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Classic Chinese-American restaurant names

I'm trying to think of some. The first one that came to mind for me was Hunan Garden. What else?

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  1. Great Wall
    Empress Garden
    Lee Ho Fuk's (but that's in Soho London)
    The Rickshaw
    Jade Palace
    The Pagoda

    5 Replies
    1. re: syrup09

      Good ones. Are there lots of Golden Temples (besides the infamous one in Brookline MA)?

      1. re: tatamagouche

        I'm from Michigan, so I don't know why the Golden Temple in Brookline MA
        is so imfamous.

        1. re: syrup09

          Very gaudy, pretty awful, but a decades-old institution for Xmas meals among Brookline Jewish families.

      2. re: syrup09

        According to Zagat's there's a Lee Ho Fuk's in Philadelphia as well. I've never been there (too aftraid of werewolves g>) but the guise says there salt baked squid is incredible

        1. re: syrup09

          syrup09, I have an Empress Garden right around the corner in Houston. We also have two Yao restaurants, owned by Yao Ming of Rockets basketball fame.

        2. There's a fantastic Sichuan place in town here. The American name is Chopstick Express, but apparently, the Chinese lettering means Golden Dragon.


          1. New Far Eastern
            Bamboo (garden, hut, inn...)
            House of (chang, lee...)

            1. I was thinking of patenting a chinese restaurant naming kit that had three wheels with spinning arrows that would pick color, city in china and/or architectural structure.

              6 Replies
                1. re: gourmaniac

                  Better get moving on that mechanical naming device as there are a few computer driven ones out there:

                  your basic, no frills random chinese restaurant name generator.

                  Another basic model with a small background explanation.

                  Added bonus of showing home city of restaurant as well as their specialty dish.

                  Very good site with lotsa bells and whistles:
                  - allows you to choose number of names to generate (1,5, 10, 15...up to 50).
                  - They're listed alphbetically.
                  - Links to "Community Name Generator" and "Japanese Female Name Generator" (I like that second one.
                  - A link at the bottom of the page to their "Main Generators Page"
                  - Lotsa bang for the buck!

                  1. re: gourmaniac

                    PS, I'm Tweeting that (as Denveater), with credit to you (slightly edited for space).

                  2. Ho Ho Choy- I think we have 3-4 unrelated restaurants in my part of the city that have this name.

                        1. Lee's
                          _________ Panda
                          Panda _________

                          1. Wongs, slogan underneath "You can't go Wong here"

                            Pu Pu Palace (saw it in CA years ago)

                            1. King Yum, serving great chinese-american food in Queens for 50 years.

                              1. China Wok.

                                My new favorite chinese restaurant is called Yummy Kitchen. Not quite classic, but fun nonetheless. :)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: dagwood

                                  My favorite Chinese restaurant in my area is called Yummy House. The use of Yum/Yummy may be a sign of good food!

                                  1. re: monku

                                    on the flip side there's a little place on Henry Street (I think) in Manhattan called "Strange Taste" (and it does) on the flip side "Super Taste" does live up to it's rep (at least if you try the wonton soup, its transcendant.

                                    1. re: monku

                                      I remember a chinese resto/pub opened (and closed) a few years ago in Montreal, it was called Brass et Lee. A kind of play on words as in french its pronounced brass-ay-lee, which kinda sounds like brasserie, a drinking establishment...

                                      Not limited to chinese (but there are a-plenty) looky here
                                      a long thread, but quite entertaining bit-by-bit

                                    2. On my bus ride home, I pass a takeout place on Northern Boulevard (in Queens) with the name Lung Sing.

                                      When I was a kid, the local place was Gum Kew, now long gone.

                                      And then there's the Hong Kong Gardens, from The Honeymooners.

                                      1. There's one in Syracuse call Rong Cheng. Never dared pay cash there.

                                        1 Reply
                                          1. Far East Cafe
                                            Eastern Garden
                                            Eastern Paradise
                                            Forbidden City
                                            Great Wall (already mentioned I see)
                                            Royal Kitchen
                                            Royal Garden
                                            Royal Palace
                                            Ming's garden (etc)
                                            Emperor/Empress of China
                                            Golden Duck
                                            Golden Coin

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                              There's a "Golden Duck" in one of the towns near me as well. It's mostly notable for its logo (presumaby drawn by some relaitve of the orginal owners) that looks eerily like Donald Duck in coolie dress with buck teeth (i.e. vaugley racist in a way I don't feel comfortable with)

                                              1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                yikes... that does sound bad. i remember there used to be a kid's tv show with various characters... they did roughly the same thing for the chinese character. i think they were trying to be inclusive... but it didn't come off that way.

                                                the golden duck here has moved a few times and changed owners to boot. must be a good luck name for more reasons than I know about.

                                              2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                There used to be a Happy Garden not far from us. The Great Wall in Montreal's Chinatown didn't last as long as its namesake (actually it was called le Muraille de Chine, french for Wall of China). There is a Dynasty presently open in chinatown.

