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Nov 21, 2010 10:02 AM

Best Chinese food in Seattle area (Chinatown/ID up to Everett)

I'm a Seattle-ite who's been back and forth between Seattle and the east coast for the last couple of years. I'll be back in Seattle for a few weeks in Dec/Jan and looking for the current best places for Chinese food in the area -- ideally, Chinatown/ID would be great, or anywhere north up through North Seattle, Shoreline, Edmonds, Everett... but also willing to make the drive elsewhere, to the Eastside or south of Seattle.

Things I'm looking for:
1. good value (quality + price)
2. noodles (I liked noodle king's hand-pulled noodles but I read that it's now closed)
3. wonton soup (Mike's Noodle House still good for this? where else?)
4. dumplings (fried, boiled, steamed) -- I know there have been threads about Din Tai Fung and I plan to try it for the sake of trying it, but where else has good dumplings (doesn't need to be soup dumplings)?
5. fried rice

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    1. Chiang's on Lake City Way (at 80th) is my favorite in Seattle. A little grubby, but first-rate food and not expensive. Their kitchen is actually bigger than their dining area, and their menu and specials are vast. Their "stinky tofu" is famous. No kidding.

      6 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Anything that smells like that, is famous. When we were in China, we smelled that stuff everywhere.
        I haven't tried it, but can definitely recommend Chiangs. Make sure to order off the Chinese menu, not the one for Americans.

        1. re: Teknotic

          Disagree re the menus. If you dig Ma Po Tofu, it's on the "one for Americans," called something like "spicy tofu shichuan style." Best thing I've eaten there, which is saying something.

            1. re: Teknotic

              hey, any excuse to go back, right? Let us know what you think!

              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                Actually, yes. I live just 5 minutes away, and have been eating semi regularly for 5 years now. One thing though, is I won't be able to order it as "Spicy tofu something or other". I'll ask for Mapo Dofu. Does it come with the ma?

                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                  I went to Chiang's again the other day, and the server said that they do not use the Sichuan peppercorns in the Mapo Dofu. I was unable to order it. They say in China that mapo dofu is supposed to be more ma (numbing spice) then la (burning spice; or chilis). While I'm sure it tastes great, there's no way it could ever compare for me.

        2. I like this new and pleasant addition in the International District called, Red Lantern right on Jackson St. They do many dishes well particularly in the Szechuan and Chinese/Korean style where i believe its one of few places in the Seattle where you can find Ja-jang myun and Jang-pong. They're desserts are quite good and not to be missed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GeneralTzo

            Also in the ID is my standby favorite, Hing Loon, on the corner of Maynard & Weller. Great food, check out the specials on the wall.

            Hing Loon Restaurant
            628 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104

          2. Did you see this thread?


            I know people still love Mike's. Also read about Fu Man Dumpling House in North Seattle--they have a following as well.

            Fu Man Dumpling House
            14314 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133

            5 Replies
            1. re: christy319

              Shhh! No telling people about Fu Man Dumpling House! They're already too busy!

              Really, the dumplings are great - and you can get them in soup!

              Fu Man Dumpling House
              14314 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133

              1. re: bjones9942

                +1 on Fu Man, the best dumplings around.

              2. re: christy319

                You know, I am a BIG fan of soupy noodles and/or juk, but I just cannot get into Mike's. Which is odd, because it has been recommended to me several times by multiple people and I LOVE their Portland counterpart - Kenny's Noodle House (really fantastic you tiao & fish/pumpkin congee/juk).

                I used to like KC Kitchen's congee as my go-to, but they changed the home-made flavor and I don't care for it much anymore (plus, it really IS cheaper just to make a huge batch of it myself... ).

                1. re: starshinesMonet

                  The Seattle location is considered to be the superior location, but not by any huge measure (since they are using the exact same recipes and methods). I've been to both Mike's and Kenny's more times than I can count and I agree with that assessment.

                  Although by Portland standards Kenny's is certainly a godsend, regardless of what one may think about them.

              3. If you are actually looking for soup dumplings, I'd suggest Yu Shan in Lake City. I am not expert enough to distinguish the technical differences between "xiao long bao" and "cha shao bao", but whichever they are, these are great. Meaty, and juicy enough to need care not to mess up your shirt.

                I like the chive pancakes and the noodles, too, plus many other dishes. Owners are very friendly.

                One caveat: I would not go on a Tuesday night. They are closed at lunch and may have a second string cook staff on duty at night.

                Yu Shan
                14553 Bothell Way NE, Seattle, WA 98155

                3 Replies
                1. re: RandyB

                  Their xiao long bao are NOT the touted xiao long bao [with the soup inside], but are quite tasty. I eat Yu Shan's food quite often, and if you stay away from the 'American' Chinese offerings you'll do quite well. You can ask if they have anything special they can make for you as well ... often they will.

                  Yu Shan
                  14553 Bothell Way NE, Seattle, WA 98155

                  1. re: bjones9942

                    Good point about asking. As I said, I'm no expert on the Chinese names of dishes. So one time I just said please make me something very spicy with any meat plus vegies, and LOTS of ginger. It was really good.

                    1. re: RandyB

                      RandyB - have you tried their 'fish in hot and spicy soup'? It makes my eyes water and sets my mouth on fire! At first I can't imagine eating another bite, then the endorphins release and I can't quit eating it! And the sichuan peppers add just the right amount of tongue numbing! Hmmm..... I think perhaps tomorrow I'll have to make a foray down there!