The 9 Best Restaurants in Boston's Chinatown

Chinatown entrance gate in Boston
Chinatown entrance gate in Boston | © Simon Crowe / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Natasha Chang
21 June 2017
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Located in the heart of downtown, Boston’s Chinatown is a culinary destination packed with exceptional restaurants waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a frequent Chinatown goer or a first-timer, here are 10 restaurants that get it just right.

Avana Sushi

Restaurant, Food Court, Sushi, Japanese, Asian
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Tucked away in a modest food court on the corner of Beach Street and Harrison Avenue is this true hole-in-the-wall experience. Ready your taste buds for fresh sushi made with the perfect ratio of ingredients. With a lunch menu and prices that are hard to beat, Avana Sushi shouldn’t be missed. Seating is limited so avoid going with more than a party of three.

Penang Malaysian Cuisine

Restaurant, Asian, Malaysian, Vegetarian, $$$
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For a dynamic mix of Malaysian cuisine, dine at Penang. The warm and comfortable natural wood interior mimics Southeast Asian vibes, and pairs nicely with the aromas of coconut, lemongrass, chili, lime leaves, and spices. The food is a representation of the richness of Malaysian culture and history. Meals here pack a one-two punch of culture and flavor.

Clay Pot Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Asian, Chinese, Street Food
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Clay Pot Cafe is a cash only establishment that serves an array of options ranging from noodles to meat dishes, but it’s best known for its steaming clay pot rice, a Cantonese dish from Hong Kong. The many topping options, combined with a thin layer of crispy “burnt” rice that rests at the bottom of the pot and gives its distinctive smokey flavor, will keep you coming back for more.Clay Pot Rice

Gourmet Dumpling House

Restaurant, Asian, Dim Sum, Chinese
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Restaurant in Chinatown, Boston, Massachusetts.
Restaurant in Chinatown, Boston, Massachusetts. | © Jon Bilous / Alamy Stock Photo
Xiao Long Bao, otherwise known as mini juicy dumplings, should be the first thing you order at Gourmet Dumpling House. The menu offers plenty of other options too, including scallion pancakes and spicy Szechuan fish soup. This small, no-frills place draws crowds, so arrive early or be prepared to wait.

Shojo

Restaurant, Asian, Japanese, Fusion, $$$
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Shojo is an urban, artsy retreat in Chinatown with a small menu loaded with flavor. With walls covered in graffiti art and old-school Kung Fu movies playing in the background, it’s a trendy spot. The ramen, kimchi fried rice, and shadowless duck-fat fries are must tries. Add a cocktail to this mix: try the Superhappyfunmakeagoodtimeagogo (or agogo for short) and enjoy the taste of sweet bliss.

Best Little Restaurant by Shojo

Restaurant, Asian, Fusion, Chinese, $$$
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BLR Interior
BLR Interior | © Andrea Merrill

If you want to try fun, modernized takes on traditional Chinese dishes, Best Little Restaurant is the place to go. It’s a small restaurant with a big personality. After walking through the mahjong-tiled entryway you’ll be seated in a space reflecting old Chinatown. You won’t regret ordering the Lionhead meatballs or Szechuan bolognese.

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

Cafe, Restaurant, Asian, Chinese
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Even though the Chinese barbecue flatbread graces the name of this place, the hand-pulled noodle soups are actually the stars of the menu. You’ll be welcomed with the slapping sound of noodles being handmade against a wooden cutting board as the chef pulls the dough in the small open kitchen. This counter-service, cash-only, plastic-bowls-and-cutlery place serves warm, simple and fresh dishes, enough to satisfy your noodle cravings.

Wai Wai

Restaurant, Asian, Chinese, Dessert
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Situated in a basement on Oxford Street, Wai Wai is an ice cream shop and a roast meat haven put together. What it lacks in decor it makes up for in the authenticity of its dishes. Order anything with roasted meats and you’ll surely be satisfied. Finish the meal with some ginger ice cream for a refreshing end.

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