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A large table with lots of small plates.
A table of Sichuan favorites at Kwei Fei.
Andrew Cebulka

6 Stellar Selections for Chinese in Charleston

From Sichuan to take-out

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A table of Sichuan favorites at Kwei Fei.
| Andrew Cebulka

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Perhaps you are celebrating Lunar New Year. Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot flavor in the Lowcountry.

Look here for our top picks.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jackrabbit Filly

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4628 Spruill Ave #101
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 460-0037
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North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

2. Red Orchids China Bistro

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1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 573-8787
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Kelly and Tony Chu opened Red Orchids China Bistro in 2002 in West Ashley. Since then, locals know that it is the top restaurant for family-style Chinese-American cuisine. The menu is like a list of the greatest hits, from egg drop soup to moo goo gai pan to shrimp pancit. The dining room always feels full of happiness from friends and families gathering for a meal.

Four plates of Chinese food with a takeout box in the middle.
Plates from Red Orchids.
Red Orchids China Bistro

3. Hot Mustard

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428 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 958-9699
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Eastside Chinese spot Hot Mustard may not be winning any culinary awards any time soon, but the restaurant’s takeout and delivery game is on point. Compared to other Americanized Chinese restaurants, Hot Mustard seems the most generous with the portions and the meat-to-noodle ratio. The pork lo mein or the sweet and sour chicken are reliable choices. This is eat-out-of-the-box-type of Chinese food — best served while sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, and in your pajamas.

Bowls of takeout Chinese food.
Takeout from Hot Mustard.
Leslie Ryann McKellar

4. Xiao Bao Biscuit

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224 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

Mike Ledford

5. Old Li‘s Restaurant

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1662 Savannah Hwy Suite 105
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 640-3994
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If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

6. Kwei Fei

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1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 225-0094
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James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

Mapo Tofu.
Mapo tofu at Kwei Fei.
Andrew Cebulka

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1. Jackrabbit Filly

4628 Spruill Ave #101, North Charleston, SC 29405

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

4628 Spruill Ave #101
North Charleston, SC 29405

2. Red Orchids China Bistro

1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407
Four plates of Chinese food with a takeout box in the middle.
Plates from Red Orchids.
Red Orchids China Bistro

Kelly and Tony Chu opened Red Orchids China Bistro in 2002 in West Ashley. Since then, locals know that it is the top restaurant for family-style Chinese-American cuisine. The menu is like a list of the greatest hits, from egg drop soup to moo goo gai pan to shrimp pancit. The dining room always feels full of happiness from friends and families gathering for a meal.

1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407

3. Hot Mustard

428 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403
Bowls of takeout Chinese food.
Takeout from Hot Mustard.
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Eastside Chinese spot Hot Mustard may not be winning any culinary awards any time soon, but the restaurant’s takeout and delivery game is on point. Compared to other Americanized Chinese restaurants, Hot Mustard seems the most generous with the portions and the meat-to-noodle ratio. The pork lo mein or the sweet and sour chicken are reliable choices. This is eat-out-of-the-box-type of Chinese food — best served while sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, and in your pajamas.

428 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29403

4. Xiao Bao Biscuit

224 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
Mike Ledford

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

224 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

5. Old Li‘s Restaurant

1662 Savannah Hwy Suite 105, Charleston, SC 29407

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

1662 Savannah Hwy Suite 105
Charleston, SC 29407

6. Kwei Fei

1977 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412
Mapo Tofu.
Mapo tofu at Kwei Fei.
Andrew Cebulka

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412

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