6 can’t-miss Chinese restaurants in Wisconsin

Best Chinese

Credit: Imperial Garden Restaurant, Middleton

By Kevin Revolinski

March 7, 2024

Wisconsin loves Chinese food. Or so the searches say. Online price monitoring website Pricelisto used Google search data to determine the most popular food interests in each state. Wisconsin’s top pick was Chinese food, with an average of 101,364 searches a month. (Following close behind were Mexican, Indian, Italian, and Thai in spots 2-5.)

Chinese restaurants truly have something for just about everyone–with many menus topping 100 dishes. Plus, most meat dishes are customizable–easily made vegetarian with tofu or added veggies.

While we can argue all day about what’s real Chinese, Wisconsin restaurants offer the expected blend of authentic and American. Fortune cookies? Not originally from China. Even the iconic Chinese takeout boxes started here: Chicagoan Frederick Weeks Wilcox patented his “paper pails” back in 1894.

And yet, the experience showcases the best of our state: what happens when we blend cultures and bring out the best in each other.

🥢 DID YOU KNOW? You can filter your searches to find “Asian-owned” businesses near you using Yelp. Click here to try!

Wisconsin’s Best Chinese Restaurants:

🥢 Ruyi Hand Pulled Noodle, Madison

Hand-pulled noodles (or also knife-cut) are a traditional, but not typical item at the average Chinese restaurant. Here they are the centerpiece. Start with the spicy beef pulled noodles, but don’t be afraid of the tripe and tendon. The dumplings and hot pot selections are great, too.

🥢 Imperial Garden, Middleton

As more and more places drill down on specific traditions – hot pot, dumplings, Taiwanese street food, etc. – this is that quintessential endless menu American-Chinese restaurant with nice tables, and it’s been around a long time in the Madison area. Voted Best of Madison every year since the ‘80s. We recommend ordering a day ahead for the Peking duck.

🥢 Momo Mee, Milwaukee 

Xiao Long Bao are traditional dumplings that contain soup broth, and this is the place to try them. The Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles and Cantonese clay dishes are also great. Chef and owner Tony Ho was born in Hong Kong and brings some cultural crossover dishes to this pan-Asian restaurant.

🥢 Cozy Inn, Janesville

The oldest Chinese restaurant in the state. Two Chinese immigrant brothers opened a restaurant in 1922 in Janesville, and it passed through family members until the current owners bought it in 1975. It’s like taking a step back in time–with excellent egg rolls.

🥢 Shanghai Grill, Weston

Popular in the Wausau area with dishes such as crispy duck and kung pao chicken. They even use fresh Wisconsin ginseng on special request dishes. (Many diners also come for their Japanese sushi menu.)

RELATED: How Wisconsin Ginseng Became a Globally Coveted Commodity

🥢 Sze Chuan, West Allis

As the name suggests, the menu leans to the foods of Sichuan Province, many of which can be spicy and peppery. Szechuan Pork Dumplings and Dry Chili Chicken get rave reviews. We also recommend trying their hot pot (mild or spicy) and dry pot (very spicy).

MORE: We Found Wisconsin’s Best Fish Fry

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