18 Best Chinese Restaurant Chains in the US
Chinese food is among the most delicious and popular ethnic cuisines in the United States. The vast history of Chinese cooking has evolved into a tasty, affordable, and accessible staple millions of Americans enjoy every year.
Accordingly, there are many amazing Chinese restaurant chains in the US, serving your favorite dishes, from kung pow chicken to lo mein to fried rice.
Moreover, Chinese restaurants are often open when all other restaurants are closed, like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best Chinese chain restaurants in the US, each offering its unique take on Chinese food.
If you’re hungry for something fast, inexpensive, and delicious, the Chinese chain restaurants on our list will surely satisfy your craving!
18. Manchu Wok
Manchu Wok is a Canadian fast food chain specializing in serving Chinese fusion food.
Most Manchu Wok locations are in Canada, but there are 15 restaurants in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Washington.
The first Manchu Wok was opened in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, in 1980.
From the beginning, Manchu Wok has prided itself on offering restaurant-quality Chinese food in a quick service setting and soon expanded to service many malls and airports.
The Manchu Wok menu features a variety of classic Chinese fusion entrees, like General Tso’s chicken, Hunan chicken, and kung pao chicken.
One of the most popular menu items at Manchu Wok is their orange chicken, made from crisp, lightly-battered chicken stir-fried in tangy orange sauce.
Manchu Wok also offers delicious sides, including Shanghai noodles, lo mein noodles, and ho fun noodles.
17. Asian Chao
Asian Chao is another fast food chain specializing in Chinese American cuisine.
There are 40 Asian Chao locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
The first Asian Chao was opened by Biagio Schiano in Orlando, Florida, in 1991.
Asian Chao serves high-quality Chinese food quickly and efficiently, and most Asian Chao locations can be found in malls, airports, and university dining halls.
The menu at Asian Chao features a variety of beloved Chinese American entrees, like orange chicken, barbecue pork, and shrimp teriyaki.
Asian Chao also serves sushi, including California rolls, eel rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and cucumber rolls for those who don’t like seafood.
Lastly, Asian Chao offers a wide array of side dishes, including classics like fried rice, lo mein, mixed vegetables, and egg rolls.
16. City Wok
City Wok is a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in upscale Chinese American food.
There are four City Wok locations in California, Colorado, and Kansas.
The first City Wok location was opened in North Hollywood, California, in 1990.
City Wok prides itself on making authentic Chinese American food using fresh ingredients and homemade sauces.
The City Wok menu features a wide variety of delicious entrees, including kung pao shrimp, chicken lettuce cups, and Mongolian beef.
One of City Wok’s signature dishes is City Wok chicken, made with crispy chicken tossed in caramelized orange sauce and served with steamed rice.
If you prefer noodles, City Wok offers an array of delectable options, like Singapore rice noodles, pad thai, chow mein, lo mein, and chow fun.
Chowking is a Philippines-based quick-service restaurant chain specializing in Filipino takes on Chinese food.
There are 16 Chowking locations in California, Nevada, and Washington.
The first Chowking was opened in the Philippines in 1985, but the first American Chowking location didn’t open until 1995.
The menu at Chowking features a variety of classic Chinese fusion dishes, like sweet and sour chicken, Chinese BBQ pork, black pepper beef, and mushroom.
One of the more unique menu items at Chowking is the Lauriat rice meal, which comes with steamed rice, fried chicken, pancit canton (a Filipino noodle dish similar to lo mein), and buchi, which are fried sesame rice balls.
Chowking also offers a variety of dim sum options. For those who don’t know, dim sum is a kind of Chinese food like Spanish tapas, which involves a variety of small dishes served together.
Chowking’s dim sum dishes combine Chinese and Filipino cuisine, including meaty asado siopao, a steamed bun filled with pork, and siomai, dumplings filled with pork and shrimp.
14. Pick Up Stix
Pick Up Stix is a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in healthy Chinese and other Asian cuisines.
There are over 50 Pick Up Stix locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.
The first Pick Up Stix was opened by Charlie Zhang, a Chinese immigrant, in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, in 1982.
Each Pick Up Stix location has an open kitchen, so you can watch the restaurant’s chefs make your meal.
