Dining Picks

Portland’s Best Chinese Food

Where to chow down on Sichuan spicy bullfrog, handmade dumplings, street food snacks, and more

By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Casserole and dumplings from Chin's Kitchen in Hollywood

Image: Thomas Teal

While Portland’s Chinese food scene might not have the same nationwide reputation as places like Los Angeles, to say that Portland doesn’t have good Chinese food—as I’ve heard many declare—means you’re either not looking hard enough, or you’re not looking in the right places. From Beaverton to Happy Valley, you’ll find multiple regions represented. You can get everything from massive spreads of dim sum to comforting bowls of congee to pots of spicy bullfrog—and find a restaurant that’s perfect for any occasion from solo takeout to massive group dinners. Here are our picks.

Bing Mi

Northwest District

One of the hottest brunch spots in Northwest Portland on weekend mornings is this little Nob Hill food cart, where waits for a jianbing, a handheld Chinese crêpe stuffed with egg, black bean chile sauce, and crispy wonton crackers, can stretch over an hour. One bite in, it’s easy to see why: the tender crêpe and crackly wonton are a textural delight, and the black bean chile oil is an umami bomb, especially when combined with proteins like duck, bacon, or Chinese sausage. Go with the loaded bing, stuffed with extra egg and cracker, to make it well worth the wait. 1845 NW 23rd Pl

Chen’s Good Taste

Old Town-Chinatown

This is a gem in Old Town, serving some of Portland’s best Cantonese-style roast meats (though we can’t speak to the rest of the menu). The duck and crispy roast pork, in particular, are first-rate, succulent and expertly seasoned. The soul-warming wonton soup is also unmissable, the super-plump dumplings stuffed with bouncy shrimp and delicate ground pork, though skip the noodles, which can be clumpy. Steamed chicken with ginger-green onion sauce and stewed beef brisket are also winners. 18 NW Fourth Ave

Chin’s Kitchen

If the animated vintage neon sign of this 1949 restaurant isn’t enough to draw you in, then the food certainly is. Though the restaurant started out serving Chinese-American food, chef-owner Wendy Li took over the business in 2017 and overhauled the menu, focusing on the cuisine of the Dongbei region where she grew up. Dumplings are the big draw, each wrapper rolled out by hand for optimal silkiness and stuffed with filings ranging from pork with Chinese sauerkraut to shrimp with scrambled egg, simply boiled and served with garlicky soy dipping sauce. Beyond that, don’t miss the summer essential la pi, a refreshing cold noodle salad with tangy, spicy dressing and julienned veggies, or the winter must-have casseroles combining the likes of pork belly, sweet potato noodles, and cabbage in hearty bone broth. In November 2022, the restaurant underwent renovation and reopened for indoor dining for the first time since the pandemic began. 4126 NE Broadway

Duck House


Usually, Chinese restaurants that offer more than one type of regional cuisine can only nail one of them, leaving the others as an afterthought. That’s not the case at Duck House, which can do everything from Shanghainese xiao long bao to Chinese American honey walnut prawns to fish fillet in spicy Sichuan chile broth. All that plus cocktails make this an ideal spot for big dinners with friends and family, or for a much-needed dose of comfort food takeout. 1968 SW Fifth Ave

Excellent Cuisine


This relative newcomer to the dim sum scene, opened in late 2020, excels at both dim sum standards and newfangled dishes. The ha gow is a particular highlight, as is the siu mai. But give some of the more creative dishes a try, too, especially the red rice noodle rolls, which have a shrimp filling wrapped in a delicate fried, lacy wrapper and rolled in a red, silky rice noodle. It’s a delight of textures and flavors worth a visit on its own. Get cute desserts like jiggly coconut pudding rabbits, but skip the too-healthy oatmeal stuffed bun and the molten-hot salted egg yolk bun. 8733 SE Division St

HK Café


Image: Celeste Noche

HK Café is a Portland dim sum institution, the biggest of the major teahouses left since Wong’s King and Ocean City shuttered. Grab a table near the kitchen for the best views of what’s hot and fresh out of the kitchen. You can count on solid versions of all the dim sum standbys here, but particular highlights include the siu mai, the ham sui gak (deep fried meat dumpling), and pineapple buns. 4410 SE 82nd Ave

