Let’s face it, we all love Chinese take-out and sometimes it’s the closest we get to some solid Asian food. But for those around the Philly area, you’re in luck. Philly’s Chinatown, although small compared to other Chinatowns across the country, is full of places that offer authentic Asian food. When you step foot into Philly’s Chinatown, it can be a little overwhelming, so use this guide to help you find all the best places to eat.
The classic Asian beverage with the strange tapioca pearls. Some love it, others don’t. But, for those who haven’t tried it, it’s definitely worth a shot. Two of the most popular bubble tea destinations are Tea Do and Kung Fu.
Tea Do offers a larger variety of drinks than Kung Fu, but Kung Fu has tastier tapioca pearls that have a hint of honey. Try the Thai iced tea with bubbles at Tea Do or the taro bubble tea at Kung Fu if you’re feeling a little adventurous.
Dim Sum from Ocean Harbor
Originating from Hong Kong, Dim Sum is a unique style of dining where you pretty much eat endless appetizers. Basically, people push around carts that carry food and you just pick up the dishes that you want.
For this family style dining, go to Ocean Harbor. Be bold and try the feng zhao (braised chicken feet) along with some other favorites including ha churn (shrimp in rice roll) and siu mai (pork and shrimp dumpling).
Hot Pot from Nine Ting
Basically, you throw raw food items (meat, seafood, veggies, etc.) into a pot of flavored broth. It may not sound too appealing at first, but you’d be surprised at how good it is. The broth is enough to make the food extra tasty and you get to customize your own dipping sauce. If anything, it’s a fun way to bring friends together and you also get to cook your own food.
Korean Fried Chicken from Bonchon Chicken
Words cannot describe how scrumptious Korean fried chicken looks and tastes. It is fried to perfection with just the right amount of crispiness. There are usually two options in terms of sauce: Spicy or soy garlic. Spicy is known to be tear-inducing for those who don’t handle spice very well, while soy garlic is the safer but equally flavorful option. If you already love fried chicken, you’ll need to try Korean fried chicken at Bonchon Chicken.
Malaysian from Banana Leaf or Penang
Malaysian cuisine is often underrated, but it offers such a large variety of foods that everyone wins. Malaysian food is mostly fusion in the sense that it incorporates flavors from India, Indonesia, Thai, and other Southeastern Asian countries. If you love spices or foods with a tropical twist, visit Banana Leaf or Penang.
At Banana Leaf, try an interesting combination like pineapple fried rice served in half a pineapple or the popular laksa, a spicy and sour noodle soup. Or at Penang, order the basic pad thai and for appetizer, roti canai, a thin pancake with curry dipping sauce.
Nan Zhou Noodles from Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House
Nan Zhou noodles originate from a city in northwest China and is the Chinese version of comfort food. These noodles are hand-pulled fresh and at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House, you get to choose how thick or thin you want them. The original dish has beef and fragrant greens, but there are other ingredients you can choose from. Order this dish for a homey feeling.
Pho from Xe Lua
The Vietnamese noodle soup that everybody loves. It’s made of noodles and beef slices in a flavorful beef broth, and you can add bean sprouts or flavor it with basil, jalapeño, and lime. Pho is not only known to be great hangover food, but also helps you stay warm in cold weather. Check out Xe Lua for this tasty dish.
Pork Buns from KC’s Pastries
For those who love baked goods and anything savory, the pork bun is for you. Pork buns are golden baked buns filled with char siu, a Chinese style BBQ pork. It takes bread to a whole new level and the best thing is that it only costs a little over a dollar. Pick one or ten up at KC’s Pastries.
Soup Dumplings from Dim Sum Garden
Imagine regular dumplings, but round with thinner skin and filled with liquid. Soup dumplings usually contain either pork meat or crabmeat, and a rich broth. There is a technique to eating soup dumplings; otherwise, you risk burning your tongue.
#SpoonTip: Put the dumpling on a spoon, tilt the spoon back, take a small bite from the dumping, drink the soup, and then eat the dumpling.