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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

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In Dining

Yen Ching, on 76th and Good Hope. (PHOTO: Andy Tarnoff)

Chinese restaurant guide

Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Dec. 25, 2013 at 9:01 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.

Chinese food means different things to different people. Whether it's knock-your-socks off spicy Szechuan, or comfort-food Cantonese, Milwaukee is no slouch when it comes to Far East cuisine.

Here's a list of some of our favorites, but with so many Chinese restaurants in the Milwaukee area, it's impossible to cover them all. If we've left out your favorite, add it below using the Talkback feature.

China Gourmet
117 E. Wells St., (414) 272-1688

Located Downtown on the east bank of the Milwaukee River, China Gourmet is the king of Chinese buffets in metro Milwaukee. There are plenty of choices and almost all of it is very good. It makes a perfect lunch, but get there a little early for the best selection, the freshest food and the least amount of competition from other diners. Also open for dinner. (Not open Christmas Day).

China Wok
2342 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 223-4550

Quick, fresh and cheap lunch for delivery or pickup on the East Side. Lunch specials for $5.75 include a big serving and and egg roll, too. (Not open on Chrsitams Day).

Chinese Pagoda
7200 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 774-8400
This restaurant has a long history in the heart of one of Wauwatosa's shopping districts and it boasts many devotees in the neighborhood. (Not open Christmas Day).

East Garden
3600 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood (414) 962-7460

A long-standing area favorite, East Garden is often the standard by which Milwaukeeans measure other area Chinese eateries. A maze-like interior makes for comfy booths and intimate corner tables. There's a fine lunch buffet and an extensive dinner menu featuring Cantonese, Hunan and Mandarin specialties. (Open on Christmas Day).

Emperor of China
1010 E. Brady St., (414) 271-8889

A fabulous dining room and attentive service make Emperor a Milwaukee must. Even better, go there at lunch time and take advantage of their lengthy lunch menu at prices that can't be beat (from about $6). Lunches include fried rice, soup and tea. (Open on Christmas Day).

Fortune Restaurant
2945 S. 108th St., West Allis (414) 328-9890

5512 S. 108th St., Hales Corners (414) 529-9988
Our Asian friends tell us that Fortune has the best Chinese food in the city. They have an English menu and a Chinese-English menu. And, they offer dishes that could be described as adventurous. You'll love the crab rangoon, but when was the last time you had great jellyfish? (Open on Christmas Day).

Great Taste Chinese Restaurant
6618 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 443-1638

This small, family-run place is a popular carry out option in Tosa, where it opened in 2006. Check out the super-priced lunch and dinner specials, which are a real bargain. (Not open on Christmas Day).

House of Fong

5460 S. 27th St., (414) 282-5595

Old school Chinese restaurant with classic, affordable menu items and a cozy, kitschy decor featuring red booths and wood arches. publisher Andy Tarnoff once described eating there like "walking into a Chinese time machine." (Open on Christmas Day).

Huan Xi
2439 N. Murray Ave., (414) 906-8888

The former Hop Sheng on the East Side became Huan Xi in late summer 2010. The space is inviting and clean. It appears the dining room got a fresh coat of light green paint and six clothed tables fill the small but sunny space. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and offers dine-in, carry-out or delivery service. Online ordering is available. (Open on Christmas Day).

207 E. Buffalo St., (414) 271-7788

Jing's Chinese Restaurant is definitely the only Chinese restaurant in the Third Ward. In the first floor of the Marshall building in a space that formerly housed Moondance Coffee, Jing's is sparsely decorated and has a bright, clean interior. It is open daily at 11:30 a.m. It offers carry out, delivery, catering and dine-in options. (Open on Christmas Day).

9011 S Howell Ave., Oak Creek, (414) 768-8888

Always a solid stop for Chinese food, Lotus is now serving sushi, sashimi and other Japanese favorites. But, they haven't lost track of what made the place popular. The service is friendly and food quality is excellent. (Not open Christmas Day).

Lucky Liu's
1664 N. Van Buren St., (414) 223-1699
The 2012 editors' pick for best Chinese restaurant, many are impressed by the small and quaint storefront location. It's a hybrid Chinese and Japanese place with very reasonable prices.

No. 1 Chinese Restaurant
2678 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 482-2218

No. 1 Chinese does a better than average job at cranking out some popular appetizers and dishes, and they rightfully boast the fastest, best free delivery service anywhere in town. They offer affordable lunch and dinner specials, and family specials that feed up to six people for less than $10 a person. (Open on Christmas Day).

11120 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, (414) 443-6080

Situated near the Milwaukee County Zoo, this West Side restaurant is one of the few in the area that serve dim sum -- tapas-like small portions that combine to make a meal. There are more than 50 options on the restaurant's dim sum menu, which is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. (Open on Christmas Day).

1721 W. Canal St., (414)
Located inside the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, RuYi specializes in noodle dishes, plus Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Hmong cuisines that are featured in a modern, Asian-styled space. Specialty dishes include roast Peking duck and wok-fried fish. (Opens at 4 p.m. on Christmas Day).

San Fong
2901 S. Chicago Ave., South Milwaukee, (414) 571-6481
This unassuming storefront restaurant is run by the sweetest family you'll ever meet. Although the "dining room" leaves much to be desired, the food is wonderful, reasonably priced and perfect for taking away. The only sad part is that you'll then spend less time in the warm glow of the owners. (Open on Christmas Day).

Yen Ching
7630 W. Good Hope Rd., (414) 353-6677
On the northwest side, Yen Ching has established itself as the Chinese restaurant of choice among Milwaukeeans, who are willing to drive out there from almost every corner of the city for its inexpensive lunch and delicious Mandarin dinners. Try the Mongolian Beef. (Open on Christmas Day.)


growlybeast | Jan. 11, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (report)

Gotta agree with OCMEX, Lychee Garden is my favorite Chinese restaurant in the world.

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SlobandSnob | Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:06 p.m. (report)

We're going to disagree about the buffet at downtown's China Gourmet. Please see our Reader's blog regarding for a complete analysis about Chinese buffets.

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Mike | Dec. 30, 2011 at 12:25 p.m. (report)

The best Sichuan, bar none, I've had in the area was at a Japanese steak house in Brookfield- Meiji Cusine. They have dual menu, and the Chinese side of it is outstanding. I've been to Sichuan Provence in China several times, and this is the only thing that comes close.

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BIGMEX72 | Dec. 28, 2011 at 12:17 p.m. (report)

ALL of Ru Yi's Dishes are great. The Smell hits you once you get off the escalator and drives you in!! I also really like Panda Gourmet in Oak Creek!!!

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OCMEX | Dec. 27, 2011 at 11:26 a.m. (report)

Lychee Garden on 78th & Layton. Quality ingredients, good service, and a great lunch buffet.

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