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Best place for Chinese in Calgary

I LOVE chinese food but my significant other isn't really a fan. His comment last night suggested that he loved the taste but the experience always left him with this giant stodgey greasy horrible feeling in his stomach that he really doesn't like.

I am going to chalk that up to bad experiences and that he doesn't actually dislike the cuisine.

When I lived in Vancouver we went to great chinese places and now whenever I go back we head over to Sun Sui Wah because in my opinion it is great. I'm needing a chinese food fix that is of that quality. I know I can make him come around.

So my question is, what is the BEST Chinese restaurant in Calgary, we are not interested in buffets but suggestions for Dim Sum would also be great!

(I've been to Vietnamese places and I'm pretty loyal to Oriental Phoenix so don't try to tempt me away!!)

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  1. Okay, so I'm not going to claim these are the "best" in Calgary but they are the ones we go to quite often. We really like Spicy Hut on Edmonton Trail South (203B 4 Street NE) because they have both Chinese & Thai so you can get both instead of focusing on one or the other. We also like Dragon Pearl in Ingelwood. They make a great salt & pepper squid. As for Dim Sum we like Regency Palace in Chinatown b/c they have a selection of Dim Sum that you can pick up from the steam tables instead of having to wait on the carts. This is a definite plus when you have kids & they're starved. Hope this helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Merry113

      Add another vote for Spicy Hut on Edmonton Trail +

    2. Chinese restaurants vary so much.... are there any particular dishes you are looking for? or styles of food (cantonese, schezuan, etc.)?

      I just had dimsum at Forbidden City and it was really good. You order off the menu, which I actually prefer, but their selection is a little limited compared to Silver Dragon. Sometimes you just don't want to wait while coaxing a one year old to stay seated.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alex8alot

        I love Golden Inn in Chinatown. I find the quality to be very good but I always go with a regular that gets special treatment and it's usually after midnight. I have had great dishes at Harbour City as well. It's all about what you order though.

        1. re: ennui

          Silver Dragon is in top form these days. Calgary Court for Hong Kong stylie, Dragon Pearl in Kensington does white-man's-Chinese to perfection. Really, there's lots of great places in Chinatown. I've eaten in Vancouver's Chinatown a number of times and have never had as good as food as you can find in Calgary.

      2. we like Harbour City for dim sum; Han's for Taiwanese-style beef noodle soup and some incredible braised cabbage, and for the kung pao chicken; Double Greeting for really cheap and fast HK style diner food (or so I'm told), and Calgary Court/Sun Chiu Kee (same owners) for HK style fusion (spaghetti done lots of ways, creamy curry sauce w/ everything, as well as congee that is the best I've tasted, not that I'm an expert).

        4 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          John....for the life of me I CAN'T FIND HAN'S...no matter how hard I try? Am I crazy or is there a trick to finding the place??? I want the cabbage and kung pao chicken! (it sn't deep fried is it?) :) thanks!

          1. re: Susanbnyc

            Susan- Han's is in the City Centre mini-mall on Centre St, west side of the street- there used to be Timothy's on the corner and it's another coffee place now (Cafe Milano?). There is a iittle food court w/ Veggie House there and next door is Double Greeting Snack House- this is INSIDE the mall- go further down that corridor and just inside the NORTH entrance is Han's! It's TINY so easy to miss.

            The kung pao is... I honestly can't remember but it's definitely not deep fried like katsu; it might be sort of pan fried but I cannot recall exactly (been too long!).

            1. re: Susanbnyc

              Here Susan. It's on the North side of the mall. You can enter from either the Centre street side (East Side), or the North Side, which faces the side entrance to U & Me.

              1. re: yen

                One thing to note that hasn't been mentioned here - Han's is CASH ONLY - make sure you bring enough bills!

          2. We do dim sum at the Central Grand on 16 ave and Center N. They're busy so the food turns over quickly and they have variety.