The menu at Pick Up Stix features a variety of classic, healthy Chinese American dishes, like crispy honey chicken, Mongolian steak, crispy firecracker shrimp, chow mein, and kung pao tofu.
The signature dish at Pick Up Stix is house special chicken, cooked with a caramelized sauce of white wine, garlic, soy, and green onions, served with white or brown rice.
Pick Up Stix also has an Asian fit menu full of over a dozen of Pick Up Stix’s lighter, healthier, more nutritious menu items.
13. HuHot Mongolian Grill
HuHot Mongolian Grill is a buffet-style Mongolian restaurant chain that allows you to build your own stir fry bowl.
There are nearly 60 HutHot Mongolian Grill locations in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The first HuHot Mongolian Grill was opened in Missoula, Montana, in 1999.
The biggest item on the HuHot Mongolian Grill menu is their make-your-own stir-fry bowl option.
To make your own stir fry bowl, you’ll get to choose your favorite proteins, noodles and rice, veggies, and sauces. Then, HuHot’s chefs will prepare your stir-fry bowl for you.
HuHot Mongolian Grill offers a variety of stir fry proteins, including chicken, beef, pork, mild sausage, and imitation crab.
Their noodle and rice options include classic Chinese, white rice, pad thai, and yakisoba noodles.
The veggie options include bamboo shoots, carrots, cilantro, jalapenos, mushrooms, baby corn, bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, celery, green peppers, onions, pineapple, tofu, water chestnuts, and zucchini.
Lastly, their sauces include Five Village Fire Szechuan, Kung Pao, Yow, Mongol
Mustard, Not-So-Sweet and Sour, Black Thai Peanut, Feed the Hordes Hoisin, Nomad’s Green Curry, and Samurai Teriyaki.
In addition to the make-your-own stir fry bowl option, HuHot Mongolian Grill offers delicious appetizers like crab rangoons, egg rolls, potstickers, and coconut shrimp.
12. Panda Express
Panda Express is the largest and most popular Chinese fast-food chain in the United States.
There are almost 2,200 Panda Express locations in 45 states.
The first Panda Express location was opened by Andrew Cherng and his wife, Peggy Cherng, in Glendale, California, in 1983.
In 1987, Panda Express chef Andy Kao developed the original American orange chicken recipe inspired by the flavors of Hunan Province in China.
The Panda Express menu offers bowls, which come with one entree and a side, and plates, which come with two entrees and a side.
Panda Express also serves classic Chinese American entrees like broccoli beef, honey walnut shrimp, teriyaki chicken, and kung pao chicken.
Of course, Panda Express’s most famous entree is its original orange chicken, a crispy chicken wok-tossed in a sweet and spicy orange sauce.
In addition, Panda Express’s delicious sides include chow mein, fried rice, white rice, steamed broccoli, and brown rice.
11. Mama Fu’s
Mama Fu’s is a Texas-based fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in Chinese American comfort food.
There are 5 Mama Fu’s locations in Arkansas and Texas.
Mama Fu’s is a Texan restaurant offering Asian comfort food dishes, some of which have a little Texan fusion flair.
The Mama’s Signature Dishes section of Mama Fu’s menu includes Thai drunken noodles with chicken, Vietnamese vermicelli with chicken, and fried cauliflower rice with chicken.
One of the signature dishes at Mama Fu’s is their brisket jalapeno fried rice, made with 16-hour-smoked mesquite smoked brisket, charred onions and jalapenos, sliced mushrooms, and spicy brown sauce.
Mama Fu’s also offers an Asian classics menu section, where you can order veggies, tofu, pork, or chicken prepared with classic Chinese sauces like crispy sesame, sweet and sour, ginger broccoli, teriyaki, and Mama Fu cashew.
10. BD’s Mongolian Grill
BD’s Mongolian Grill is a restaurant chain specializing in Mongolian barbecue-style stir fry.
There are over 25 BD’s Mongolian Grill locations in the United States.
The first BD’s Mongolian Grill location was opened by Billy Downs in 1992.
From the beginning, BD’s Mongolian Grill has served delicious Mongolian barbecue-style stir fry prepared right before your eyes.
The signature menu section at BD’s Mongolian Grill is the stir-fry bowl section, which includes classics like Korean steak, Bangkok chicken, Shanghai drunken noodles, and Thai basil chicken.
You can also create your own bowl at BD’s Mongolian Grill.
