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Fatman Kitchen (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Foodie 15: Best Chinese Restaurants in Tucson

Updated March 4, 2024

While Tucson doesn’t have the Chinese population of many west coast cities, the Chinese population here has a lengthy history spanning back to the 1860s. The University of Arizona has also contributed significantly to the Chinese population.

As a result, we actually have a nice selection of restaurants from a few regions of China. Cantonese and Sichuan restaurants are the most prominent here, so hopefully, we’ll see the other regions rise to prominence in the near future as well.

Here’s our list of some of the best Chinese restaurants in Tucson.

Learn how we create our guides here.


a picture of asian food
Asian Spice (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Asian Spice

Of all the culinary regions of China, Canton was most influential on American Chinese cuisine — so look for Canton-trained chefs for a glimpse into the roots of American Chinese cuisine. The freshness translates well at Asian Spice, with Canton Style Pan-Fried Noodles tasting light and delicate. Tan uses less oil and you won’t miss it at all.

Steam Buns at Chef Wang (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chef Wang Chinese Restaurant

The massive 165-dish menu features an extensive list of regional dishes from areas such as Sichuan, Dongbei, and Xinjiang. Sichuan cuisine is famous for its fiery numbing cuisine. The northeastern region of Dongbei is known for its pickled cabbage akin to sauerkraut (think China Pasta House). The northwestern region of Xinjiang is famous for its flatbreads and use of lamb and cumin.

Whether you’re an adventurous eater or not, you’ll find something on the menu to satisfy. However, avoid the Americanized dishes here; stick to the regional Chinese specialties and you’ll be in heaven.

Shrimp Dumplings and Pork Steamed Buns (soup dumplings) at China Pasta House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

China Pasta House

China Pasta House’s owners are from Dandong, China, located in northeast China just across the river from North Korea. A signature dish from the area is “Chinese sauerkraut,” which is more like a stripped-down, mild cabbage kimchi — eat it with pork on top of rice or in soup with house-made noodles.

Mongolian Tofu and Sweet & Sour Tofu at China Szechwan (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

China Szechwan

Foodie Favorite:
a woman sitting at a table with food
Hannah Hernandez

“I have three favorite dishes I’m always ordering: Sweet and Sour Tofu, Mongolian Tofu, and Chong Qi Spicy Tofu! All crispy and incredibly tasty.”

While China Szechwan has one of the most generic restaurant names, its Sichuan cuisine stands out. Just make sure to order off the Sichuan menu. The Water-Boiled Fish also has a boring misleading name. The fish is poached, and it’s not just water — it’s a spicy, aromatic broth with napa cabbage, celery, and copious amounts of garlic.

Pro tip — take home the leftover broth and use it as a vessel for instant ramen noodles.

Fatman Kitchen (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Fatman Kitchen

Foodie Favorite:
Shane Reiser

“Fatman got me through the pandemic. Get the Xian Oil Splashing Noodles (made in-house) and the Eggplant with Garlic Sauce.”

With a combination of Sichuan and Shaanxi specialties, Fatman Kitchen has quickly become one of the hottest new restaurants in Tucson. The Xian Oil Splashing Noodle features house-made biang biang noodles the length of your arm in garlicky, spicy chili oil with scallions and bean sprouts. For one of the best soups in town, order the Spicy Lamb Noodle Soup.

a plate full of food
(Photo courtesy of GMG Chinese Bistro)

GMG Chinese Bistro

GMG Chinese Bistro is a delightful dining destination where East meets West in a fusion of flavors. From traditional Chinese favorites to innovative dishes, GMG Chinese Bistro offers a diverse and scrumptious menu that caters to both classic and adventurous palates.

a bunch of different types of food on a table
(Photo courtesy of Go Dim Sum)

Go Dim Sum

Jo Jo Chan, the owner of Go Dim Sum, is also the creative force behind Jun Dynasty and Noodleholics. At Go Dim Sum, they’ve reimagined the dining experience by streamlining service, moving away from traditional steaming carts where diners select menu items from trays.

a sandwich and fries on a plate
Golden House (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Golden House

Foodie Favorite:
a woman sitting at a table with food
Hannah Hernandez

“Although it’s not listed on the menu, I highly recommend asking for the lemon tofu! I usually order it with the Mongolian tofu to enjoy the perfect sweet and savory combination.”

