Chinese food means different things to different people. Whether it's knock-your-socks-off spicy Szechuan, or comfort-food Cantonese, there's plenty of interpretations, and Milwaukee is no slouch when it comes to Far East cuisine.
Here's a list of some of our favorites, with the disclaimer that so many Chinese restaurants in the Milwaukee area make it impossible to cover them all. If we've left out your favorite, add it below using the Talkback feature.
1198 George Towne Dr., (262) 695-3888
An Asian steakhouse that offers hibachi, a sushi bar, Thai and Chinese favorites and more.
1609 E. North Ave., (414) 273-6688
Despite its name, this East Side restaurant serves up primarily contemporary Chinese fare, with an eye for authenticity. Their menu includes rice and noodle dishes along with clay pot casseroles, soups and a large selection of bubble tea.
Bamboo House Chinese Restaurant
2937 S 108th St., (414) 564-1730
Another unassuming spot with a your typical Chinese menu.
1631 Miller Park Way, (414)-384-9000
If you are around Miller Park, Cheng Wong is a great spot to grab a quick bite. Their menu offers seafood, along with your typical pickings for a reasonable price.
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).
5114 West Howard Ave, (414) 329-8288
China Hut has been in Milwaukee for over 18 years. They offer both carry-out and delivery options.
2982 S Chase Ave, (414) 482-9180
Open seven days a week, China King’s menu is a blend of Beijing, Szechwan, Hunan, Mongolian, Shanghai and Cantonese cuisine. China King also offers a Buffett Monday through Friday 11:00 am t0 2:00 pm.
5125 W North Ave, (414) 871-0505
China Town will give you large portions of classic American-Chinese food.
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).
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. (Closed Christmas Day).
749 N 27th St., (414)-933-7880
This hidden gem will fill your stomach with quality food.
1820 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 390-0570
This low-key eatery features contemporary takes on Chinese fare including soups, buns and a variety of vegetable, poultry, beef and seafood dishes. They also serve up bubble tea and offer late-night delivery.
360 E. Erie St., (414) 488-8036
Order up creative spins on Chinese-American and Asian inspired dishes from Chefs Daniel Jacobs and Dan Van Rite including dim sum, noodles, stir-fries and savory pancakes. Order the Peking duck to share among three or more diners for a special treat. (Closed on Christmas Day).
3600 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood (414) 962-7460
A long-standing http://dandanmke.com/ 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).
1230 E Brady St., (414) 226-6640
An Asian Gastropub offering up a blend of Asian and American cuisines inspired by seasonal and local ingredients.
18900 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield (262) 784-1617
Emperor's Kitchen offers up traditional Chinese comfort food along with a popular lunch buffet. Customers keep coming back for their fried wontons, egg rolls and more.
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 $7). Lunches include fried rice, soup and tea. (Open on Christmas Day).
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).
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)
N89W16754 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls, (262) 255-3307
If you want that old school Chinese restaurant vibe, you'll find it at Harvey Moy's, a Falls classic which serves up classic Cantonese dishes like chow mein, subgum chop suey and more.
207 E. Buffalo St., (414) 271-7788
Although it's no longer the only Chinese restaurant in the Third Ward, Jing's reputation for fine Chinese cuisine persists. 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 offers both a Chinese and Japanese menu. In addition, Lotus is a hibachi steak houseBut, they haven't lost track of what made the place popular. The service is friendly and food quality is excellent. (Not open Christmas Day).
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.
7920 W. Layton Ave., (414) 281-8883
This classic South Side restaurant offers up both a buffet and a regular menu of Chinese American fare. It's a great spot to do it up old school in terms of both the cuisine and the atmosphere.
No. 1 Chinese Restaurant
6119 W. North Ave., (414) 771-6666
4501 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 332-2222
2678 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 482-2218
3260 S 27th St., (414) 384-3888
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) 847-7335
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. (Both RuYi and the adjoining sushi bar open at 4 p.m. on Christmas Day).
San Dong Express
220 W Layton Ave, (414) 744-3399
San Dong offers a unique Korean-Chinese menu.
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).
3524 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 963-9781
A staple for over two decades, this Shorewood spot serves up affordable classic dishes like moo shoo beef, eggdrop soup and dumplings as well as seafood prepared fresh from onsite tanks.
1683 N. Van Buren St., (414) 220-4660
This no-frills outfit offers up a large menu of classic Chinese American fare, primarily for takeout and delivery.
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.)