Some of the best Chinese food I've ever had was in San Francisco and Los Angeles so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that San Diego would be added to that list. As a Chinese American, I have had the privilege of going back to Asia multiple times to try the authentic Chinese cuisine over there and I can tell you that my standards have gone up since then. Wandering around San Diego, I came across three of my favorite restaurants and I can't wait to see if you agree.
Dumpling Inn was discovered by me and my friends on accident when we were walking down the streets of San Diego after a long beach day and had the cravings for some soup dumplings. We just happened to be walking around looking for somewhere to eat and decided to give Dumpling Inn a chance without looking up their reviews or anything. Little did we know, this was THE dumpling spot of San Diego. When we talk about Dumpling Inn to our friends, a lot of them agree that they love coming here for their soup dumplings. I can't vouch for their other menu items because we literally only ordered $100 worth of dumplings, from beef curry dumplings to Xiao Long Bao. If you're ever in the area, give this place a chance for their amazing and juicy soup dumplings.
What I recommend: Soup dumplings
Location: 4625 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Let me start off by saying I know Steamy Piggy isn't an authentic Chinese restaurant but they're more of an Asian fusion with Chinese food options. Still an amazing place to get Chinese food or Asian fusion dishes. I've tried their dan dan noodles and they are quite bouncy with a lot of flavor. Another dish I really like is their red braised pork belly. It has the perfect amount of fat to lean meat ratio and the sauce compliments the meat so well. I get it with a bowl of rice because it does get a bit salty just eating it on its own. One of my favorite sides to order here is their piggy bao, which is a couple pieces of pork belly sandwiched between a steamed bun with some veggies, perfect combo and so delicious. Say what you want about Chinese and asian food fusion, but I love it when restaurants get creative and mix it up a little instead of servicing the same noodle and rice dish everywhere.
What I recommend: pork belly and the piggy bao
Location: 4681 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
My first visit to Shan Xi was amazing because we were really craving for some fat greasy noodles and found Shan Xi on Google. It definitely wasn't greasy but it was exactly what we needed after a long day of exploring the city of San Diego. These noodles are so tasty that we got some to go and came back a couple days later to order some more. Biang Biang noodles are hand pulled noodles that originated from Shaanxi province of China. I had these from the original restaurants in China and had been looking for another restaurant that could imitate it perfectly. If you're ever in the area, these might be some of the best Chinese noodles you'll ever taste.
What I recommend: Biang Biang noodles
Location: 4344 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
San Diego has recently been my new favorite city for my foodie runs because there's just so many different types of cuisines nearby and every recommendation I've had from friends and family has been spot on. I can't believe it's taken me so many years to visit San Diego for their food scene. I've tried so much food from San Diego these past few years so look out for my other articles on where to eat next!