To do so, you’ll start by choosing a brown, white, or cauliflower rice base.
Then, you’ll choose up to three proteins: chicken, pork, steak, salmon, shrimp, and tofu.
After that, you’ll choose up to seven vegetables, including broccoli, mushroom, bean sprouts, baby corn, carrots, pea pods, kimchi, and edamame.
Finally, you’ll choose up to two sauces from options like sweet soy, Japanese teriyaki, spicy sweet and sour, Thai peanut, toasted sesame garlic, and chili garlic.
9. Leeann Chin
Leeann Chin is a Midwestern quick-service restaurant chain specializing in Chinese American food.
There are over 40 Leeann Chin locations in Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The first Leeann Chin restaurant was opened by Leeann Chin in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1980.
Leeann Chin was born and raised in Canton, China, and learned how to cook from her mother.
The menu at Leeann Chin is full of classic Chinese American dishes, like orange chicken, beef and broccoli, firecracker shrimp, and vegetable fried rice.
Each entree comes with a side serving of steamed white or brown rice.
One of the most popular menu items at Leeann Chin is the Chin Dynasty plate, allowing you to combine two half-servings of your favorite entrees plus a serving of steamed rice.
8. Mark Pi’s
Mark Pi’s is a Midwestern quick-service restaurant chain specializing in various kinds of Chinese food.
There are nearly 10 Mark Pi’s locations in Indiana and Ohio.
The first Mark Pi’s was opened in 1984 by Mark Pi, who was born in Korea to parents from Shandong Province in northern China.
In the 1980s, Mark Pi held the Guinness World Record for the fastest human noodle maker in the world, having hand-pulled 4,096 strings of Chinese noodles in 41.34 seconds.
The menu at Mark Pi’s locations varies by location, but you can expect classic Chinese entrees like sweet and sour chicken, teriyaki shrimp, Mongolian beef, and ma po tofu.
Each entree at Mark Pi’s is served with a side of steamed rice.
One of the most popular menu items at Mark Pi’s is their lo mein, which can be made with curry chicken, shrimp, beef, regular chicken, pork, or vegetables.
7. Flat Top Grill
Flat Top Grill is a Chicago-based casual dining restaurant chain that allows you to make your own grilled stir fry bowl.
There are 5 Flat Top Grill locations in Illinois and Indiana.
The first Flat Top Grill location opened in Chicago, Illinois, in 1995.
The concept of Flat Top Grill was inspired by the open-air fresh market grills found throughout Asia.
The signature item on the Flat Top Grill menu is the Create Your Own Bowl, which allows you to pick your own grains, proteins, vegetables, and sauces to customize your perfect stir fry bowl.
You can also add egg, cheese, or a side of roti bread to your custom stir fry bowl.
In addition to the customizable stir fry bowl, Flat Top Grill offers delicious premade entrees like steak, shrimp, chicken fried rice, Thai red curry, Bangkok noodles, and hellfire shrimp.
6. Big Bowl
Big Bowl is a Midwestern casual dining restaurant chain specializing in Chinese and Thai food.
There are 6 Big Bowl locations in Illinois and Minnesota.
The first Big Bowl location was opened in Lincolnshire, Illinois, in 1998.
From the beginning, Big Bowl has dedicated itself to serving authentic, fresh, made-from-scratch Chinese and Thai food using locally grown ingredients.
The menu at Big Bowl features classic Chinese and Thai dishes like Panang curry chicken, Mongolian beef, teriyaki chicken fried rice, and kung pao tofu.
One of the most popular menu items at Big Bowl is their pad thai, made with rice noodles, fresh lemon, Thai basil, cilantro, eggs, bean sprouts, and your choice of vegetables, tofu, chicken, or shrimp.
Another popular Big Bowl offering is the customizable Chef’s Choice Stir Fry, made with an array of fresh vegetables, your choice of protein, sauce, and rice or noodles.
5. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant chain specializing in soup dumplings and noodles.
There are over 10 Din Tai Fung locations in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
The first Din Tai Fung location was opened in Taiwan by Bing-Yi Yang and his wife.
Din Tai Fung quickly became famous for its xiao long bao, or steamed pork soup dumplings.
The most famous item on the Din Tai Fung menu is the Kurobuta pork xiao long bao.