Chef Chan, head chef, brings over 25 years of culinary expertise to the table, crafting authentic Chinese dishes with precision and flair. Hailing from China, Chef Chan’s upbringing infuses his cooking with a deep-rooted understanding of genuine Chinese flavors and culinary traditions, ensuring each dish is a culinary masterpiece.

(Photo courtesy of Jun Dynasty)

Jun Dynasty

Sichuan dishes intermingle with the American Chinese dishes on the menu, but you’ll want to go for the Sichuan specialties. The Cumin Lamb here is outstanding — fragrant with floral, citrus notes from the abundant use of tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns and cumin. Chopped onions provide sweetness. Don’t be fooled by the dish’s simple appearance.

Lo mein and wontons at Kung Fu Noodle (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Kung Fu Noodle

Foodie Favorite:
a man looking at the camera
Andrew Weil

“I think Kung Fu Noodle is the best Chinese restaurant in Tucson. A Chinese friend who grew up in China says it’s the most authentic food she’s found here. The owners are great. They will make vegetarian versions of many dishes (like Mu Shu Vegetables instead of Mu Shu Pork). Try the cucumber salad and Mongolian Tofu.”

While you should really visit for the Northern China-influenced specialties such as the Chinese Beef Burrito (beef slices and herbs wrapped in a scallion pancake) and Jingdong Meat Pie (think a savory empanada, but Chinese Muslim-style and with chopped meat), they also offer a selection of Sichuan dishes. The house-made noodles and dumplings are the main selling point.

Volcano Noodle Soup at Mian Sichuan (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Mian Sichuan

The restaurant offers a variety of noodle bowls along with Chinese street food snacks such as fish balls and beef skewers. Try their signature Volcano Soup with sesame paste, chili oil, Sichuan pepper, ground beef, sliced beef, green onion, greens, and a slice of American cheese. While the cheese sounds weird, it works out well in a nostalgic mac-and-cheese sort of way.

(Photo by Jackie Tran)


If you enjoy pork, absolutely order the Chaoshou Dumplings. The dish is simple with pork wontons in a vinegary chili oil with scallions, but it’s executed exceptionally and worth daydreaming about. The Sichuan Spicy Beef noodle soup features house-made wheat noodles in a spicy and numbing beef broth, topped with chunks of beef (probably beef shank), bok choy, green onion, and cilantro.

Old Peking Chinese Restaurant

Foodie Favorite:
Sam Jump

“I couldn’t possibly choose between the Spicy and Salted Fish Fillet and the Salted and Spicy Tofu. Which means that they both hold the top spot of ‘Favorite Chinese Food Dish’ in my book.”

It’s fun to dine-in at the restaurant on Speedway Boulevard but try takeout when you’re looking for some fun in the sun. Luckily, there’s a beautiful spot nearby to enjoy your food: Himmel Park.

Fuqi Feipian at Panda House (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Panda House

While the main menu has a few popular Sichuan items such as the house-made Szechuan Cold Noodles, peruse the Sichuan menu. It has no English translation, so hopefully, you have a Chinese-speaking friend to help — but items such as “fragrance octopus,” “two steel gongs,” and “ten burn this negative” simply don’t translate well. From what we can translate, we can recommend a few dishes.

Zing Zing's (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Zing Zing’s

Zing Zing’s specializes in the fiery cuisine of Hunan — Sichuan and unAmericanized Cantonese cuisine are also available. While you can be adventurous on the menu with Cold Chicken Gizzards and Pickled Chitterlings, the combo plate is a deal difficult to pass up.

Go with the Fast Food Combo with One Meat and One Vegetable and choose from the Panda Express-like heat lamp trays. Instead of super-sugary Orange Chicken and generic vegetables, Zing Zing’s offers options such as braised pork belly and stir-fried eggplant and peppers.

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