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Takeout dumplings from New Dumpling Luke Tsai

17 Outstanding Chinese Restaurants in the East Bay

From handmade dumplings to Sichuan classics

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The East Bay has a plethora of Chinese restaurants to try, including everything from dumpling houses to spicy Sichuan fare. Want dim sum? There are plenty of places worthy of your time. Keep in mind this (very non-exhaustive) list is just a sampling of restaurants serving Chinese regional food and the selections range from casual to a little fancier. The East Bay encompasses a huge swath, and we’ve included places up and down the 80 and all the way to Dublin in the east.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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HK Home Kitchen

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If you have an affinity for Hong Kong-style cafes (cha chaan teng) and dishes like the Western-inspired red-sauce baked spaghetti, HK Home Kitchen is the place to visit. Everything seems like it’s priced a few dollars lower than it ought to be, but the best deals on the menu are the giant platters of thin, crispy chow mein, topped with heaps of vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Baked pork chop and spaghetti with red sauce at HK Home Kitchen Luke Tsai

New Dumpling

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The East Bay has been in need of a high-quality jiaozi, or boiled dumpling, spot, so it’s no surprise that this El Cerrito restaurant has been a hit since day one. Cold appetizers like sliced pig ears are great, and scallion pancakes are crisp and wonderfully oily. But the only move here is to order as many of the restaurant’s compact, two-bite dumplings as you might reasonably expect to eat. Fillings are varied and include delightful combinations you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere — zucchini, egg, and shrimp, for example. And the fact that most of the dumplings are also available frozen has been a real boon during the pandemic. For now, the restaurant is doing takeout only.

A spread of dumplings and beef noodle soup at New Dumpling Luke Tsai

Noodles Fresh

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As its name suggests, Noodles Fresh specializes in Chinese noodles. The restaurant’s main point of distinction is that it doesn’t have any one regional focus, but instead seeks to introduce diners to a wide array of highly specific regional noodle dishes: Guilin rice noodles, Taiwanese beef noodle soup, and Yunnan “over the bridge” noodles. In particular, it’s one of the only Bay Area restaurants where you’ll find Jiangxi-style rice noodles — toothsome and delicious, especially when served stir-fried with flank steak, peppers, and a fiery chile sauce. The restaurant has a second location in downtown Berkeley.

Sichuan Style Restaurant

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With a staff and kitchen crew largely made up of defectors from China Village down the street (and a very similar menu), Sichuan Style has arguably surpassed its more well-known neighbor when it comes to classic, tongue-numbingly spicy Sichuan fare like water-boiled fish. Standard orders include the fragrant fish fillet soup, surprisingly mild and soothing despite arriving at the table topped with dozens of chili peppers; the wok-charred cabbage; and the big, puffy round of sesame bread.

Water-boiled fish at Sichuan Style Luke Tsai

Wojia Hunan Cuisine

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It’s tough to find dishes from the Hunan region in the East Bay, but this Albany restaurant has filled that void beautifully with its menu full of regional specialties like Chairman Mao stewed pork hock. In addition to the characteristically fiery dishes that Hunan is known for, Wojia also delves into the region’s smoky flavors — try the “special fried rice” with smoked pork or the smoky grilled pork chop dusted with cumin and crispy garlic. The savory fried glutinous rice balls are an immediate showstopper.

Good To Eat Dumplings

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After many years operating as a pop-up, this Taiwanese-inspired restaurant has put down roots in Emeryville. The vibe is always good, plus there’s draft beer and a rotating menu featuring elongated potsticker, and other Taiwanese dishes like street-style grilled tofu. The restaurant incorporates many seasonal, locally grown Asian vegetables and herbs. A recently-added multicourse tasting menu, which tends to sell out quickly, shows off chef Tony Tung’s cooking chops and Taiwanese cuisine.

Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant

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Still a gold standard for dim sum in the East Bay, this spacious Emeryville waterfront restaurant serves traditional and well-executed yum cha fare. You can bring your own tea to brew while trying small plates of chicken feet, shrimp dumplings, and seasonal side dishes like bitter melon pickles. Or, go fancier with a Peking-style duck or whole fresh fish. Plus, the views can’t be beaten.

Gum Kuo

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The menu is unreasonably long at this Chinatown classic for Cantonese comfort food, so stick to the best stuff: congee (with doughnuts, of course), wonton noodle soup, rice noodle rolls, roast pork, and roast duck.

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles

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More than 20 herbs go into the namesake dish at the Bay Area’s first Guilin-style restaurant, which serves variations on the same staple: slippery rice noodles, peanuts, scallions, garlic, pickled long beans, egg, a soy-herb sauce, and your choice of meat. The indecisive can also order a sampler of five mini bowls.

Rice noodles after mixing at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles Luke Tsai

This scrappy, no-frills neighborhood lunch spot is the very definition of “better than it needs to be,” with a short menu of inexpensive rice plates made with fresh ingredients and a whole lot of skill with the wok. It’s probably best known for its Wednesday-only fried chicken special, which routinely draws such a big crowd that requires a little bit of advance planning to order. Another standout is the shrimp over egg (or its variant, the “David Special” — if you know, you know), which — like everything on the menu — goes great with the absurdly delicious house-made black bean hot sauce.

David Special (shrimp, beef, and eggs) at Ben’s Luke Tsai

88 BaoBao

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Located in a strip mall, this popular spot serves some of the juiciest, most delicate xiao long bao in the East Bay. Buns, dumplings, and other snack-y items are the way to go. Other favorites include the equally juicy, crisp-bottomed sheng jian bao and the beef rolls — like meaty, rolled-up scallion pancakes.

Koi Palace - Dublin

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The sister location to the much-acclaimed Daly City dim sum house, Koi Palace is the closest thing the East Bay has to the kind of upscale, modernized, destination dim sum more typically associated with the Peninsula — and, prior to the pandemic, it had the enormous weekend crowds to show for it. Now, the dim sum menu is available for takeout, with both frozen and freshly cooked options. Standards like rice rolls and har gow are done with style and more precise execution here, and, when available, the crispy-skinned roast pig is worth a special trip.

Veggie Lee Restaurant

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This vegetarian Chinese spot is helmed by a former Daimo chef with serious Cantonese cooking chops, so all the usual mock-meat preparations are a cut above. Dishes like the eggplant with vegan fish steak, the salt-and-pepper pumpkin, and the pan-fried tofu skin are as good as anything you’ll find at any of the area’s omnivore-oriented Chinese restaurants.

Din Ding Dumpling House

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Bay Area diners have gotten so xiao long bao–obsessed that you’ll now find the soup dumplings at dim sum parlors and all kinds of other Chinese restaurants that have no affiliation with the Shanghai region from which they originate. Din Ding isn’t strictly a Shanghainese restaurant either, but it qualifies as a specialist: The handmade XLB here have delicate wrappers that bulge and jiggle from the juices contained within. It’s no wonder, then, that dumpling lovers from miles away make the pilgrimage, especially on the weekend.

Rolling Snack

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Tucked inside a strip mall adjacent to the Newark 99 Ranch, Rolling Snack is one of the only Bay Area restaurants that specializes exclusively in Sichuan-style street food. There aren’t more than a handful of dishes that would qualify as a proper entree. Instead, the menu is divided evenly between various meat parts that are either braised in spicy master stock (e.g. pig ears, duck heads, and bone-in pork shanks) or fried on a skewer and dusted with hot spice. Vegetable skewer options are plentiful, too, and at $.60 or $.70 a pop (for the skewers), even ordering one of everything on the menu is easy on the wallet.

