Nestled in Boston’s South End lies the city’s Chinatown. The district boasts a wide array of bakeries, restaurants, teahouses and shops where Asian goods and food can be found on every block. For the first-time tourist, weeding through the endless options can be draining and overwhelming. In order to mitigate the stress of navigating the plethora of choices Chinatown, Boston offers, here is a list of some of the top places for Chinese food and drink that are sure to make your experience in the city’s little Chinese enclave a great one.

Gourmet Dumpling House

Perhaps the most Authentic eatery in the district, Gourmet Dumpling House is a fantastic choice, especially for adventurous souls willing to stray off the beaten path in search of real Cantonese cooking. A hole in the wall, the maximum occupancy of the little eatery’s dining room is definitely under thirty-five but the service is quick and efficient. Without making a reservation beforehand, my party of four was seated within twenty minutes and the place was bustling. While it is rather crowded and loud, it doesn’t get any more authentic than if you plucked a restaurant straight off the streets of Shanghai and dropped it in Boston. The menu is broad, offering a wide range of Chinese cuisine, including their signature pork soup dumplings and other authentic dishes such as jellyfish, Ginseng chicken soup, and fried frog legs.

Moreover, the prices are dirt cheap, with almost all menu items between $5.00 to $15.00.

BLR by Shōjō

A branch off the owners’ first business, Shōjō, which is located directly across the street, BLR by Shōjō is a more intimate version of the Asian fusion bar and restaurant, offering a quiet and unique ambience complete with a mural made of Mahjong tiles, vintage décor such as old Chinese movie posters, and mood lighting cast off by red Chinese lanterns lining the ceiling of its little dining room.

A stark contrast to the rambunctiousness of Gourmet Dumpling House, BLR by Shōjō provides an intimate and trendy atmosphere. While their menu is small, each item is of good quality, offering a nice selection of Asian-inspired cuisine, including Szechuan Bolognese, which is a mix of stir-fried, handmade ribbon noodles, ground pork, and Szechuan pepper corn and their General Chen’s Wings, lightly sauced in a sweet chili glaze for a delicious sweet and savory flavor.

The prices are pretty cheap, with entrees ranging between $9.00 to $19.00. This place is especially suited for those looking to dip their toes into the pool of authentic Chinese food without jumping into the deep end of Asian Cuisine. Also, this “best little restaurant” is very photogenic, ideal for capturing those Instagram-worthy pictures.


A great hangout for friends, TeaDo is a contemporary teahouse with a decently sized room littered with simple party games such as Uno and Jenga, available at each table for their patrons’ use and leisure. They offer a pretty extensive menu of smoothies, bubble teas (infused with both traditional tapioca bubbles or aloe and lychee jellies), aloe vera juices, and their signature drinks, such as the Fire Dragon, which is a tapioca and jelly bubble tea containing red bean, milk, and grass. The teahouse’s prices are reasonable, with bubble teas starting at $3.75 for regular-sized or $4.75 for large-sized, and their specialties and smoothies priced between $5.50 and $6.50.