Chinese Students Recommend the Best Chinese Restaurants in Boston


Jiayi Hao

Mao Xue Wang

Jiayi Hao, Kedi Zhu, and Rui Sun

As Chinese students in America, we have come across people to several countries asking us one question – “what’s the best Chinese restaurant in Boston in your opinion?”  When one looks for this information on google they may get a variety of answers, but almost all the rankings are given by Americans themselves.  We tried some of the restaurants on the list ourselves and found they weren’t as good as the rankings suggested they were.That’s when a thought came to our minds:Why don’t we just let a bunch of Chinese people come up with the answers themselves?  So that the next time a friend asks us to recommend a Chinese dish, we don’t have to say General Tso’s chicken or orange chicken.

So To suggest the best possible options, we surveyed Chinese people in Boston. The questions we designed included the name of the favorite Chinese restaurant, the type of restaurant; their favorite dishes; the purpose and reason for going to the Chinese restaurant and so on.Eventually, we received over a hundred responses.  

Being true foodies, we’ve tried most of the restaurants on this top 10 list, and this survey was clearly a success, because they’re really, really good! We also classified the dishes according to different cuisines, each region of China is unique and has representative cuisines. For example, the taste of the south is sweet, because the south of China produces sugar. Sichuan has a spicy taste, because of the humid climate in Sichuan province, people there need to eat spicy food to maintain a healthy balance. 

Here they are, the 10 Most Popular Chinese Restaurants in Boston


Our rules are not the normal model of whoever has the most votes wins. This one is more reflective of how passionate people are about a particular restaurant.

Our survey asked the person filling it out to choose one of the best Chinese restaurants. Then has two multiple-choice questions to rate them, one for the purpose of going to the restaurant (one person’s dinner, a couple’s date, etc.) and one for the advantages of a certain aspect, such as price and environment. 

See them on the map:

The “spoon & fork” icons on the map represent the location of the 10 restaurants.

Szechuan’s Dumpling (1360 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476) and Sei bar (109 Water St Wakefield, MA 01880) are two restaurants far away from Boston. Szechuan’s Dumpling serves traditional Szechuan and Shanghai, Hangzhou Chinese cuisine, and Sei bar serves traditional Hunan and Asian cuisine. 

The cuisines they serve are the most popular ones of all such as Szechuan and Hunan cuisine.  Besides, Hangzhou cuisine is relatively rare in Boston, therefore, native Hangzhouers don’t really have many choices, which might be another reason that makes Szechuan’s Dumpling popular.

You may never go to a restaurant you’ve been to and thought was terrible, but there’s a good chance you’ve missed their house specialty. Open the box, experience it from a different perspective, and you may get a treasured dish that you want no matter what Chinese restaurant you go to, or a treasured restaurant that you go to every day after eating there once and feeling satisfied!

If you’re not feeling very lucky today, you can also choose to use the magic in the bottom right corner to be more selective – pick a certain dish.

We created a questionnaire with seven questions in total:  international students’ favorite Chinese restaurants in Boston.

Questions included: 

  • the interviewee’s university
  • current zip code of interviewee
  • name of favorite Chinese restaurant
  • what type of restaurant it is
  • favorite dishes, purpose of going to the restaurant and reasons for going to the restaurant

After creating the questionnaire, we sent it to over 10 WeChat groups with Boston’s international students and received a total of 103 responses.