The Nine Best Chinese Restaurants in St. Louis

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       Kung pao chicken at Joy Luck Buffet | Jennifer Silverberg


Joy Luck Buffet

(8030 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-645-9982)

Come lunch and dinner, the buffet at Joy Luck can get awfully crowded -- patrons shuffle in a steady parade from tables to buffet and back again (and again). But even the most regular of regulars might not be aware that Joy Luck has a "secret" menu. Actually, the staff calls it an "authentic" menu, an apt label in that it features authentic Szechuan dishes you won't find on Joy Luck's buffet, or at just about any other Chinese restaurant in town. For the full effect, order a bowl of the Chengdu spicy beef (a fiery broth containing tender slices of beef) or the dry-fried chicken. Fear not, gaining access to Joy Luck's secret doesn't require a code or handshake or working knowledge of Szechuan dialect. The authentic menu is printed in English as well as Chinese -- all you have to do is ask.

See also:
- Nine More St. Louis Soups for National Soup Month

- Slideshow: The Top Ten Dishes of 2011


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       RFT Photo

Lemay Wok
(4530 Lemay Ferry Road; 314-487-8834)

Lemay Wok doesn't make any claims of grandeur, but what this modest storefront wedged into the middle of a south-county strip mall lacks in flair, it makes up for with tasty renditions of the Chinese and Chinese American dishes Americans have come to love. Whether it's the hot-and-sour soup, General Tso's chicken, potstickers, lo mein or mu shu, your cravings will be satisfied. The sauces are the key. Neither too thin nor too cornstarch-thickened, they balance sweet and savory, spicy and sour. They don't swamp the other ingredients -- you can taste the subtle sweetness of chopped carrots in the kung pao chicken, a hint of ginger in the hot braised pork. The service is exceptionally friendly, but if you really want to appreciate Lemay Wok, order it to go one time and eat it directly from the carton.

See also:
- Best Chinese Restaurant - 2010

Location Info

Famous Szechuan Pavilion

8615 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Hsu's Hunan Yu Chinese Restaurant

11539 Gravois Road, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Joy Luck Buffet

8030 Manchester Road, Brentwood, MO

Category: Restaurant

Lemay Wok

4530 Lemay Ferry Road, South St. Louis County, MO

Category: Restaurant

Shu Feng Restaurant

8435 Olive Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

Wonton King

8116 Olive Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

House of Wong

46 N. Central Ave., Clayton, MO

Category: Restaurant

Lu Lu Seafood Restaurant

8224 Olive Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

Guo Bin

8600 Delmar, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
4 comments
ShaunGerardS
ShaunGerardS

Thanks for the great article, I would love to try some of these places in the future.. If you didnt already know about it this may help your readers, you can search for chinese food places near your address www.ChineseFoodNearMe.com

abqblue
abqblue

My favorite is not even on this list, Old St. Louis Chop Suey, near Chippewa and Kingshighway. The Mandarin Chicken is to die for.

Mantelli
Mantelli

Oh, Ian, what were you thinking? You left out Royal Chinese BBQ and Wei Hong, arguably two of the very best Chinese restaurants in town in favor of Shu Feng! I tried Shu Feng tonight and was disappointed. The spicy pork was bland, even after I ordered it extra spicy, and "spicy" squid was similarly bland. There were no veggies other than onions. Our food was such a bust, we had to make an ice cream stop on the way home to drown our sorrows. And by the way, what's rare about hot and sour soup? It's practically ubiquitous.

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