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CHINATOWN, PHILADELPHIA

HELLO. I'M GOING TO BE IN PHILADELPHIA THIS WEEK AND AM TAKING SOME PEOPLE OUT TO EAT IN CHINATOWN. I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE SOME SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHERE TO GO. THANK YOU.

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    1. re: ClaireLiz

      Thank you for your suggestions.

      1. re: ClaireLiz

        The place across the street from Joy Tsin Lau is way better. Ocean something (Harbor?)

      2. I'll second Joy Tsin Lau for dimsum, but if you're running around town and want quick dimsum, I would recommend Lakeside Deli. Both are good, but Joy Tsin Lau has the authentic little carts, which I personally think is important. :)

        Rangoon is Burmese and has pretty good food. I like the laid-back, slightly kitschy atmosphere.

        There's a noodle place around 9th & Race with hand tossed noodles. The experience is great, but I think the food is really on passably decent.

        Sang Kee is another good place to go. While I've had better roast duck & pork, I haven't had better than Sang Kee's when it comes to Philadelphia. If the special of that day happens to be crispy taro duck, get it; it is very good. I will warn you, though, that if you go around the same time as everyone else (noon-ish for lunch, 7-ish for dinner, etc.), expect to have a very long wait.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Ali

          Thank you. I'm primarily looking for somewhere to dine and this is very helpful.

          1. re: robbyc

            Szechuan Tasty House in Chinatown on Arch just north of 9th. Try the spicy dumplings. Authentic Szechuan in a very pleasant setting. The food calls me to return...

          2. re: Ali

            I thought the duck in the duck and wonton noodle soup at Sang Kee was oversalted and tough. The broth was good though. Overall I wasn't impressed enough to go back, though I remember the noodle soup being so much better here maybe ten years ago. Maybe it's gone downhill, or maybe its quality is hit or miss.

            The duck noodle soup at Nan Zhou (hand drawn noodle place around 9th and Race) was much better, for the reason of the hand drawn noodles mostly. Duck was also on the tough side here. In general the meat is nothing special, but I love going here anyway for the noodles. And the chili sauce.

            1. re: Dib

              The quality can be hit or miss. I recall a very mediocre meal there in recent memory, but I went back with my family a few months ago, and my mother liked it well enough. The broth was well seasoned but not salty. None of us had the duck that time (though I went recently and the duck was fine, nice and tender and flavourful), but the wontons were popular around the table. Everyone agreed that they were quite good.

              Inversely, when I was with my family at Nan Zhou, it was widely agreed that, while the noodles were good, everything else was subpar, especially the broth, which was grossly underseasoned.

              Overall, that was a strange weekend since I've had better meals at both places, but it serves as a reminder that all restaurants can have off days, sometimes very off days.

            2. re: Ali

              Try NaN near UPenn for amazing crispy duck. It's an Asian-French fusion restaurant. My favorite asian-style duck I've ever had was from that place.

              1. re: Ali

                Sang Kee is great, though not as good as they used to be. The General Tso's is done fillet-style, as opposed to generic fried chicken globules with sauce. The sauce is tasty, though lacks a certain zest it once had. Also, their steamed dumplings are great, and have a nice thick oyster-soy sauce that adds a great dimension to the flavor.

              2. If you will have guests and want a place where you can talk, some of the very good places in Chinatown might be too crowded and noisy.

                Would Vietnamese food be okay? If so, Vietnam, on N. 11th Street, is very attractive, has a bar, and I believe takes reservations. Nice atmosphere for guests. Wide menu with some Chinese dishes.

                None of our favorite Chinese places in Chinatown are what I would consider great for "dining." Among others, we like Lee How Fook, on N. 11th St. If your guests are adventurous, our favorite place for dim sum is Lakeside Deli on 9th St. - no atmosphere, very small, very casual, very inexpensive. Closes at 8pm.

                We just returned from an excellent dinner at Mustard Greens, on 2nd St. below South St. Not in Chinatown. Has a bar. Lovely menu, quiet, very good food.

                1. Lee How Fook or Sang Kee. LHF's dining room is kind of small, but if you have a large group, they have a back room with larger tables.

                  1. Another vote for Joy Tsin Lau or Sang Kee!

                    If you're looking for dim sum and don't need to be in Chinatown specifically, try Saigon Maxim at 6th and Washington. There's a Chinese/Vietnamese shopping center there that has groceries etc., and parking is generally easier than in Chinatown.