            1. Forbidden City for dim sun—innovative, fresh, and delicious. I would have recommended Silver Dragon as well, but when I went this past Saturday, many of the dishes were cold and lacked the usual quality consistency (veggie rolls falling apart, too greasy glutinous rice balls). It might have just been the time of day (around 12:30pm, or later in the dim sum rush) and our table location (in the little room next to the fish tank).

              Bobby Chao's does wok stuff well, and we like going there for rice + communal dish dinners. Forbidden City, though a bit pricier, always has top-notch dishes, particularly its hot pots.

              Ditto to Calgary Court/Sun Chiu Kee/Pebble Street: the owner of these places knows HK style well and the food is great value. Happy Valley has excellent Chinese butcher/barbeque items, particularly its barbequed pork (get ribs if you can) and tasty dishes in the "congee-noodles-rice" format.

              Can anyone report on MBA, recently opened next to Calgary Court? I've heard good things but haven't been yet.

              1. I like Forbidden City in the NE for dim sum. You pick what you want and they bring your selections to you piping hot, instead of waiting for the cart to come by. Also good are Regency Palace, Silver Dragon, and Harbor City, but mostly if I'm going out with coworkers for lunch.

                I also like Peking Garden in Varsity in the NW for lunches on saturdays and sundays, their chicken & abalone congee is delicious. They also have deep fried plain buns you dipped into sweet condensed milk, juicy siu long bao, and green onion cakes. They fill up fast, so get there at 11 sharp.

                Other places I go to include Double Happiness downstairs from work, in the SW corner of 3rd Ave and Centre Street mall. Also there is Han's Taiwanese and a Korean place whose name escapes me at the moment. Calgary Court and MBA are also great deals, decent food. CC does a great salt and pepper squid my coworkers love. If you like spicy noodles, try the Szechuan Hand Pulled Noodles. I usually order one to stay and another to go.

                Hope this helps,

                4 Replies
                1. re: taiphun

                  I second Peking Garden - my favorite spot. I thought they opened at 11:30 on weekends, not 11? Maybe that explains why im always standing in line :)

                  Hans good. Forbidden City good. Regency, Silver Dragon, and Harbor City are ok. I like UandMe, Emperors Seafood Rest int he basement of the cultural center has HUGE siu mai and hagow that are good, and i think the one upstairs in Pacific Asia Mall (16th Avenue and Center street) is good as well.

                  1. re: yen

                    Yes, the one upstairs at Center and 16th (Central Landmark) is good. Sorry if I offended someone, was just trying to save typing.

                    1. re: sharonanne

                      Im not following why you would've offended someone? I missed your post somehow, and should've referenced it. That was my bad!

                      1. re: yen

                        I posted something but it was missing so then I thought it was deleted so then I thought it was offensive to someone but a more likely explanation is that I messed up.

                        I'm gonna do a history lesson to make up for it.

                        In the 70's my husband's mother who was born in Anhwei province in China (don't talk to me about spelling, that's a phonetic interpretation) used to take them to a restaurant in Chinatown that made shar sui bao on Saturdays. That was the only dim sum in Calgary. We made the mistake of going on a Sunday once and got bao filled with century eggs and Chinese sausage. The horror remains with me to this day. Unfortunately the only mandarin words he learned from her were curses that she would not say in English in front of her children. Of course the kids learned those words.

                        Then we found a place in Chinatown upstairs on Centre Street that gave us a piece of paper with items written in Chinese. We worked our way through ordering each item and taking note of which we liked and which had fish paste in them.

                        I can't remember which place was first with the carts but I'm thinking the first bakery came before carts.

                        After century eggs and fish paste carts are way easy. One thing I like about Central Landmark is that they don't put egg tarts on carts. You have to order them and so they are really fresh.

                2. Second the HK style places - Calgary Court, Sun Chiu Kee, Pebble Street

                  Dim sum - U and Me, Forbidden City, Central Grand

                  Lunch - Cheung's Garden (16 Ave 4 St NW) - very village-style though

                  Dinner - Shan Tung (14th St NW) - get the Chinese menu and have the hostess translate. Get the Taro Root Duck and pea shoots! Regency and Silver Dragon are OK, although Regency has definitely picked it up during the last two Chinese banquets I've been at. Central Grand & Harbour City is pretty good for supper too.

