The 14 best Chinese restaurants in the South Bay / San Jose

The 14 best Chinese restaurants in the South Bay / San Jose
Photo courtesy of Din Tai Fung/Instagram
By Brianna Richard - Published on November 04, 2021.

Nothing beats a hearty Chinese dinner from a high-quality restaurant, no matter how experienced you are in the kitchen. Let's face it: deep-frying eggrolls is difficult, cooking Peking duck solo is nearly impossible, and homemade fried rice just isn't the same.

There's no better time to dive into a big bowl of dumplings and hand-pulled noodles than right now. Whether you're craving traditional mapo tofu, dim sum, hot pot, or more traditional American Chinese cuisine, the South Bay has some of the best Chinese food anywhere in the Bay Area. Here are 14 fantastic Chinese restaurants that have it all, from flavor-packed hole-in-the-walls to more formal affairs.

If you are a Chinese food connoisseur, you might want to see our guide to the top dim sum (点心) in the South Bay.

Mandarin Gourmet

Best Chinese Restaurants in San Jose

For those on the hunt for Chinese-American food, Mandarin Gourmet has been doing it right for decades. Everything here seems to blow the competition out of the water. The seafood, meat, and vegetables are the epitome of fresh and are delivered daily. The sauces are made in-house and all dishes are prepared to order. The walls are adorned with news articles naming it the best in the area, an award it has won from Metro Magazine multiple years in a row. Chow mein can be seen on everyone’s table — and it is all the right kinds of greasy with big chunks of prawns, beef, pork, and veggies. The food at Mandarin Gourmet is all served family-style, so bring friends and your appetite.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082818898
5560 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose


Din Tai Fung

Leading Chinese in Santa Clara County

Din Tai Fung is the place to go if you want to improve your xiao long bao eating technique. The New York Times named Din Tai Fung as one of the best gourmet restaurants in the world, having originally opened its first location in Taiwan in 1958 — Mr. Bing-Yi and his wife started Din Tai Fun as a shop selling cooking oil, and they sold xiao long bao for fun. The so-called soup dumplings became so popular that they had to stop selling cooking oil, and their dumplings are now known all over the world. Everything about this place is refined and expertly crafted. The kurobuta pork XLB are out of this world — silky smooth, savory, and divine. The Bay Area's only Din Tai Fung location is almost always crowded, so make a reservation.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082481688
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd #1259, Santa Clara


Fu Lam Mum

Top-Notch San Jose Chinese Restaurants

Fu Lam Mum is a multiple award-winner that has been dubbed "Best Chinese in the South Bay" on numerous occasions. This place has a large menu with plenty of choices. Bamboo baskets of dim sum are piled high on traditional pushcarts, and the dim sum is authentically prepared by hand. Their har gow, or shrimp dumplings, are extremely addictive. They also serve standard fare such as chow fun and mapo tofu that is perfectly spicy and numbing to the tongue. It's the type of dish where you can't just eat one scoop — ground pork, tofu, and an irresistible sauce come together in this Sichuan dish to clear your sinuses. Fu Lam Mum is the kind of place you'll want to return to again and again.

Visit WebsiteCall: 6509671689
153 Castro St, Mountain View


Mingle’s Mango

Top Chinese Restaurants in San Jose

Mingle's Mango offers a truly unique and authentic experience that cannot be duplicated. The restaurant is decked out in hand-painted anime posters from floor to ceiling, and the booths are well-loved. If you aren't an anime fan, don't be put off by the atmosphere; the food is delicious. The hand-pulled noodles and the flavorful and tender braised beef are a must-try. The noodles are just the right amount of springy and chewy. Mingle's Mango also has dessert XLB —yes, you read that correctly. They're stuffed with a chocolate hazelnut spread that's similar to Nutella and just weird enough to be completely addictive. 

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083680680
5278 Monterey Rd D, San Jose


King Eggroll

Leading South Bay Chinese Food

Everyone in San Jose has had a King Eggroll at a potluck or family gathering, and there's a cult following for these eggrolls. People will line up down the street to get them, and tray after tray will cater family gatherings during the holiday season. Siblings frequently fight over the last eggroll at Christmas dinner. The meat, vegetables, and noodles are all as perfectly balanced in the fillings. The outsides are golden brown and crispy. There is no way you can eat just one. To go with their heavenly eggrolls, King Eggroll also offers standard American Chinese and dim sum options.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4089990798
1221 Story Rd # 10, San Jose


Jenny’s Kitchen

Top-Notch Chinese in Santa Clara County

Jenny's Kitchen is a true gem. There are no servers in this establishment, which sets it apart from a typical restaurant. All of their delectable food is prepared ahead of time and ready to take home. Think large refrigerators stacked high with bags of dumplings and glass cases filled with dim sum and Chinese delicacies in plastic containers. The menu changes frequently, and while some items remain constant, such as chive pockets and pork buns, others change. This is the kind of place where you can try new things. The prices are reasonable, the food is delectable, and everything is prepared ahead of time so you can see what you're ordering rather than guessing. So, at Jenny's Kitchen, try something new and be pleasantly surprised.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4089961199
5175 Moorpark Ave #90, San Jose


