wanted to favor lacquered duck as the main course. This is how Peking Gourmet Inn got its name. While running the restaurant, he faced a shortage of spices. Without the spices, he knew he wouldn’t be able to make authentic northern Chinese cuisines. There was the possibility of importing spices, but it would be a costly business for him. So he decided to grow his spices like giant spring onions. Instead of buying sauces, he also made his own. Since then, this is how Eddie prepares his meals. Besides Peking Duck, other dishes prepared at the restaurant include Golden Yuan Bao, Kung Pao Fish Fillet, Fresh Chilli Shrimp, Roast Pork with Snow Peas, Ginger Beef, Chow San Chien and many other dishes.
1. Mala Tang Restaurant, 3434 Washington Blvd.
When you visit this restaurant, you will have the opportunity to eat mala tang. Mala Tang is a staple street food in southwest China. It is a type of rich and spicy soup. The soup is so spicy that it will leave you feeling numbed inside, hence the name ‘mala’, which in Chinese means numbing or spicy. Mala Tang is a bowl of boiling broth. You will therefore have the possibility of dipping a dish in it. Some of the foods submerged in the broth include bite-sized vegetables and meats. Food is placed on a bamboo skewer for you to insert into the mala tang. Some people may resent visiting a restaurant where they have to cook for themselves. Before giving up on this restaurant, you can opt for the dry pot in this restaurant. For the dry pot, you decide what foods to dip in the pot, and the chef will do it for you. Some of the spices in the broth include scallions, ginger, spicy bean paste, garlic, and chili peppers. Besides mala tang, other dishes you can order are vegetable tempura, mung bean noodles, duck gizzards, fish balls, chicken and corn chowder and many more dishes.
There’s more to Arlington, Virginia than just being a center of history or politics. For example, it can be depressing for some people to visit John F. Kennedy’s grave site. In such a case, it would be better for them to reduce their stress level by visiting one of the five restaurants. If you’ve never eaten Chinese food, consider this an adventure you need to join. This is an opportunity for you to taste dishes that you have never eaten. Moreover, you can learn some cooking ideas and use them to prepare your dinner. As for the authenticity of Chinese kitchens, you don’t have to worry about fake kitchens. Most of the restaurants in this town source Chinese food and spices locally or own a farm. So if you need to eat some real Chinese food, consider visiting these five restaurants.