                  Unfortunately, Richmond still has the best region specific restaurants like Schezuan.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: alex8alot

                      Hard to describe. Maybe a more accurate description is peasant style. Like a lot of other authentic ethnic cuisines or like a French bouchon, they don't waste a lot of the animal, so you'll get stuff like pig's feet, pig belly, all kinds of tripe, cow tongue, etc. May not be kosher in the health-conscious world, but still good eating... Lots of vegetables and noodles and such. Similiar to Hong Kong style, but not so cafe-like - Chinese comfort food...

                      1. re: ybnormal

                        Thanks for the explanation, I think I get it. They serve all the things that my father would labeled as Korean "delicacies" when we were chidlren to try and tempt us.

                  1. Best dim sum - Forbidden City, they also have all you can eat hot pot in the evening. I have ordered off the a la carte menu for dinner 3 times now and never really impressed.

                    Dinner - Imperial Garden on Centre St, clean, non greasy food, around about 8th Ave NE, if you're heading north on centre street it's on your right hand side. Siu Chiu Kee has great HK food for dinner and late night.

                    Best BBQ - BBQ duck & BBQ pork - Happy Valley / second best MBA Noodle House, great HK style BBQ and Noodle Restaurant

                    There's another dinner restaurant, I stumble upon on 14th Street, can't remember the name for the life of me, but its on the east side of 14th street by the Regal Beagle and has a burgundy sign. Nice, clean chinese food.

                    I miss Vancouver too!! Lots of great chinese food. I'm in desperate need of some Shanghainese in Calgary, know of any?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: eateat

                      Is the one on 14th 'Shan Tung?'

                      1. re: eateat

                        yes it's Shun Tang..was there last week great chinese. Under new management

                      2. My vote goes to Silver Dragon in Chinatown. Not really big on Pebble Street.

                        I've never been for Dim Sum at Silver Dragon, but I hear it's really good. I've ordered some of the Dim Sum items at dinner, such as ha gow and siu my, and they are deeeelicious. They have really good examples of more 'western' style Chinese food, such as ginger beef, pineapple sweet and sour pork, beef and broccoli, potstickers, and oyster sauce fried chicken (ask for it boneless). The chow funn noodles are out of this world. So is the shrimp in black bean sauce. In fact, I've never had a bad dish there. If you were to go and not enjoy it, I would be extremely surprised. Everyone I've ever taken there loves it.

                        Kan Ham in Ramsay used to be quite good. I wasn't impressed with Dragon Pearl in Inglewood. Eastgate in Forest Lawn used to be really good, but the old owner passed away some years ago, and now I avoid it like the plague.

                        Is Oriental Phoenix a no-no on here? Because I quite like it.

                        Silver Dragon Restaurant
                        106 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G, CA

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: feuerzeug

                          I like the dim sum at Silver Dragon, too, when it's fresh. Silver Dragon still uses the old school carts so some items have cooled by the time they come around. But I enjoy Silver Dragon's cheung fun (rice noodle rolls?), woo kok (taro puffs), and law bok gow (turnip cake). The last is especially delicious with the spicy mustard provided for each table. Unfortunately, when the fried and pan-fried items come around cold, it can a bit hard to stomach the cold grease.

                          1. re: feuerzeug

                            Oriental Phoenix is fantastic, but I thought that Vietnamese would really need it's own discussion.

                            That being said I think that the one downtown isn't quite as good as the one down south. Has anyone else felt that way? (I will still go to the one down town if I'm in the mood for Vietnamese... it is very gorgeous)

                            1. re: foxyfreckles

                              Haha, it definitely merits its own thread...

                              I only mentioned it because the person who posted this did, and I got the feeling from reading other posts on here that it is frowned upon. I've only been to the one on Barlow Trail and the one down south, and I find them to be identical. Identically delicious!

                          2. I like Oriental Palace at about 39th and Memorial, great hot and sour soup. Also, Chinese Valley in the NE, their not afraid to make their food spicy