Cooking Cooking

Best San Jose Chinese Restaurants

Cooking Cooking is the type of Cantonese restaurant that greets you with a row of crispy, golden Peking ducks. The aromas are incredible, and the servers are knowledgeable and friendly. This is the place to go if you like congee. The congee, or rice porridge, is silky smooth, has a perfect texture, is flavorful, and serves two people. Cooking Cooking is the place to try congee if you've never had it before. It's the kind of meal that makes you feel good inside. Congee options include pork with century egg and roasted duck at Cooking Cooking. Make sure to order a Chinese doughnut to round out your meal — but note that these doughnuts are sugared and do not have the hole that American doughnuts have.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082473748
2830 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara


Jade Cathay

Leading Chinese in Santa Clara County

Since 2012, Jade Cathay has been a family-owned Cantonese restaurant serving delectable Cantonese staples. It's a lively and enjoyable experience to eat at Jade Cathay. Consider a large room with round tables and lazy susans, dim-sum carts in constant motion, and large lobster and fresh fish tanks. You'll be compelled to overorder and overeat as soon as the dim sum carts pass by, but you won't regret it. The duck in this picture looks like it came straight out of a dream, with skin that's flaky and crisp, and perfectly juicy meat is juicy. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable here. Come with a friend—or four—because Jade Cathay's food is meant to be shared and enjoyed.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083929388
1339 N 1st St, San Jose


Hey Pot

Top-Notch San Jose Chinese Restaurants

On weekends, authentic hot pot devotees flock in droves to Hey Pot for their spicy Szechuan fare. With neon lights and projected artwork on the walls, Hey Pot has a fun vibe. The authentic hot pots here are packed with ingredients that are not for the faint of heart. Many Chinese delicacies are included in the hot pots, including pork intestines, pork blood, and quail eggs, and these pots are bursting at the seams with vegetables and proteins. As you savor your meal, you'll notice that your pot is filling up with more and more ingredients. Every diner receives a complimentary pouch of delicious tea. What more could you ask for than a hot pot and free tea?

Visit WebsiteCall: 4087287710
505 W Capitol Expy, San Jose



Top Chinese Restaurants in San Jose

Kirin is Mountain View's oldest Chinese restaurant, with a loyal following dating back to 1979. The honey walnut prawns are absolutely delicious. Other restaurants' honey walnut prawns have a skewed prawn-to-batter-to-sauce ratio. Kirin gets it right every time. The prawns are large and fresh, with just the right amount of batter. On the outside, they're crispy, and on the inside, they're tender. The sauce is creamy and sweet, and there are plenty of candied prawns. They also serve delicious Peking duck, which comes in half or whole sizes. Enjoy a meal at Kirin and spend your Friday night hanging out on Castro Street.

Visit WebsiteCall: 6509651059
485 Castro St, Mountain View


China Chen

Leading South Bay Chinese Food

Since the 1980s, China Chen has been serving Chinese classics with a Vietnamese twist in downtown San Jose. They're known for their fried flour cakes and shrimp wonton egg noodle soup, both of which have received critical acclaim. Who am I to dispute that they are among the best in the universe? The fried flour cakes are an excellent appetizer for any meal. This eggy cake is baked fresh to order and served hot. It comes with a sauce that is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and acidic. It's close to being drinkable. With big chunks of BBQ pork and a salty broth, the shrimp wonton egg noodle soup is comforting. China Chen should be added to your bookmarks right away.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082942525
400 S 3rd St, San Jose


Taiwan Restaurant

Top-Notch Chinese in Santa Clara County

Taiwan Restaurant has been serving Cantonese and Szechuan specialties in the South Bay since 1982. The aromas are intoxicating, each dish is a knockout, and the place has a romantic and elegant atmosphere to boot. When you order takeout, the containers are overflowing. This is the kind of takeout that tastes just as good the next day as it does the day before. All of the dishes are delicious, including the sizzling rice soup, mu shu pork, and sweet and sour chicken. Taiwan Restaurant is nestled in the heart of Willow Glen. Walking around downtown and eating at Taiwan is basically the perfect way to spend an evening.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4082898800
1306 Lincoln Ave, San Jose


Hi Pot

Best San Jose Chinese Restaurants

In the South Bay, Hi Pot is the place to go for dry hot pots. Dry pots are not the same as traditional hot pots. Instead of the brothy soup that comes with a traditional do-it-yourself hot pot, the usual suspects are cooked in a spicy dry rub and oil. The Lazy Guy Spice Pot at Hi Pot, which consists of large chunks of fish, beef, chicken, and vegetables cooked in a blend of spices and oils with a customizable heat level, is my personal favorite. The Lazy Guy is ideal for those who want to eat Szechuan cuisine while binge-watching Netflix. Like the traditional Hot Pot, there is no work involved, and all of the meat is boneless for easy eating. Tea and rice are complimentary with all dry pots.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083662318
19066 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino


Blue Sky

Leading Chinese in Santa Clara County

Blue Sky is a long-standing Chinese classic that has received numerous accolades in Campbell. You've probably passed by the vintage Blue Sky sign countless times on your way to the Pruneyard. If you haven't eaten here yet, you should do so right away. House dinners are the most cost-effective and delicious way to feed your family. They include classics like wonton soup, eggrolls, sweet and sour pork, and BBQ pork fried rice, which start at $16 for two people. You can make more dishes for more people or simply make more so that you have leftovers for several days. As an appetizer, I suggest you get an order of Mandarin spare ribs soaked in sweet and sour sauce.

Visit WebsiteCall: 4083780424
2028 S Winchester Blvd, Campbell