Master Kong

Montavilla, Richmond

Image: Celeste Noche

If you’re not already acquainted with the starch-on-starch ultimate Chinese comfort that is congee with a fried stick of dough, this is the best place to dive in, now with two Southeast locations. The fried dough here is exceptional, super-crisp and served piping hot with a slightly salty, eggy, and airy interior. The congee, while mild in flavor, is creamy-textured and light, making it a good canvas for proteins like pork spareribs. While soup dumplings here are skippable, the handmade potstickers are a must-try, with a delicate wrapper and crispy, golden brown bottom. 8435 SE Division St, 1522 SE 32nd Ave

Powell’s Seafood

South Tabor

Who says going out for fresh seafood has to be a wallet-busting affair? Even on weeknights, big groups flock here for family-style seafood dinners. A steamed live fish with soy sauce, ginger, and green onions is a must-have at every table, but the Hong Kong–style fried crab with garlic and the honey walnut prawns are welcome additions, too. 6633 SE Powell Blvd

Sichuan City

Happy Valley
Park in the Happy Valley WinCo lot and head to this strip mall gem, serving a pages-long menu of Sichuan specialties. The most visually striking is the house-special live fish, cut into fillets and served in a wide wooden bucket, floating in yellow chile broth that’s loaded with cabbage, tofu skin, and bean sprouts. But the menu is full of hits: crispy Chongqing chicken, tender cumin lamb, bouncy cold bean jelly, crunchy garlic cucumbers, mashed eggplant with century egg. For best results, go with a big group. It’s a restaurant that rewards revisiting, so you can come back and try more. 11342 SE 82nd Ave, Happy Valley

Sichuan Taste 

This Sichuan restaurant quietly opened next to the Rialto in downtown Portland a few months ago, but it’s worthy of becoming a buzzy destination. The first indication that we were onto something good: the super-garlicky mashed eggplant with century egg and peppers, shockingly spicy yet impossible to stop eating. Choosing one of the chile broth–based dishes is a must, whether it’s the delicately chopped, bone-in bullfrog with peppers or tender slices of fatty, melt-in-your-mouth beef in golden chile broth. 515 SW Fourth Ave

Stretch the Noodle


Image: Mike Novak

The ultimate office lunchtime treat? A container of steaming hand-pulled noodles from this cart, which draws steady crowds every day. Get the la mian, stretched noodles in homey beef broth, or chao mian with your choice of protein—and if you’re feeling extra peckish, the handmade dumplings, each with a whole shrimp inside (tails poking out playfully) are equally satisfying. 223-269 SW Washington St

Szechuan Chef

South Portland
This Sichuan spot easily flies under the radar—it’s all too easy to drive past it while zipping down S Macadam Ave—but it’s well worth the stop. The giant photo of soup dumplings on the door might give you the impression, and correctly so, that the soup dumplings here are stellar, thin-skinned and full of light, flavorful broth. The ma po tofu, fish in chile broth, and dry-fried green beans are also worth adding to your table. 7007 S Macadam Ave

Taste of Sichuan


Taste of Sichuan makes it easy to pick a restaurant everyone can agree on—there’s a regular dinner menu that includes everything from egg foo young to classic Sichuan dishes like ma po tofu. Then there’s the Wild Side menu, which ranges from cold bone-in rabbit in chile oil to “swimming fire fish,” which consists of fillets, wood ear mushrooms, and tofu in spicy chile oil broth. Though some of the Sichuan dishes lack the same depth of flavor and finesse as Sichuan Taste and Sichuan City, like the Chongqing chicken and fish in chile broth, the duck here is a must-order, smoked with tea leaves and served with super-crispy skin. 16261 NW Cornell Rd, Beaverton

Tasty Corner

This newcomer to the Portland State University neighborhood offers an impressively Sichuan-focused menu along with a sizable lunch special menu. Must-try dishes include deep-fried shrimp with rich, eggy crab roe and lamb spicy dry pot with cauliflower and celery. Spicy knife-cut noodles are another house specialty here that’s hard to find elsewhere, though while the noodles are delightfully chewy, the seasoning could be kicked up a notch. 624 SW Hall St