Tucked between Soho and Theatreland, Chinatown has been a vibrant part of the London culinary scene since the 1970s. A mecca for foodies, this pocket-sized slice of East Asia in the heart of the city offers an incredible array of eateries. Whether you're in the mood for crispy Peking duck or slurp-worthy noodles, embark on a flavour-packed journey through the best Chinatown restaurants to satiate every craving.
Tucked behind a sly green door neighbouring Dumplings' Legend sits Opium, a snug speakeasy famed for putting an Eastern twist on classic cocktails. Scattered throughout are 1920s Shanghai-themed antiques curated by founder Eric Yu, including jovial Buddha statues and ornate Chinese medicine cabinets. Spread across three bars on two separate floors – the Apothecary, the Peony, and the Academy – this Soho haunt offers ever-evolving delights like char siu bao alongside seabass and fennel dumplings.
As you stroll by this Chinatown gem, your nose is treated to a heavenly aroma of juicy Cantonese roast meats practically calling your name through the window. That's your cue. You can't leave Chinatown without trying char siu pork or crispy duck, and Four Seasons knows exactly how to do them right. Undoubtedly their star dish, the roast duck steals the show, served crispy, succulent and served in classic Cantonese style. Pro tip: Roll 'em all up in a delicate pancake for a taste of pure indulgence.
Big, small, round, meaty and juicy - variety reigns supreme at Dumplings' Legend, which churns out a staggering 8,000 dumplings every day. If you're on the hunt for the best places to eat in Chinatown, look no further. Their menu boasts a whopping 47 different types of dim sum, including nine types of dumplings, all whipped up in their glass-walled kitchen. Whether you fancy spicy pork xiao long bao or crab siu mai, there's something here for you.
Low-lit chic vibes, pleasingly affordable prices, and delectable hand-crafted dim sum delights; that's Plum Valley summed up. A family-run restaurant hidden from the chaos of Gerrard Street's hustle and bustle with a menu that's a mix of Cantonese classics and a touch of Thai and Malaysian surprises, they've got all bases covered using only the freshest ingredients. Their vast dim sum selection features specialities like taro croquettes as well as crab and pork soup dumplings, perfect for a light lunch or a droolworthy pre-theatre meal.
Where to eat in Chinatown, you ask? From fatty brisket curry on rice to those stunning elastic, smoky Singapore noodles and steamed lobster with rice wine sauce, Cafe TPT has brought an authentic Hong Kong-style cafe to the heart of London town. The star of the show? Boasting cheesy bechamel, onions and a generous kick of chilli oil, their Macau-style pork chop is a true comfort dish, perfect for those mid-afternoon cravings after a crazy Soho night out.
Bringing the essence of Chinese Sichuan cuisine to town, Jinli is here to spice up London with its bold flavours. Arguably one of the best restaurants in Chinatown, sprinkling fiery chilli heat and 'ma la' seasoning across Central London, their dry pot is a dish to write home about. The most colossal, aromatic, and perfectly seasoned experience ever, it's an epic stir-fried jumble of meat, seafood or vegetables packed with a mountain of spice guaranteed to set your tastebuds ablaze.