The best chinese food is a tricky subject.
Are you looking for hole in the wall takeout or upscale service?
The best Americanized orange chicken or some authentic soup dumplings?
Not to mention, are you in St. Paul, Minneapolis, or any number of the suburbs?
As you can see, this is no easy discussion. That’s why we’ve consulted with the entire Discover The Cities team to come up with our 10 picks for the best Chinese food restaurants in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the rest of the Twin Cities.
PS – If you’re looking for more delicious Asian food, don’t miss our guide to the best Thai food in Minneapolis & St. Paul.
Twin Cities Map of the Best Chinese Food around Minneapolis & St. Paul
The most popular Chinese restaurant: Shuang Cheng (Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN)
If it’s good enough for Andrew Zimmern, it’s good enough for us. But the local foodie legend isn’t the only fan of this authentic Chinese joint in Dinkytown. Over the years, Shuang Cheng has made a name for itself by bringing a true taste of home to the large Chinese population studying at the University of Minnesota.
These days, any exploration of our city’s Chinese food scene has to start with this Twin Cities staple, where you’ll find an intimidating-sized encyclopedia of menu items. So we’ll default to Andrew Zimmern’s personal favorites – the roast duck chow fun or several of their seafood options, like the whole dungeness crab, lobster, or walleye.
- Address: 1320 4th Street South East, Minneapolis, MN 55414
- Website: Shuang Cheng
Best Chinese food near downtown Minneapolis: Lotus Restaurant (Loring Park, Minneapolis, MN)
Lotus might have rebranded from the lovable “Lotus To Go Go” (yes, with two “go’s” for some reason) but the food is as delicious as ever. Lotus is also a curious one; it’s hard to classify them as a Chinese restaurant since their menu technically covers stuff from all over Asia. There’s some of the best Vietnamese Pho, great banh mis, awesome Pad Thai, and… for the purposes of this article, some of the most incredible chow fun, lo mein, and traditional Chinese chicken dishes around.
The point is, we won’t quarrel over the details. Because no matter how you classify it, Lotus is definitely one of our favorite spots in Minneapolis.
- Address: 113 W Grant St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
- Website: Lotus
Best Kung Pao Chicken (and soup dumplings): Szechaun Spice (Uptown, Minneapolis, MN)
Another one that’s recommended by Andrew Zimmern and confirmed by us here at DiscoverTheCities. Szechuan Spice has a lengthy menu, but it’s that incredible Kung Pao Chicken that has Andrew and us coming back again and again. Oh, and we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t mention that this is one of the only places in the Twin Cities to find authentic Shanghai style soup dumplings.
- Address: 3016 Lyndale Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55408
- Website: Szechuan Spice
“THE” place for dim sum: Mandarin Kitchen (Bloomington, MN)
As we mentioned in our guide to the best dim sum in Minneapolis, Mandarin Kitchen is on another level when it comes to their authentic dim sum experience. Pre-COVID, this was an experience unlike any other – the 300 seats inside were rarely enough, and the result was a line out the door every weekend. These days, the experience is dialed back a bit, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is undoubtedly some of the best Chinese food around.
- Address: 8766 Lyndale Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55420
- Website: Mandarin Kitchen
Best wontons: Canton Restaurant (Burnsville, MN)
You might be wondering why we’re including a place all the way out in a sleepy parking lot of the Burnsville suburbs. Well, that answer is simple: Canton has THE BEST cream cheese wontons anywhere in the Twin Cities. (Trust us, Lily’s obsessed with wontons and tries them everywhere she goes…) What makes Canton’s so good? Simply put, they’re the crispiest, crunchiest, most perfectly filled wontons anywhere! Just make the drive and see for yourself…
- Address: 12111 12th Ave S Burnsville, MN 55337
- Website: Canton
Best Chinese food restaurant that’s actually a secretly amazing Korean restaurant: Lucky China (West St. Paul, MN)
Update: Lucky China’s owners retired in 2021. 😭
Okay, I realize that category title probably left you scratching your head. But that’s the story at Lucky China, an unassuming hole in the wall located in West St. Paul. Despite the name, Lucky China actually has a secret Korean menu that’s one of the greatest anywhere. Try their Gan Poung Chicken, which is basically the best orange chicken with a spicy kick you’ve ever had, or their Cha Jang Mein – a deliciously salty, hearty, and unique noodle bowl with black bean sauce.
- Address: 1375 S Robert St Saint Paul, MN 55118
- Website: N/A
Our favorite upscale Chinese food spot: JUN (North Loop, Minneapolis, MN)
Okay, let’s clear up some controversy. JUN is delicious; the only knock on this place is that the prices are a couple bucks higher than the usual Chinese fare. That said, JUN goes so far beyond the standard Chinese food takeout atmosphere, that’s a totally unfair complaint in our eyes.
Located in Minneapolis’s trendy North Loop neighborhood, JUN sports a beautiful, upscale dine-in atmosphere with professional staff. Speaking of which, the food here is authentic as it gets, thanks to a head chef whose spent over 35 years in various Hong Kong kitchens.
- Address: 730 N Washington Ave Minneapolis, MN 55401
- Website: JUN Szechaun Kitchen & Bar
Best hand pulled noodles in St. Paul: Magic Noodle (St. Paul, MN)
When you step into Magic Noodle and see the diligent workers stretching out lengthy noodles by hand, there’s no questioning whether this new spot on University Avenue in St. Paul is authentic Chinese. Take a bite of those perfectly smooth in chewy noodles in any number of their famous noodle soup dishes, and you might as well close the case now. Of course, the legit menu options here are as long as those hand-stretched noodles, and we can confidently recommend everything from the solid beef dumplings to the tasty fried rice.
- Address: 1337 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
- Website: Magic Noodle
Best hand pulled noodles in the suburbs: Master Noodle (Edina, MN)
If you’re just outside the metro area, fear not! You can still find some fantastic hand-pulled noodles at Master Noodle in Edina. The menu here is packed full of fantastic hand-pulled options, including an amazing collection of noodle soups, fried noodles, and even noodle/rice bowls.
- Address: 7529 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435
- Website: Master Noodle
The rare Chinese bakery: Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe (West Bank, Minneapolis, MN)
Where else can you grab an amazing Chinese New Year’s cake, chinese cookies, or endless pork buns? But what most people don’t realize is that Keefer Court also includes a full lunch and dinner menu, filled with all the usual chinese favorites. Did we mention there’s a whole deli counter for roast duck, duck wings, and even feet?
Yep, this is as authentic as it gets, and a place unlike any other in the Twin Cities.
- Address: 326 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
- Website: Keefer Court