Best Chinatown restaurants

Chinatown is chock-full of excellent restaurants. We’ve handpicked some of our favourites so you know where to go next time you find yourself in Soho, in need of some dim sum, hot pot or Peking duck

Updated on 18 March 2019

With so much choice packed in to such a small area, how can you tell which are the best restaurants in Chinatown? Well, the hard way would be to spend your evenings traipsing up and down the West End streets between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square, trying every single restaurant that the area has to offer.

The far easier option however, would be to simply read this list, which takes in all of the best restaurants in Chinatown, whether you’re looking for a cheap, delicious bite, the best dim sum in Soho or a Chinese banquet with Peking duck and all the trimmings.

Of course, the bulk of the restaurants in this list serve up Chinese cuisine, but as London is a melting pot of cultures, we’ve snuck a few other delicious places in there which hail from the likes of Korea and Taiwan. Regardless of whether you’re on the hunt for dim sum, hot pot or lavish Chinese-style feasting, our pick of the best restaurants in Chinatown should have what you’re looking for.

JinLi Chinatown

JinLi Chinatown

16 Newport Place, London, London, WC2H 7PR

This restaurant is a sibling to the JinLi site on nearby Leicester Street. Here, you’ll enjoy a resolutely traditional Chinatown experience, including the infamously brusque service. Nonetheless, the menu is intriguing and includes lots of appetisers that don’t often appear on London menus – think spicy pig’s foot or pork lung. If you’re not in the mood to experiment, you should be satisfied with the more conventional likes of kung po prawns and salt and pepper squid.  

Szechuan
Chinese
Baiwei

Baiwei

8 Little Newport Street, London, London, WC2H 7JJ

Part of the group that operates BaoziInn and Bar Shu, Baiwei is an intimate Chinese café that pulls in big crowds. If you like to challenge your taste buds with some serious spice, Baiwei is the place for you – turn up the heat with dishes such as spicy pig’s ear salad and granny’s stewed beef with sweet potato noodles. Service can be a little cold at times, but the delicious menu will warm you up.  

Under £30
Chinese
Joy King Lau

Joy King Lau

3 Leicester Street, London, WC2 7BL

Spread across three floors and a well-established favourite with Soho thronging crowds, Joy King Lau is a fantastic dim sum spot, serving dishes that are unfussy, inexpensive and truly delicious. Stop by here to fill up on roast pork buns, filled dumplings, sesame prawn toast and fried chicken’s feet, while those looking to go beyond dim sum can order from a range of hot soups or meat dishes, such as chicken sprinkled with cashew nuts.  

£30 - £49
Chinese
Haozhan

Haozhan

8 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 5PJ

Forget hanging paper lanterns and dragon motifs, as at Haozhan the interiors are a sleek mix of black walls, emerald green lighting and geometric mirrors. During the afternoons, you can enjoy traditional dim sum, while the pages long evening menu features everything from crispy duck pancakes to roast pork buns, alongside the slightly less conventional jasmine tea-smoked pork ribs. Charming service is another draw, while floral teas and house wines are on hand to drink.

£30 - £49
Chinese
Xu

Xu

30 Rupert Street, Covent Garden, London, W1D 6DL

Not content with making Londoners obsessed with fluffy steamed buns, the team behind Bao have now bought more of Taiwan’s staple dishes to the capital, and unlike at Bao, you can book tables here. On the menu, expect to find the likes of char siu ibérico pork and sweetbreads served with fermented greens. It’s a handsome space too, inspired by 1920s Shanghai and chic enough to make you forget you’re in the middle of Soho.

£50 - £79
Taiwanese
Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour

15-16 Gerrard Street, London, London, W1D 6JE

This cocktail bar and dim sum parlour is themed around the Shanghai of the 1920s, so expect kitsch interiors and cocktails served in fun vessels. Opium is also home to three separate bars, serving signature cocktails such as a Lychee Martini and a Hong Kong Spring Punch. These are supplemented by steaming baskets of dim sum which can be filled with the likes of Cantonese barbecue pork buns or crab and samphire dumplings, among others.

£30 - £49
Bars
Dim Sum
Orient London China Town

Orient London China Town

15 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PH

This smart China Town stalwart is known for its extensive dim sum offering, which is hand-made on site daily. The large, buzzy restaurant features pendant lighting, mosaic tiled walls and chocolate brown banquettes which are perfect for groups.

