Which American City Has Best Chinese Food?
Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Best city for Chinese food in America
Methodology: I count the number of Chinese restaurants with a rating of 4 or above in each major cities by neighborhood using Yelp search functionality sorted by number of reviews. For example, here is a search for most reviewed restaurants in West Village, Manhattan, New York. The goal is to have more coverage of neighborhoods rather than just downtown areas. These restaurants form a sample for each city. We look at the top 60 cities in the US. The requirements for cities and restaurants to be included in the comparison:
City must have many restaurants: Sample must be 50 minimum
Restaurant needs to have at least 20 reviews for rating confidence
Chinese food must be popular there: The proportion of Chinese restaurant out of total must be high to limit the number of cities considered to approximately 10
The data collected are only samples and the metrics does not reflect absolute accuracy for the entire population. However, the samples are large enough to provide confidence.
This methodology will exclude smaller cities and cities where Chinese food is not that popular. So if you have only a few amazing restaurants or live in a small city, you will not be counted.
The results are as follows.
Averaging 53% of restaurants with a rating of 4 or higher in the sample, Seattle is American city with the best Chinese food. That is a lot higher than Portland, another city in the Pacific Northwest, in second position with 44%.
New York is, of course, the city with the most Chinese restaurants with over 1,100 in the sample. It is also the city with the highest concentration of Chinese restaurants i.e. city where Chinese food is most popular. However, only 34% of restaurants here have a rating of 4 and higher. Boston has the lowest rating of Chinese restaurants among cities considered at 25%.
Please understand that the results are based on data. The point here is consistency. We look at restaurants across neighborhoods and cover a wide range of them. Your personal opinion of a few favorite restaurants in a city does not matter here.