To the ruler, the people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven.-Ancient Chinese Proverb
Boston proper, as well as the outskirts, are filled heavenly Chinese cuisine that will wow your taste-buds with their winning Chinese fare. Some serving simple, basic, American standards like Brookline's Golden Temple, as well as those taking a more adventurous route like Allston's Jo Jo Tai Pei, and others that go super upscale like Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger in Wellesley. Of course, Chinatown is not to be overlooked because some of the more authentic experiences lie within. From the simple surroundings that focus more on food than ambiance, like Jumbo Seafood and its many tanks of live sea-life to New Shanghai's always perfectly prepared, never greasy meals, Chinatown can meet your culinary needs on every corner.
Bernard's Gourmet Asian Cuisine
This Chestnut Hill Mall Chinese paradise is raved about all around town. With its delicate script and unassuming decor, you may think twice before entering because from the unusual name for a Chinese restaurant to the subtle mall entry, Bernard's is a bit out of the ordinary. This thinking spans their menu where food is prepared with modern flair and although many traditional items appear, they are anything but expected. Dive into the peking duck or black bean shrimp, and you won't be disappointed! An outdoor dining area is available during the warmer months. (617-969-3388)
In the mood for basic Americanized Chinese? Make a trip to the Golden Temple where you'll find a pleasant wait staff serving up exceptional cuisine in a pleasantly upscale setting. The interior is lavishly decorated and the menus, drink and food, are quite lengthy. Seafood, chicken, vegetable, noodle, and beef options line the menu. Items contain no MSG. Be prepared to pay for your visit here, but regulars say you'll be glad you did. (617-277-9722)
A nod to the grandeur of the Ming Dynasty, this Chinese restaurant between Harvard and Porter Squares is an eye-pleaser thanks its sharp, clean lines and temple-inspired elements. Changsho is far more than a pretty scene, though, and its meticulously-prepared regional dishes have bedazzled palates from all over the city. On Sundays, the buffet brunch is not to be missed – if for no other reason than sampling what may just be Cambridge's most delicious dim sum. (617-547-6565)
Chau Chow City
Chau Chow City is just the sort of place you'd expect to find in Chinatown, and its fine reputation is recognized by business types, in-the-know tourists, and neighborhood locals alike. The basic decor is completely overshadowed by traditional Chinese dishes of shrimp, pork, and chicken. Lobster dumplings and rice crepes packed with shrimp also draw raves. Plus, according to regulars, Chau Chow's dim sum can hold its own against anyone else's in the city. (617-338-8158)
For one of the most elegant Asian meals you'll ever eat make your way to Wellesley's Blue Ginger. Acclaimed chef, Ming Tsai is a Boston legend for a reason; he prepares some of the best Asian food you'll ever eat. However, his good eats do not come cheap. Appetizers are in the mid to high teens and entrees can run upwards of $40 a plate; portions are small so those with large appetites will need to order more than just one thing. Serving both lunch and dinner, Blue Ginger even has a gluten free menu (inspired by his own child's food allergy, Ming has worked hard to ensure those with food allergies can still enjoy his cuisine). Bring the kids along because they will love the specialties that adorn the kid's menu. (781-283-5790)
North End dwellers rave about Billy Tse's because it offers a little something for everyone. Their menu samples cuisine from both China, and Japan. Sushi lovers swear by Billy Tse's sashimi and those craving Chinese love this place. Food is full of flavor not weighed down by excess grease. The laid back vibe allows time to linger. Billy Tse's is one place locals return to long after they've made the move to the 'burbs. (617-227-9990)
Jumbo Seafood prepares fresh, fabulous Chinese food from tank to skillet in no time. Making the quality of the food they serve well beyond that of the competition. The Hong Kong-style menu is filled with everything from standard favorites like pork, chicken and shrimp to exotic dishes based around more exotic sea life like abalone. One thing is for certain, seafood or land lover, you're sure to walk away happy any time of day or night. Jumbo Seafood is open late for folks seeking some Chinese for their midnight snack. (617-542-2823)
New Shanghai is a Chinatown favorite, not for its decor, but for its authenticity as a go to for hot, spicy Szechuan-style cuisine. Prices are reasonable, starting with appetizers under $10 and entrees in the high teens. The fish is fresh, meats are well seasoned and the dim sum is to die for! But be forewarned you will find a sampling of unusual Chinese treats like Szechuan Style Frog and Peking Style Jellyfish. Don't be alarmed, just enjoy as everything; even the little out of the ordinary is quite tasty. (617-338-6688)
Jo Jo Tai Pei
Dining at Jo Jo Tai Pei is almost as good as going to China. Ok, maybe not that good, but pretty darn close. The food preparation here is spot on and the exotic dishes are well outside the box of what you'd ordinarily find on a Boston Chinese menu. Pig Intestine prepared crispy or steamed and duck tongue grace the pages of this Taiwanese menu, but no worry for you more cautious eaters, Jo Jo Tai Pei has plenty of more traditional fare to please your palate like shredded pork with garlic sauce and chicken with black bean sauce. (617-254-8889, 617-254-8887)
Lotus Blossom is a suburban gem serving Chinese food that is filled with flavor and low on grease. You'll enjoy the upscale setting where you won't feel rushed while you savor each bite of the Chinese delights offered on their menu. The real lure is their lunch and Sunday buffet, Lotus Blossom easily prepares large quantities of food without sacrificing their quality. (978-443-0200)
About Jessica Polizzotti
Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand. Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings.
Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon.
Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
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