From the pages-long dim sum menu, which is served daily until 4.45pm, you can enjoy the decadent likes of caviar Shanghai dumplings and crispy duck tempura rolls. If you’re after something more substantial, dine from the à la carte, which features great value set meals alongside dishes such as roast duck, Kung po chicken and a spicy beef curry.

If you’re still hungry come the meal’s end, then sweet treats such as a mango cheesecake or a coconut pudding should satisfy any sugar cravings.  

£30 - £49
Chinese
Shu Xiangge

Shu Xiangge

10 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 5PW

Stretching itself across two floors, this classic Chinese joint seats more than 100 diners and is decked out with dark wood furnishings and wallpaper etched with traditional Chinese landscapes. The menu champions Hot Pot, which is cooked at the table in Sichuan-style 9-grid pots. There are more than 80 different ingredients to choose from, so you can build a Hot Pot personalised to you around the likes of ox tongue, rib eye and beef tendon.

£30 - £49
Chinese
Olle

Olle

86-88 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6NH

DIY barbecue restaurants can divide diners, but for those who are fans of cooking their own dinner, this Korean site is a great shout. Here, barbecue grills are built in to the tables, allowing guests to cook the likes of Wagyu ribeye steak and pork belly. There are some off the grill delights to enjoy too, such as dumplings, while a range of Korean beers and wines are on hand to wash it all down.

Korean
Shuang Shuang

Shuang Shuang

64 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6LU

Conveyor belts in restaurants normally feature sushi, but at Shuang Shuang you’ll find a rotating track filled with hotpots. If you’re unfamiliar with this Chinese dining staple, the helpful menu offers explanations of each component, with top orders including fried tofu, pork and prawn balls and marinated mutton. Try not to get carried away with the novelty of the conveyor as prices can add up, but superb service will soften the blow of the bill.

£30 - £49
Chinese
Barshu Restaurant

Barshu Restaurant

28 Frith Street, London, W1D 5LF

Tailor-made for chilli lovers, BarShu contrasts its pared-back interiors with a stellar menu of Szechuan-style dishes that will blow your head off. Give your tongue a lashing with the likes of stir-fried duck tongues dressed with dried chilli and spicy boiled seabass, before cooling off with a mild soup and mango sorbet for dessert. Better suited to quick meals than lingering dinners, BarShu is a great starting point before moving on to Soho’s bar scene.  

Szechuan
Chinese
Shanghai Modern

Shanghai Modern

12 Newport Place, London, WC2H 7JP

Its name may nod to the contemporary, but Shanghai Modern is a Chinese restaurant like they used to make them. Big draws here include being able to see the excellent xiao long bao being prepared in the window and a tick-box paper menu, while friendly service and pleasingly large portions are further plus points. Want our advice? Try the Shanghai fried noodles topped with shredded pork and the sticky stir-fried aubergine – you won’t be disappointed.

£30 - £49
Chinese
BaoziInn-Newport Ct

BaoziInn-Newport Ct

25 Newport Court, London, London, WC2H 7JS

Part of a mini chain which comprises a handful of sites, BaoziInn majors in the flavours of regional China, with each location offering something slightly different. At this Chinatown site, you’ll find dishes with a northern Chinese accent – think Sichuan spicy beef noodles for those with a high chilli tolerance, and barbecue pork ribs smeared with a sticky honey sauce for those who like their food a little milder. BaoziInn’s signature fluffy buns aren’t to be missed either.

Under £30
Chinese
Dumplings Legend

Dumplings Legend

15-16 Gerrard Street, London, London, W1D 6JE

This Chinatown café with minimalist white interiors makes a big claim with its bold name, and it delivers for the most part. We’ve found that the evening menu can be a bit hit and miss, but come here at lunchtime and you won’t be disappointed. The restaurant reportedly makes 8,000 fresh dumplings each day and you can find them on the menu in the form of pork dumplings with crab roe and xiao long bao.

£30 - £49
Chinese
Plum Valley

Plum Valley

20 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 6JQ

Although Chinese cuisine is the name of the game here, Plum Valley also allows itself to be occasionally inspired by Malaysia and Singapore. The à la carte features sweet and sour chicken and Vietnamese pork belly, but the dim sum offering is where the real fun is – think a deep-fried seaweed roll and fried turnip cakes lashed with XO sauce. Wash down your food with Chinese tea, before rounding things off with chilled mango pudding.

£30 - £49
Chinese

If you love this selection then don't miss our pick of the best Chinese restaurants in London.