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Jul 1, 2009 08:24 PM

Great Chinese food in Bethesda or D.C. area?

A friend recently moved from NY to Bethesda and insists there isn't a single, decent Chinese restaurant, which I find hard to believe. I would like to surprise her with a visit to a very good/excellent/much better than decent Chinese restaurant when I visit her. Does anyone have any suggestions for such a restaurant in the Bethesda, D.C., or D.C. area?


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  1. Even though there are tons in Rockville and Gaithersberg area, there is a good Chinese restaurant known for their Peking duck that is across the street from the Mercedes dealer in Bethesda ( and next to the bentley showroom).

    1 Reply
    1. re: cfoodie

      Shanghai Village is the Bethesda place mentioned above. I like their Kung Pao chicken and tofu dishes.

    2. Rockville, MD is generally considered to have the best Chinese food in the area.

      Joe's Noodle House is Sichuan. Many recs on this board throughout the years. But don't go for the noodles! I love the shredded radish, peanuts with fried baby smelt, taro root cake, beef jerky, rice cake with pork, pressed bean curd, bacon and leek, wontons in red hot sauce.

      Mandarin Express for Yunnan cuisine. Crossing the bridge noodle soup.

      China Bistro specializes in dumplings. they have some good small plates of cold/ pickled vegetables too.

      Peking Palace in Germantown, MD for Hunan Cuisine. Tofu hot pot. Enormous menu worth exploring.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve

        Steve, when you say not to go for the noodles, do you mean that the noodles are not very good?

        1. re: IWantFood

          Exactly, nothing special about the noodles at Joe's Noodle House. They retained the name from the previous owner. Has nothing to do with the food they serve. Noodle lovers will be disappointed.


        North China may be the only authentic Chinese restaurant in Bethesda. I've never been but it's supposed to be good.

        BTW, is your friend Chinese? If your friend is from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc., then he/she will not be impressed.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ericandblueboy

          No, she's not Chinese, but she is vegetarian.

          1. re: IWantFood

            Do you know what she normally orders?

            1. re: Ericandblueboy

              She occasionally orders noodle dishes, and likes vegetable dumplings and tofu dishes. When she came to NYC recently, we went to Grand Sichuan Eastern. Neither one of us really loved the spice used in the sichuan noodles, but the vegetable dumplings were quite good, and she said she liked the mapo tofu. She'll eat any style of Chinese cooking, as long as it's vegetarian.

        2. There are tons of Chinese American living in Montgomery County and many of the restaurants there are better and probably cheaper than a lot of places in NYC. I am surprised that your friend hasn't found a Chinese restaurant she likes. Maybe she likes a certain type of Chinese food in NYC (such as Szechuan) that's not available in DC area.....

          Anyway, back to the subject, I like Seven Seas in Rockville. Here is their website.

          1. A&J's has decent Northern Chinese Dim Sum. Fried dumplings and noodles. Bob's 66 Noodle house has decent Taiwanese food. Beef noodle soup, veggies w/ lamb and other noodles. not to mention stinky tofu! Both are on Rockville Pike and cash only.

            4 Replies
            1. re: iatethesandbox

              Both of these are very good suggestions. Long list of CHowhound favorites at Bob's 66 if you do a search, especially going a few years back.

              1. re: iatethesandbox

                I'd think twice about bringing a vegetarian to A&J's. I can't find their menu on line but while I know they have a few vegetable dumplings, I think it might be a frustrating experience.

                1. re: wombat

                  Actually, there are plenty of vegetarian items on the menu. Most of them are cold plates, but there are a few dumplings and other dishes, including at least 1-2 noodle dishes.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    Agreed - the dan dan noodles and the hot and sour noodles are both vegetarian. There is a vegetarian pan fried bun, as well as steamed vegetarian dumplings. Also, there are several cold plates, as DanielK points, out that are vegetarian-friendly including seaweed, tofu or gluten in various forms, and others.