“I’m ordering Chinese takeout. What should we get?”
That can be a complicated question, even for someone like me, who grew up running a Chinese takeout restaurant with my immigrant family. China is a country with 56 ethnic groups and 302 living languages, so Chinese food can take on various shapes—from dim sum and hand-pulled noodles to well-executed Americanized Chinese cuisine.
Don’t know where to start? Pull out your chopsticks and bring your appetite as I take you on a tour of Chinese restaurants across the Mitten state.
Hong Hua Fine Chinese Dining (Farmington Hills)
27925 Orchard Lake Rd
Specialty: Classic Cantonese
Established in 2000, Hong Hua specializes in Cantonese banquet-style dining. Known for its Peking Duck, seafood specialties, and barbeque pork, this higher-end restaurant also features a Chinese-language dinner menu with 11-course meals for 10 people at three different price points.
Recommendation: Peking duck
Lan City Noodles (Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor)
2612 Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti, and 1235 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor
Specialty: Hand-pulled noodles
The two locations of this Southeast Michigan noodle house look and feel quite different, but the food is equally craveable. Lan City’s hand-pulled beef noodle soup is a classic and the hot pepper oil noodle is a favorite, but my personal go-to is the Taiwanese braised pork over rice. It may seem weird to order a rice dish at a noodle house, but trust me on this.
Recommendation: Taiwanese braised pork over rice
Shangri-La (West Bloomfield)
6407 Orchard Lake Rd.
Specialty: Dim Sum + Americanized Chinese
Located inside Orchard Mall, Shangri-La’s ornate Chinese décor and steaming dim sum dishes make for a fun dining experience. For those new to dim sum (which translates to English as “a little bit of heart”), it is typically a leisurely, late-morning meal of small dishes or snacks taken with hot tea while catching up with loved ones. Popular dim sum dishes include shrimp and pork dumplings, barbeque pork buns, egg tarts, sesame balls, and rice noodle rolls. Shangri-La also offers a full Chinese menu beyond dim sum.
Recommendation: Shrimp wrapped in bean curd skin
Everyday Authentic Chinese Cuisine (East Lansing)
1375 E. Grand River Ave.
Specialty: Classic Cantonese and more
Mid-Michigan is home to a vibrant food scene. Notably, Everyday Chinese in East Lansing serves up authentic Chinese fare, including customer favorites like mapo tofu, roast duck, and crispy pork belly.
Recommendation: Mapo tofu
Panda House (Saginaw)
1010 N. Niagara St.
Specialty: Americanized Chinese
Complete with a grand piano, the ambiance at Panda House in Saginaw does not disappoint. “I strongly recommend the private room and custom menu for a party,” says longtime customer Rebekah Grace Potts. “Make sure to get the salt and pepper shrimp. But you can’t go wrong here.”
Recommendation: Salt and pepper shrimp
Oakland Tea House (Auburn Hills)
3081 E. Walton Blvd.
Specialty: Taiwanese Chinese
If you’re craving Taiwanese food and boba tea, Oakland Tea House is a hidden gem in metro Detroit. Minced pork rice, salty crispy chicken, and pork belly guo bao (a deliciously soft bun) are some customer favorites, along with shaved ice desserts and quality teas.
Recommendation: Salty crispy chicken
YP Sichuan (Ypsilanti)
301 E. Michigan Ave.
Specialty: Sichuan + Americanized Chinese
If you’re already a fan of the bold, spicy, garlicky flavors from Sichuan province, or want to try what mala numbing spice is all about, YP Sichuan in Ypsilanti offers what you seek. But if don’t enjoy the heat, you can still find a good meal here—their Salt Miner’s Poached Eggplant is a must-try. Looking for classic Americanized favorites? They offer all of those, too, in addition to several vegetarian protein options.
Recommendation: Salt miner’s poached eggplant
Gaslight Kitchen Asian Cuisine (East Grand Rapids)
2128 Wealthy St. SE
Specialty: Americanized Chinese
Gaslight Kitchen Asian Cuisine is the invention of an experienced chef-owner of Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. Offering classic American Chinese favorites like orange chicken and sweet and sour pork, this charming sit-down and take-out spot is located in East Grand Rapids’ charming Gaslight Village. With plenty of lunch and dinner combo specials, as well as multi-course family dinner specials, you have options here.
Recommendation: Chinese vegetables with fried tofu
Boiling Pots (East Lansing)
2650 E. Grand River Ave.
Specialty: Hot pot & Americanized Chinese
If you’re a hot pot novice, the number of selections can be daunting. Boiling Pots in East Lansing serves up their hot pot in individually curated meals, a unique offering which makes ordering much simpler. If you come here, consider their house special featuring sliced pork, clams, and enoki mushrooms, or their spicy beef hot pot.
Recommendation: Spicy beef hot pot