A spread of Sichuan meat skewers on a plate Tommy Cleary

Customize MaLaTang

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This is one of the only places to get a customizable bowl of “mala” soup with noodles, a Sichuan street-style of hotpot, priced at $15 per pound — which, to be fair, can quickly get pricey. But the food is on point. The malatang comes in a dry bowl with no soup with housemade broths. The a la cart menu is also not to be missed, with an Instagram-worthy presentation. Just note that if you get the malatang to go, it’s not customizable.

HK Home Kitchen

If you have an affinity for Hong Kong-style cafes (cha chaan teng) and dishes like the Western-inspired red-sauce baked spaghetti, HK Home Kitchen is the place to visit. Everything seems like it’s priced a few dollars lower than it ought to be, but the best deals on the menu are the giant platters of thin, crispy chow mein, topped with heaps of vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Baked pork chop and spaghetti with red sauce at HK Home Kitchen Luke Tsai

New Dumpling

The East Bay has been in need of a high-quality jiaozi, or boiled dumpling, spot, so it’s no surprise that this El Cerrito restaurant has been a hit since day one. Cold appetizers like sliced pig ears are great, and scallion pancakes are crisp and wonderfully oily. But the only move here is to order as many of the restaurant’s compact, two-bite dumplings as you might reasonably expect to eat. Fillings are varied and include delightful combinations you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere — zucchini, egg, and shrimp, for example. And the fact that most of the dumplings are also available frozen has been a real boon during the pandemic. For now, the restaurant is doing takeout only.

A spread of dumplings and beef noodle soup at New Dumpling Luke Tsai

Noodles Fresh

As its name suggests, Noodles Fresh specializes in Chinese noodles. The restaurant’s main point of distinction is that it doesn’t have any one regional focus, but instead seeks to introduce diners to a wide array of highly specific regional noodle dishes: Guilin rice noodles, Taiwanese beef noodle soup, and Yunnan “over the bridge” noodles. In particular, it’s one of the only Bay Area restaurants where you’ll find Jiangxi-style rice noodles — toothsome and delicious, especially when served stir-fried with flank steak, peppers, and a fiery chile sauce. The restaurant has a second location in downtown Berkeley.

Sichuan Style Restaurant

With a staff and kitchen crew largely made up of defectors from China Village down the street (and a very similar menu), Sichuan Style has arguably surpassed its more well-known neighbor when it comes to classic, tongue-numbingly spicy Sichuan fare like water-boiled fish. Standard orders include the fragrant fish fillet soup, surprisingly mild and soothing despite arriving at the table topped with dozens of chili peppers; the wok-charred cabbage; and the big, puffy round of sesame bread.

Water-boiled fish at Sichuan Style Luke Tsai

Wojia Hunan Cuisine

It’s tough to find dishes from the Hunan region in the East Bay, but this Albany restaurant has filled that void beautifully with its menu full of regional specialties like Chairman Mao stewed pork hock. In addition to the characteristically fiery dishes that Hunan is known for, Wojia also delves into the region’s smoky flavors — try the “special fried rice” with smoked pork or the smoky grilled pork chop dusted with cumin and crispy garlic. The savory fried glutinous rice balls are an immediate showstopper.

Good To Eat Dumplings

After many years operating as a pop-up, this Taiwanese-inspired restaurant has put down roots in Emeryville. The vibe is always good, plus there’s draft beer and a rotating menu featuring elongated potsticker, and other Taiwanese dishes like street-style grilled tofu. The restaurant incorporates many seasonal, locally grown Asian vegetables and herbs. A recently-added multicourse tasting menu, which tends to sell out quickly, shows off chef Tony Tung’s cooking chops and Taiwanese cuisine.

Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant

Still a gold standard for dim sum in the East Bay, this spacious Emeryville waterfront restaurant serves traditional and well-executed yum cha fare. You can bring your own tea to brew while trying small plates of chicken feet, shrimp dumplings, and seasonal side dishes like bitter melon pickles. Or, go fancier with a Peking-style duck or whole fresh fish. Plus, the views can’t be beaten.

