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Apr 16, 2010 10:50 AM

Recommendations for Chinese in DC's Chinatown

Taking a friend out for her Birthday on Sunday. She's requested we go to DC's Chinatown as we'll be downtown for another purpose.

(I know, I know -- Wheaton, Falls Church and other places have better food but its the B-day girls pick!)

Looks to me like old posts seem to recommend:

New Big Wong and Jackey Cafe

Any others?

Hate to say it, but the place need not be especially "authentic" and it would not hurt if the decor was pleasant /in good order and service was excellent.

I think my friend is expecting something along the lines of Peking Gourmet Inn in Baileys Crossroads.

Thanks for the help!!!

Full Kee Restaurant
5830 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

Peking Gourmet
5732 Buckeystown Pike Ste 16, Frederick, MD 21704

Jackey Cafe
611 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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  1. Tony Cheng's upstairs might fit that expectation. Peking duck, seafood, cocktails.

    1 Reply
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      Dim Sum at Tony Cheng's is pretty good. Liked it better than at Marks Duck House.

    2. Not Chinese, but I think the best place to go for Asian in Chinatown is the Burma Restaurant. Yummy, fresh noodles with light flavorful spicing. I love the spare ribs too, And if you go, you absolutely MUST get the ginger salad. In fact, you might want to get two orders of these.....the curries are really good, too. And the flavors of all dishes are really distinct, which is nice to see. Lots of the restaurants in Chinatown use the same tired ingredients for every dish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nyawira

        Nyawira -- I've heard very differing reports on Burma; some love it and some hate it. Have you had Burmese food elsewhere, and if so, how does Burma compare?

        1. re: nyawira

          What do you mean by 'fresh' noodles? Do they have homemade or handmade noodles? Are these for every noodle dish or only certain ones? Not many places offer this.....

          1. re: nyawira

            I have been repeatedly pleasantly surprised by Burma. Guess there's a reason why it's packed at lunch. And busy in the evening. Lots of Asians too.
            The Green Tea Leaf Salad is addictive. One day, I'll get a carry-out order so I won't have to share it.
            The tofu with tomatoes is wonderful, and the curries are light and flavorful.
            Burma has been around for more than 20 years for a reason. It's a keeper.

          2. My favorite in Chinatown is Eat First. However, if your friend prefers a place with nicer decor, Tony Cheng's is a good place to go. If your friend has never tried Mongolian barbecue, it's a neat experience.

            Eat First Restaurant
            609 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            5 Replies
            1. re: DCDeb

              I was at Toy Cheng's years ago. It was some kind of weird, pick out-you-own-ingredients place. Is that what you are referring to as Mongolian barbeque?

              1. re: Steve

                That's generally what's meant by mongolian barbecue. Tony Cheng's used to be the only example of that in the area, but there are better alternatives now, although for the OP Tony Cheng's would still be the choice given its location.


                1. re: sweth

                  Yes, thanks for the link. I just wanted to confirm that this is not really bbq nor is it Mongolian.

                  For thems that didn't read the link, it was started in Taiwan and played off a Japanese idea. I hope the results of this in Taiwan and Japan are far better than what is available at Tony Cheng's.

                2. re: Steve

                  The upstairs part of Tony Cheng's is where it's at for Peking Duck and seafood. The downstairs is the "Mongolian Grill" thing for the tour bus crowd. You'll find the same thing all over Orlando. It's okay, but more of a gimmick than anything else.

                3. re: DCDeb

                  I second Eat First. Food is great but it has little ambiance.

                  Eat First Restaurant
                  609 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                4. Chinatown Express

                  Chinatown Express
                  126 Carroll Island Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220

                  1. My favorite Chinese place in DC is Sichuan Pavilion Been there several times and have always enjoyed it. Large Chinese clientele is a good sign. Ma Po is excellent, the dan dan noodles are tasty, The combination of the food and the dining area together beats all the other places in Chinatown.

                    Sichuan Pavilion D C
                    1814 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rcheng

                      BTW, the decor is nice and well maintained in an old school type way, very similar to Peking Gourmet Inn. If you are looking for something more trendy like a Cafe Asia, it's not that type of decor, but it is actually pretty nice and just shy of a bit formal.