The Eleven Best Chinese Restaurants in Denver — 2016 Edition

Steamed buns made by hand at Zoe Ma Ma.
Steamed buns made by hand at Zoe Ma Ma.
Danielle Lirette

Chinese New Year is nearly upon us again. While the actual date is February 8 this year, many Denver restaurants will be celebrating the coming of the Year of the Monkey with dragon dancers, music and other entertainment this weekend. And, of course, they'll be offering great food — stir-fries, noodles, steamed buns and other Chinese delights both traditional and modern. To help get you in the spirit, here's our list of the eleven best Chinese restaurants in Denver, in alphabetical order, with last year's pick for Best Chinese Restaurant in the number-one slot. 

Will last year's winner repeat? We'll let you know when our 2016 Best of Denver edition hits the streets on March 31. If you want a say in the matter, vote for your favorite in our 2016 Best of Denver Readers' Poll.

Tofu with preserved egg at China Jade.EXPAND
Tofu with preserved egg at China Jade.
Mark Antonation

11. China Jade
12203 East Iliff Avenue, Aurora
303-755-8518

China Jade, a stalwart in an ever-changing Aurora strip mall on East Iliff Avenue, has been a perennial favorite for its dedication to traditional Sichuan cooking featuring hot pots, blazing hot sauces and dishes studded with tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Soothing plates can be had, too, including  a chilled appetizer of silken tofu topped with preserved eggs in shades of jade and amber. And recently, the little shop did guests a favor by combining its Chinese menu with its roster of American-Chinese favorites, with prime menu real estate given to the house specialties. 

Pork belly with fermented mustard greens and black bean sauce.EXPAND
Pork belly with fermented mustard greens and black bean sauce.
Mark Antonation

10. China Taipei
8100 South Quebec Street, Centennial
303-773-0155

For more than twenty years, the Chou family has been serving bold and beautiful Chinese fare to residents of Denver's southern suburbs — since before the name Centennial was even official. Tucked behind a row of retail shops and a stuccoed faux bell tower, the family-run restaurant surprises seekers of standard kung pao and sesame chicken with a deep menu of Taiwanese treasures, from thick noodle soups to succulent braised pork belly.

Hong Kong Barbecue's specialty is whole roasted pig and duck.
Hong Kong Barbecue's specialty is whole roasted pig and duck.
Hong Kong Barbecue Facebook page

9. Hong Kong Barbecue
1048 South Federal Boulevard
303-937-9088

The specialty here is cha siu, barbecued pork and duck slow-roasted until the skins achieve a crackling finish and red-lacquered hue. But the deep menu also features other Cantonese specialties, such as thick congee studded with shredded duck and preserved eggs, emerald steamed vegetables in rich black or buttery-light sauces, and beefy noodle soups. 

Chef-owner Tommy Lee in the kitchen at his second restaurant, Hop Alley.
Chef-owner Tommy Lee in the kitchen at his second restaurant, Hop Alley.
Linnea Covington

8. Hop Alley
3500 Larimer Street
720-379-8340
Restaurateur Tommy Lee just opened his second spot in River North in December (his first is the still jam-packed noodle house Uncle), but it has already become one of the tops in town thanks to a thoroughly researched slate of regional specialties — like the Sichuan-style offal combo called husband-and-wife salad or the Xi'an street-food favorite cumin lamb sandwiches. Meats get added punch from time spent over wood coals, while modern menu sensibilities, from locally sourced, sustainable proteins and produce to a strong list of cocktails and wines, make Hop Alley, named in honor of Denver's long-gone nineteenth-century Chinatown, an instant destination.

Spare ribs and other dim sum delights draw customers to King's Land.EXPAND
Spare ribs and other dim sum delights draw customers to King's Land.
Mark Antonation

7. King's Land Seafood Restaurant
2200 West Alameda Avenue
303-975-2399

King's Land serves plenty of fresh seafood, but fans flock to the cavernous west Denver dining hall for the weekend dim sum brunch, where teetering carts stacked with baskets of buns, siu mai, fritters and noodles trundle between tables — daring you to stuff yourself like a taut-skinned dumpling. Variety, quality and value combine into a dizzying eating event where, no matter how much you eat, the bill always seems to come to no more than twenty bucks a head.

Keep reading for the rest of our list of the best Chinese restaurants in Denver...



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