Montana: China Garden
> Location: Missoula
With hanging Chinese lanterns, plenty of greenery, a full beer & wine list, and cozy tables separated by wood-paneled dividers, China Garden just looks like the kind of place where you’re going to want to stay a while. And for nearly 30 years, Missoula locals have done just that. Hong Kong-style chow mein, comforting noodle bowls, egg foo young, and sweet & sour pork are standouts. If you visit on your birthday your meal is half-off.
Nebraska: Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen
> Location: Omaha
Located inside a strip mall in Omaha’s Elmwood Park neighborhood, Blue & Fly offers two menu options: the All Day Menu and the Traditional Menu. The All Day Menu is chock-full of well-executed renditions of classics like kung pao, lo mein, and even an intriguing dish called peanut butter chicken, but the Traditional Menu is where Blue & Fly really shines. Go bold with dishes like Chongqing chicken with roasted chili, braised spare ribs in soy sauce, a variety of noodle soups, and sautéed fish fillets.
Nevada: Joyful House
> Location: Las Vegas
If you’re looking for the best Chinese food in Vegas, you’ll need to drive about 10 minutes from the Strip to Joyful House. This large and comfortable restaurant, perfect for large groups and parties, specializes in traditional Cantonese fare, especially seafood — including Dungeness and New Zealand Crystal crab, pan-fried clams with ginger and scallion, and crispy fried flounder with spicy tofu and minced pork. A huge variety of claypots, noodle dishes, and vegetarian dishes round out the menu.
New Hampshire: Lilac Blossom
> Location: Nashua
Harry and Sophia Ku’s Lilac Blossom has two locations in Nashua, just over the Massachusetts border. Tuxedoed waiters keep a watchful eye over the elegant dining rooms festooned with fresh Burgundy lilies. Each of the House Specials indicates which region of China it originated from, with standouts including lilac steamed whole fish (Hunan), mala lamb (Szechuan), and Peking duck.
New Jersey: Szechuan House
> Location: Hamilton
Just outside of Trenton, Szechuan House is serving traditional regional Chinese fare that has been lauded as the Garden State’s best by New Jersey Monthly. One look at the menu and you’ll see that this isn’t your everyday takeout joint: appetizers include diced rabbit with Szechuan peppercorn vinaigrette and jellyfish with scallion oil, and a section of the menu dedicated to Chengdu specialties includes dan dan noodles, shredded tea smoked duck with onion and red pepper, and fried yam cakes with sesame paste for dessert. Along the way you’ll find House Specials that include beef tendon with rice jelly in spicy sauce, sliced conch with minced pork in Szechuan wine sauce, and a stellar Peking duck.