Atlanta is so much more than fried chicken and fried green tomatoes (though we have got some GREAT places for those as well). It also features global cuisine from all over the world, including the varied flavors from all the different regions of China. Whether you want Szechuan spice, xiao long bao, dim sum, or orange chicken, there’s no shortage of places to visit in Atlanta for your next Chinese food fix!
For irresistible Szechuan spice…
Szechuan cuisine, a style of Chinese cuisine from the Sichuan Province of China, is known for its distinctive and strong flavors from the use of Sichuan peppers. And over the years, quite a number of delicious Szechuan places have popped up in town. This is perhaps thanks in part to the cuisine having been first made popular by Szechuan pillar Tasty China, one of the OGs in Atlanta for Sichuan cuisine. They’re still kickin’ today with locations in Marietta and Smyrna. Be warned that they seem to have an even more intense spice level than other Metro Atlanta spots!
Chong Qing Hot Pot in Chamblee‘s Chinatown Mall is another Szechuan mainstay in Atlanta. They have big portions at affordable prices, with excellent hot pots, spicy chicken, and chili oil, in particular.
Asian food fanatics in Atlanta will generally make the trip to Buford Highway for the best stuff, but we’re telling you when to comes to Szechuan, Buckhead spot Urban Wu has quickly become one of the best. Their best dish might be their spicy braised fish, but the dan dan noodles, Ben Ben chicken, and spicy dried eggplant also all are fantastic. Find them on most delivery apps!
Newcomer Fire Stone Chinese Cuisine in Kennesaw also has quickly become a hot spot for Szechuan. Chef Wen-Qiang Huang was a disciple and associate with acclaimed chef Peter Chang, who first helmed the kitchen at the original Tasty China location. The mapo tofu and dry fried eggplant are some of the best in ATL!
For Cantonese food…
BBQ Corner 2 is an unassuming spot but has been a go-to for people craving Cantonese and other Chinese goodies for years. The interiors of this family-run joint are nothing fancy, but you can get your congee fix, beef chow fun, and soy sauce chicken here! There are also all sorts of other Asian goodies in the same plaza, so take a little walk there and pick up some roast duck and bubble tea to go in the same trip.
Canton Cooks is another gem offering both Cantonese and American Chinese food. You can get your egg rolls, your salt and pepper squid, and sesame chicken here. Canton Cooks is also a favorite of our host Steak Shapiro. Message him on Twitter to get his insight on what to order!
Northern China Eatery‘s xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, are famous among Atlanta area foodies and Chinese immigrants alike. These broth and meat filled dumplings are an explosion of flavor in your mouth! Don’t sleep on their cumin lamb either, a major delicacy from Northern China. The pan fried pork dumplings are also a can’t-miss dish.
Gu’s Kitchen, another Atlanta area staple for Szechuan cuisine, also arguably has some of the best dumplings in the Atlanta area. You can get these Zhong Style Dumplings served in a sweet and spicy, garlicky Zhong sauce at Gu’s Kitchen or their other locations, Gu’s Dumplings in Alpharetta and Krog Street Market. Their spicy dried eggplant and spicy dried beef noodles are also absurdly delicious–you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
For dim sum…
Dim sum, a style of cuisine from the Cantonese region of China that consists of small dishes, can be easily found up and down the West Coast and NYC. In Atlanta, the options are a little more limited, but there are a handful of spots with fantastic BBQ pork buns (char siu), shrimp dumplings (har gao), and yes, chicken feet (don’t knock it till you try it!)
Folks have been flocking to Royal China Dim Sum for their dim sum fix for years. Their new digs in Duluth are a sight to behold, and it’s the place for the best spare ribs, chrysanthemum tea, Chinese broccoli, char siu, and more. It seems that Royal China Dim Sum is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but we hope they’re back in action soon.
Oriental Pearl Seafood, located in the Chinatown Mall in Chamblee, is probably the best bet for ITP dim sum. The steamed pork buns and steamed shumai are both quite good and you can even get their food for delivery via Chowbus.
For hot pot…
Good Harvest is unmatched for fantastic Chinese hot pot in Atlanta. Hot pot, a simple method of cooking from China in which you add ingredients like meat, seafood, and leafy vegetables to a simmering pot of soup stock, is one part show and all parts deliciousness. Something different they do is serve “dry” hotpots with unique meats like frog. Be sure to also order their “charpati,” an addicting flat bread/pancake that’s popular in regions like India and Nepal.
For American Chinese food…
“Authenticity” is often heralded as the end-all, be-all when it comes to great Asian food. But going for “authenticity or broke” ignores the inventive creations and fusion of flavors that can be found in American Chinese food. This cuisine has a rich history in the United States: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1885 prohibited most Chinese immigration, but made some exceptions for professions like merchant and diplomats. This resulted in an explosion of Chinese restaurants opening up on in the U.S. via a merchant status visa and inventing a whole new style of cuisine to appeal to American palates.
Chin Chin has been serving up mostly American style Chinese cuisine of familiar dishes like General Tso Chicken, Mongolian beef, and crab rangoon for decades now! With locations in Midtown, Alpharetta, and Brookhaven, your next weeknight delivery meal should definitely be from Chin Chin!
Hsu’s Atlanta has been an old faithful spot for hungry Atlantans since about 2007. Get your egg rolls, wonton soup, lo mein, and walnut shrimp here! It is a little pricier than other spots, but a solid option if you’re in search of classic American Chinese cuisine.