Nashville may not have a Chinatown to call its own but a handful of restaurants around town can fulfill a hankering for umami-packed stir-fries, pillowy balls of bao, and crispy fried rice, whether you want to dine in a hip space with natural wine pairings or grab fast-casual dumplings to go. Here are Nashville’s top Chinese restaurants.Read More
10 Places to Eat Satisfying Chinese Food in Nashville
All of the hot pot, noodles, stir-fries, and dumplings you need
Many Nashvillians head to this strip mall in Madison for China Cottage’s bubbling hot pots and other Chinese classics. Popular choices here include General Tso’s tofu, crab Rangoon, crispy beef, and seafood hot pot.
The East Nashville home of Ryan and Ann Bernhardt’s inventive Southern take on Chinese cuisine features standouts like chicken fat fried rice, chiu-chow home fries, and fiery Chile Noodz with Mr. Aaron’s noodles. TKO is also inviting to a wide range of diets, as many of the dishes are vegetarian or vegan, and nearly all are gluten-free.
Xiao Bao is a Charleston import from husband-and-wife duo Josh Walker and Duolan Li. At their hip East Nashville location, Chinese restaurant meets ’50s diner meets natural wine bar. While the menu ranges across Asia — Japanese okonomiyaki and Taiwanese pork bao play starring roles — Chinese highlights include smacked cucumber doused with tangy dressing, hand-pulled biang biang noodles with cumin brisket, and Sichuan la zi cauliflower stir-fry. The popular spot doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared for a little wait.
Along with baskets of fluffy bao stuffed with pork, beef, or veggies then steamed or seared, Steam Boys serves juicy dumplings filled with pork or shrimp, xiao long bao (soup dumplings), hearty noodle soups, bao and dumpling bowls, and liters of Thai boba tea to go. The local fast-casual chain has several locations in Nashville, including this Germantown original, a Nolensville restaurant, and a stall at Broadway’s Assembly Food Hall.
Celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan’s Chinese restaurant is a swanky option in the Gulch with contemporary takes like General Tso’s Brussels sprouts, Nashville hot chicken lo mein, and bananas Foster wontons with rum caramel sauce. Tansuo also offers eye-catching details at every turn, including a ceiling dripping with elegant lanterns and plenty of cozy private banquettes.
Lucky Bamboo China Bistro
This Charlotte Pike strip mall spot has long been a local favorite. Lucky Bamboo China Bistro’s cold Sichuan appetizers like mala beef tendon and sliced beef tripe are solid choices, as are rice rolls and mapo tofu.
Meet Noodles is a Brooklyn transplant at the southern edge of the Vanderbilt University campus, dishing up blisteringly spicy bowls of Chongqing noodles, also referred to in Chinese as xiao mian. The noodles are wheat-based by default but you can sub in sweet potato or rice noodles to go with tingly Sichuan pepper and a wide variety of meats and vegetables — the perfect antidote to a cool evening. Snacks like sesame seed balls, dumplings, and takoyaki complement more than a dozen versions of the signature noodle dish.
Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine
As Sichuan Hot Pot & Asian Cuisine’s name promises, the restaurant off of Nolensville Pike puts hot pot in the spotlight. Burners on the tables keep pots of herb, tomato, lamb, winter melon, or other broths roiling as you toss in an extensive assortment of ingredients such as beef, shrimp, chicken, and fresh mushrooms and veggies. If that weren’t enough, you can also order dozens of other dishes like chow rice cakes, chow mei fun, and crab boils.
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On the outskirts of Nashville, China Spring has been supplying locals with all of the Chinese American staples — Cantonese-style lo mein, moo shu, fried rice, egg rolls, egg drop soup — in reliably generous portions since 1999. General Tso’s and bourbon chicken are popular choices too.
Corner Asian Cafe
A consistent win for casual, family-friendly dine-in or takeout, this strip mall success story in Brentwood provides stellar Sichuan food. Corner Asian Cafe’s standouts include crispy scallion pancakes, salt pepper spare ribs, potato threads, spicy beef tendon, and chile oil-coated crispy frog legs.