The Most Popular Chinese Food in America, Ranked

Choose the food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 12, 2024 06:45
When deciding where to eat, the options can be overwhelming, particularly with the variety of Chinese food available in America. By creating a ranked list based on popular opinion, it helps streamline the decision-making process, providing a quick reference to what a majority of food lovers prefer. This kind of ranking helps newcomers and enthusiasts alike pinpoint the top dishes favored across the country. Each vote cast on this list brings clarity and updates to the standings, ensuring the rankings reflect current tastes and trends. Whether you're in search of your next meal or curious about what others enjoy, casting your vote here contributes to a broader understanding of Chinese cuisine's appeal. So go ahead, make your preference count and see where your favorites rank among the crowd!

What Is the Most Popular Chinese Food in America?

  1. 1

    General Tso's Chicken

    A sweet, slightly spicy, deep-fried chicken dish that is commonly served in North American Chinese restaurants.
    • Origin: Taiwan
    • Named after: General Tso Tsung-t'ang
  2. 2

    Egg Rolls

    A savory roll with cabbage and other fillings inside a thickly-wrapped wheat flour skin, which is fried in hot oil.
    • Origin: East Asia
    • Served with: Duck sauce or plum sauce
  3. 3

    Kung Pao Chicken

    A spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers.
    • Origin: Sichuan Province, China
    • Also known as: Gong Bao or Kung Po
  4. 4

    Orange Chicken

    A dish of chopped, battered, and fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce.
    • Similar to: General Tso's Chicken
    • Sauce base: Orange juice
  5. 5

    Sesame Chicken

    A dish of boneless chicken that's battered and fried, then coated in a sweet honey sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
    • Similar to: General Tso's Chicken
    • Sauce base: Honey
  6. 6

    Chow Mein

    A Chinese dish of stir-fried noodles with vegetables and sometimes meat or tofu; the name is a romanization of the Taishanese chāu-mèing.
    • Meaning: Stir-fried noodles
    • Variations: Many, depending on the region
  7. 7

    Peking Duck

    A famous dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era, known for its thin, crispy skin.
    • Origin: China
    • Served with: Mandarin pancakes, spring onions, and hoisin sauce
  8. 8

    Sweet and Sour Pork

    A dish that features deep-fried pork in a sweet and sour sauce that typically includes vinegar, sugar, and ketchup.
    • Origin: China
    • Variants: Chicken, fish, or shrimp
  9. 9

    Beef and Broccoli

    A Chinese stir fry dish of beef and broccoli in a light sauce.
    • Typical ingredients: Beef, broccoli, ginger, garlic, soy sauce
    • Cooking method: Stir frying
  10. 10

    Fortune Cookies

    Crispy and sweet cookies usually made from flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil with a piece of paper inside with a 'fortune' written on it.
    • Origin: Japan
    • Popularized in: United States

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Chinese food in America. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or food is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 96 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each food once every 24 hours. The rank of each food is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Chinese Food in America

General Tso's Chicken
Rank #1 for the most popular Chinese food in America: General Tso's Chicken (Source)
Chinese food has a long history in America. It began in the mid-19th century when Chinese immigrants came to work in the mines and on the railroads. They brought their cuisine with them, which soon attracted the interest of Americans. Over time, Chinese food adapted to American tastes. This blend of flavors and techniques created a unique style.

The early Chinese restaurants in America were simple. They served meals that reminded the immigrants of home. As more Americans began to enjoy these dishes, the restaurants grew in number and size. They began to offer a wider variety of foods. These dishes were often modified to suit local preferences. Ingredients that were hard to find in America were replaced with local ones. This led to the creation of new recipes that still had a hint of their original flavors.

Chinese food in America is known for its balance of flavors. It often combines sweet, sour, salty, and savory tastes in one dish. This balance is achieved through careful seasoning and cooking techniques. Fresh vegetables, meats, and seafood are common ingredients. The use of sauces and spices is also important. These elements work together to create dishes that are both flavorful and satisfying.

Many Chinese dishes in America are designed to be shared. This reflects the traditional Chinese way of eating, where meals are communal. Large portions are often served, and diners help themselves from shared plates. This encourages a sense of togetherness and makes the dining experience more social.

One key aspect of Chinese food in America is its versatility. It can be found in a variety of settings, from street food stalls to high-end restaurants. This makes it accessible to people from all walks of life. Whether you are looking for a quick meal or a fine dining experience, there is likely a Chinese dish that will meet your needs.

Chinese food in America continues to evolve. New generations of Chinese-Americans bring fresh ideas and ingredients to the table. They experiment with traditional recipes and create new ones. This keeps the cuisine dynamic and exciting. It also ensures that Chinese food remains a popular choice for many Americans.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in authentic Chinese cuisine. Many people are now seeking out dishes that are closer to those found in China. This has led to the opening of more specialized restaurants that focus on regional Chinese cooking. These establishments offer a deeper insight into the rich culinary heritage of China.

Despite these trends, the Americanized version of Chinese food remains beloved. It is a testament to the ability of food to adapt and thrive in new environments. The story of Chinese food in America is one of cultural exchange and adaptation. It shows how food can bring people together and create lasting traditions.

Chinese food has become an integral part of American culture. Its popularity is a reflection of its delicious flavors and the hard work of those who introduced it to the country. As it continues to evolve, it will likely remain a favorite for many years to come.

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