Gum Kuo

The menu is unreasonably long at this Chinatown classic for Cantonese comfort food, so stick to the best stuff: congee (with doughnuts, of course), wonton noodle soup, rice noodle rolls, roast pork, and roast duck.

Classic Guilin Rice Noodles

More than 20 herbs go into the namesake dish at the Bay Area’s first Guilin-style restaurant, which serves variations on the same staple: slippery rice noodles, peanuts, scallions, garlic, pickled long beans, egg, a soy-herb sauce, and your choice of meat. The indecisive can also order a sampler of five mini bowls.

Rice noodles after mixing at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles Luke Tsai

Ben's

This scrappy, no-frills neighborhood lunch spot is the very definition of “better than it needs to be,” with a short menu of inexpensive rice plates made with fresh ingredients and a whole lot of skill with the wok. It’s probably best known for its Wednesday-only fried chicken special, which routinely draws such a big crowd that requires a little bit of advance planning to order. Another standout is the shrimp over egg (or its variant, the “David Special” — if you know, you know), which — like everything on the menu — goes great with the absurdly delicious house-made black bean hot sauce.

David Special (shrimp, beef, and eggs) at Ben’s Luke Tsai

88 BaoBao

Located in a strip mall, this popular spot serves some of the juiciest, most delicate xiao long bao in the East Bay. Buns, dumplings, and other snack-y items are the way to go. Other favorites include the equally juicy, crisp-bottomed sheng jian bao and the beef rolls — like meaty, rolled-up scallion pancakes.

Koi Palace - Dublin

The sister location to the much-acclaimed Daly City dim sum house, Koi Palace is the closest thing the East Bay has to the kind of upscale, modernized, destination dim sum more typically associated with the Peninsula — and, prior to the pandemic, it had the enormous weekend crowds to show for it. Now, the dim sum menu is available for takeout, with both frozen and freshly cooked options. Standards like rice rolls and har gow are done with style and more precise execution here, and, when available, the crispy-skinned roast pig is worth a special trip.

Veggie Lee Restaurant

This vegetarian Chinese spot is helmed by a former Daimo chef with serious Cantonese cooking chops, so all the usual mock-meat preparations are a cut above. Dishes like the eggplant with vegan fish steak, the salt-and-pepper pumpkin, and the pan-fried tofu skin are as good as anything you’ll find at any of the area’s omnivore-oriented Chinese restaurants.

Din Ding Dumpling House

Bay Area diners have gotten so xiao long bao–obsessed that you’ll now find the soup dumplings at dim sum parlors and all kinds of other Chinese restaurants that have no affiliation with the Shanghai region from which they originate. Din Ding isn’t strictly a Shanghainese restaurant either, but it qualifies as a specialist: The handmade XLB here have delicate wrappers that bulge and jiggle from the juices contained within. It’s no wonder, then, that dumpling lovers from miles away make the pilgrimage, especially on the weekend.

Rolling Snack

Tucked inside a strip mall adjacent to the Newark 99 Ranch, Rolling Snack is one of the only Bay Area restaurants that specializes exclusively in Sichuan-style street food. There aren’t more than a handful of dishes that would qualify as a proper entree. Instead, the menu is divided evenly between various meat parts that are either braised in spicy master stock (e.g. pig ears, duck heads, and bone-in pork shanks) or fried on a skewer and dusted with hot spice. Vegetable skewer options are plentiful, too, and at $.60 or $.70 a pop (for the skewers), even ordering one of everything on the menu is easy on the wallet.

A spread of Sichuan meat skewers on a plate Tommy Cleary

Related Maps

Customize MaLaTang

This is one of the only places to get a customizable bowl of “mala” soup with noodles, a Sichuan street-style of hotpot, priced at $15 per pound — which, to be fair, can quickly get pricey. But the food is on point. The malatang comes in a dry bowl with no soup with housemade broths. The a la cart menu is also not to be missed, with an Instagram-worthy presentation. Just note that if you get the malatang to go, it’s not customizable.

Related Maps