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Nov 7, 2009 02:12 PM

Authentic Chinese in Kansas City MO

looking for any kind of authentic chinese food within the city limits. does kc have a chinatown at all? any tips greatly appreciated

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  1. No China town per se. Several Asian markets throughout town. Most Chinese restaurants will have a "hidden menu" that features traditional dishes. All 3 of my Chinese language teachers have eaten at a number of the Chinese restaurants throughout the metro. None of them liked any of the food. They all come from diverse parts of China. North, South and Taiwan. My Chinese cooking class instructor and her husband recommended Lucky Wok's spare ribs. I thought they were OK at best. Maybe an acquired taste. Your best bet. Find a Chinese transplant and get a home cooked meal.

    1. I'm no expert on authentic Chinese. But here's a shot

      Pine and Bamboo Garden has a traditional Chinese menu and dim sum on weekends
      Shawnee Mission Pkway about a mile West of I-35

      Bo LIng's gets a lot mention

      Jenn Jen at 91st and Metcalf. Although no one has mentioned them lately, I hope they're still open

      Aaron Deacon is organizing an off the menu tasting at Pine and Bamboo. There was a post on here, but I don't see it now.

      1. thanks very much for the responses. i notice there is a vietnamese scene? hoping to get some good pho

        4 Replies
        1. re: FrankieLymon

          I agree with the above replies, never really found any outstanding authentic Chinese in KC. There are a number of really good Vietnamese places. Hieng Vuong in the River Market is my favorite, it's definitely not a fancy place, as one local food blogger said it's like eating in your Vietnamese neighbors garage' but to me it adds to the experience, as well as being in the River Market, one of the most interesting places in town for someone who loves food.

          Also good is Vietname Cafe, couple of blocks East of River Market in Columbus Park neighborhood.

          Another Vietnam Cafe just across the State line on 39th and in an old Roadhouse, also very, very good.

          Pho 97 on Independence avenue in KC also does a great Pho.

          Good luck and enjoy KC!


          Hien Vuong: 417 Main St, KC MO
          Vietnam Cafe: 522 Campbell Street, KC MO
          The Vietnam Cafe: 2200 W. 39th Street, KC KS
          Pho 97: 2605 Indepedence Ave. KC MO

          1. re: zeke

            Oh sweet lord - Vietnam Cafe is one of my absolute favorites!!!!!!!!!

            As far as authentic chinese goes in KC, I'm not sure you're going to get too many results. Most of it is the typical Americanized versions of the recipes that you would NEVER see in China. I'd be interested in hearing if anybody else has a different opinion.

            1. re: jcshil

              Hien Vuong on the River Market is fabulous. Highly recommend it for authentic Pho.

          2. re: FrankieLymon

            Bo Ling's gets a lot of mention, but I think it's incredibly overrated. Any number of holes in the wall do indistinguishable takes on the same Chinese/American standards.

            As others have said, there's lots of good Vietnamese. Pho KC just north of Vietnam Cafe, just as you're getting on the Heart of America bridge, is fantastic as well. But Vietnam Cafe is my very favorite, with the best pho I've ever tasted and an extremely friendly, personable staff.

            Heart of America
            1501 River Dr, Moline, IL 61265

            Bo Lings
            9574 Quivira Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215

          3. KC doesn't have a Chinatown, but there are several markets. Most will have foodstuffs from many different Asian cuisines, rather than just Chinese, etc. There is also a Chinese association, if you're interested in cultural festival:

            I'm afraid the best you can hope for from Chinese restaurants doesn't rival what you find on the coasts, but I've had some entirely decent food from Bo Ling's, Pine and Bamboo, and Jen Jen's. Bo Ling's dim sum is best if you go close to opening at 11 am on the weekends, when the carts haven't steamed dishes to death. Don't bother with their Chinese American dishes at dinner. Jen Jen's is good for Hong Kong style seafood, in particular. Though it's a bit pricier for the portions, they do a good job. Unfortunately, the rice is not as good. It's really rather hard to find everything clicking on all cylinders at Chinese restaurants here.

            There is also some good Japanese food in the metro, and Korean and Indian, if you are interested in those cuisines as well.

            Bo Lings
            9574 Quivira Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215

            1. thanks alot for the help. any japanese reccs would be greatly welcome too

              1 Reply
              1. re: FrankieLymon

                For Japanese, it is hard to beat "One Bite".
                They don't serve sushi, but plenty of other
                Japanese dishes.

                For sushi, I like Kaiyo. The head chef had a
                good reputation and they turn out some
                tasty dishes.

                Kaiyo Restaurant
                4308 W 119th St, Overland Park, KS 66209