Bethesda has four basic food groups: fro-yo, bagels, cupcakes and Chinese food. Finding the perfect Chinese food restaurant starts a debate among friends and family.
Which has the best General Tso’s? Spring rolls with the least amount of grease? The fattest dumplings? This installment of the Foodie Awards will attempt to lay the Chinese food debate to rest.
1. City Lights of China
It’s hard to single out just one of Bethesda’s seemingly hundreds of Chinese restaurants, but City Lights of China comes out as by far the best. In a prime location on Bethesda Row, City Lights of China is the perfect place to escape from the noise of pre-teens waiting in line for Georgetown Cupcake and enjoy real food.
Dumplings come out the kitchen tucked into wicker baskets full of hot steam. The sauce on their spicy General Tso’s chicken is bursting with flavor. Their wonton or egg drop soups are the perfect start to any meal.
City Lights is a refreshing break from the bland Chinese food found elsewhere in Bethesda. The service is fast, the atmosphere is formal but comfortable, and the fortune cookies are always hopeful.
2. China Pavilion
Off the beaten path in the Sangamore shopping center, China Pavilion offers large portions and tasty lunch specials at slightly higher cost.
The beef and broccoli as well as the beef fried rice are exceptional here. Their garlic eggplant has a delicious sweet and sour flavor that tastes great over rice. The servers are friendly and the atmosphere is classier than your average Chinese restaurant.
Tucked away in old Bethesda, this restaurant has the best vegetable fried rice in Bethesda.
Lo mein dishes are definitely a go-to order from here, though it’s hard to go wrong with any of their food. Mayflower is inexpensive, fast and kind of greasy. But sometimes, that’s all you need from a Chinese place.