Kurobuta pork xiao long bao is filled with Kurobuta pork, ginger, and green onion and meticulously shaped to contain the golden ratio of exactly 18 folds.
Another popular menu item at Din Tai Fung is the braised beef noodle soup, a traditional Taiwanese dish made from house-made egg noodles, braised beef tendon, blanched baby bok choy, and scallions.
4. P.F. Chang’s
P.F. Chang’s is another of the largest and most popular casual dining restaurant chains specializing in Chinese American food.
There are over 200 P.F. Chang’s locations in 39 states and Washington DC.
The first P.F. Chang’s was opened in 1993 by Philip Chiang, the son of a successful Chinese restaurant owner Cecilia Chiang, and Paul Fleming, a restaurant entrepreneur.
The “P.F.” in P.F. Chang’s stands for Paul Fleming, and the “Chang” references Philip and Cecilia Chiang!
The menu at P.F. Chang’s features a variety of delicious Chinese American dishes like fire-braised short ribs, stir-fried eggplant, ma po tofu, miso glazed salmon, and kung pao chicken.
One of the most popular menu items at P.F. Chang’s is their classic fried rice, made with wok-tossed rice, egg, carrots, bean sprouts, green onion, and your choice of vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp.
Another of the most iconic dishes at P.F. Chang’s is Chang’s Lettuce Wraps, a fan-favorite appetizer that can be filled with a savory chicken or vegetarian filling.
3. Lao Sze Chuan
Lao Sze Chuan is a Chicago-based restaurant chain specializing in Sichuan cuisine.
There are over 10 Lao Sze Chuan locations in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Texas.
The first Lao Sze Chuan restaurant was opened by Chef Tony Hu in Chicago, Illinois, in 1998.
Lao Sze Chuan is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the Chicagoland area, famous for its authentic Sichuan cooking.
The Lao Sze Chuan menu is extensive, featuring a wide variety of seafood, pork, beef and lamb, chicken and frog, vegetable, tofu, rice, and noodle dishes, all made in an authentic Sichuan style.
One of the most popular dishes at Lao Sze Chuan is the Chef’s Special Dry Chili Chicken, made from crispy diced chicken stir-fried with garlic, ginger, scallions, dried chilis, and Sichuan peppercorns and served with sesame and chili oil.
Another popular menu item at Lao Sze Chuan is mapo tofu, a classic Chinese dish made from tofu, ground beef, and a spicy soy and chili sauce.
2. Pei Wei Asian Kitchen
Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is an open-concept fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in pan-Asian cuisine.
There are over 100 Pei Wei Asian Kitchen locations in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The first Pei Wei Asian Kitchen restaurant was opened in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2000.
Each dish at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is handcrafted with fresh veggies and grass-fed meat.
The menu at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen features classic Chinese American dishes like beef and broccoli, kung pao shrimp, dan dan noodles, and sesame chicken.
One of the most popular dishes at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is firecracker chicken, made from chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy firecracker sauce and garnished with scallions.
Another popular menu item at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen is chicken lo mein, an iconic Chinese American dish made with noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, red bell peppers, scallions, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic.
1. Mr. Chow
Mr. Chow is a fine-dining restaurant chain specializing in upscale Chinese food.
There are 5 Mr. Chow locations in California, Florida, Nevada, and New York.
The first Mr. Chow location was opened by Michael Chow in London, England, in 1968.
In 1974, Mr. Chow opened its first US location in Los Angeles, California, where celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Anjelica Huston, Billy Wilder, Eartha Kitt, and Jack Nicholson were regulars.
The Mr. Chow menu features a variety of fine dining takes on traditional Chinese cuisine, like chicken satay, lobster shumai, steamed sea bass, and squid ink rice noodles.
One of the most iconic, must-order dishes at Mr. Chow is the Beijing duck, famous for its crispy skin and served with scallions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce.
Another famous dish at Mr. Chow is the Mr. Chow noodles, which are hand-pulled Beijing-style in front of the table by renowned pasta chefs.
If you’re craving Chinese food, you’re in the right place. The Chinese chain restaurants on our list run the gamut from fast food to fine dining and everything in between.
Whether you’re in the mood for rice or noodles, chicken, tofu, or beef, you’re sure to find the exact meal you’re looking for at one of these restaurants!