                                                A small family run hole-in-the-wall called Hun Dao was our favorite, but we generally called it Ming's as that was the name of the brother-in-law waiter.

                                                As a kid (going back 35 years) I remember a western-type bar in chinatown called "lodeo".

                                                1. re: porker

                                                  There's one named Happy Garden near me in El Cerrito. It is without a doubt one of the grimmest storefront steam table places you'd ever see.

                                              3. How about Dragon Pu Pu House :-)

                                                By the way, slight geographical deviation, but there really is a Vietnamese place in Atlanta called What the Pho. And who knows how many Pho King's there are out there.

                                                1. And then theres the Golden Dragon, Silver Dragon, Happy Dragon, Red Dragon, and every name with Palace in it.

                                                  1. Happy Flavors

                                                    So innocent and typical – the next lost a little something in translation (or gained it)

                                                    Golden Streams of Yummy Delight

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                      I just watched a Kitchen Nightmares and the place next to Gordon Ramsey's nightmare was named Wing Wong.

                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                        There's actually about a dozen places in Mahattan's Chinatown that bear that name; apparantly, the founders of each of them orginally stared in the Kitchen of the Orginal Wing Wong so each picked a name commeorating the fact. Theres Fu Wong, New Wing Wong, Big Wing Wong, Big Wong King, Hong Wong, Hoy Wong, and Wing Wong Inc. (Fomerly New Wing Wong, formerly Wing Huang) There also supposed to be branches spread around the Chinatowns of Brooklyn and Flushing as well.

                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                          This one is in McComb Township, about thirty miles north of Detroit. I had to rewatch it to find out.

                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                            In Yonkers, New York (which being large has quite a few Chinese resto's) there are a few that cause a few chuckles. Some are just not following through logically like Hartsdale Garden, which kept it's name when moved (despite now at least 5-10 miles outside of the Hartsdale town limits) but the one that gets the top awards is a place that due to the random stringing of nouns method picked as its name (presumably long before Disney gave it addional meaning) "The Lion King"

                                                    2. The Chinese are very superstitious, so they pick names that contain "Golden", "Emperor", "Ambassador", "Garden", "Happy" because they think it's good luck.

                                                      I live in Richmond Hill, a suburb north of Toronto. When a lot of Chinese were moving out of Hong Kong prior to the hand over, Richmond Hill exploded in growth, as did Richmond, BC, a city just south of Vancouver. I asked my Chinese wife why they all decided to come to these two cities, and she told me it's because "Richmond" sounds like "rich man", so they think living here is good luck.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: FrankD

                                                        You should add "Fortune" and "Luck" to your list.

                                                        From what I have read, the use of "Garden" in a Chinese restaurant name is code (among Chinese people) for a place that is of a higher standard, with better decor, perhaps tablecloths, better ingredients, etc., and of course a higher price level to match.

                                                        1. re: johnb

                                                          One that "code" someone once told me that the use of the word "lotus" in the name is also code; it's supposed to denote a resturaunt that is vegitarian. Also if the resturuant consideres itself as specizing in seafood, the logo will often involve a fish, or, more often, two fish (the twin carp of prosperity)

                                                          1. re: johnb

                                                            Or maybe reverse psychology code - as the Happy Gardfen I knew was a dump...

                                                            I've mentioned it somewhere on the boards, but theres a Korean resto in Montreal thats been there as long as I can remember, named Hwang Kum. To my western ear, the name sounds a bit on the poor side of X-rated.

                                                        2. Of course, there was the infamous Young & Yee in Harvard Square, in Cambridge MA. Was there from the 1960's until recently. I never saw anybody there, ever. Eventually it went away, and as they were knocking down the old storefront to put in a pizza restaurant, the contractors discovered that it used to be a fire station, with a big granite slab that said "Cambridge 1", so the pizza place is called, unimaginatively, "Cambridge 1". Records indicate that the fire station moved down further towards Mt. Auburn Street in 1854, so that's pretty deep.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                                            I still get a kick out of the name of the Chinese restaurant near the apartment I lived during my college years in Sacramento California, from 1973 to 1977, though the place had to be from the 1940s or 1950s.

                                                            Ding How

                                                            It is long gone now.

                                                          2. My entry is actually a Chinese restaurant in London, the one and only…
                                                            "Graceland Palace".
                                                            Yes the owner is a huuuge Elvis fan and - am not making this up - does Elvis imitations in the middle of managing the resto: "Love me tender love me trueSPECIAL FRIED RICE TABLE 4Take me to your heart … BILL TABLE 7 !!!
                                                            The last I heard there are now two Elvises. Owner's son also puts in an Elvis shift.
                                                            The last last I heard, the name had changed to "Elvis Graceland Palace", in case one misses the connection.
                                                            Do I recommend? Heartily, but not for the food.