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The best places to chow down outside of Chinatown

for The Brooklyn Paper

When we asked our friends and sources where to find good Chinese restaurants outside of Brooklyn’s Chinatowns in Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, and Sheepshead Bay, the response was almost universally : “Oh … I don’t know.”

Luckily, we’ve got spies all over the borough who helped us compile a shortlist of Chinese chow worth checking out if you’re not willing to make the trek to Brooklyn’s ethnic enclaves. They might not be traditional options — in fact, on the contrary — but we’ll bet these eats will curb your craving for Szechuan — at least until the next time you find yourself south of Prospect Park.

Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge

This Bay Ridge staple has two menus — one for takeout, featuring Americanized favorites a la General Tso’s Chicken and Beef with Brocolli; and one for those looking for a traditional dish, one that includes proteins along the lines of jellyfish, tongue, and tripe. Watch out for the peppercorns; they’re hot hot hot.

Grand Sichuan House [8701 Fifth Ave. at 87th street in Bay Ridge, (718-680-8887)].

Red Hot in Park Slope

A brownstone Brooklyn favorite, Red Hot specializes in fast, tasty Szechuan cuisine, which means dark sauces and hot, spicy flavors. But the hottest thing about this restaurant is undisputably its location. Right smack dab in the middle of Park Slope, Red Hot is your best bet for predictable, reliable Chinese that’s cheap, quick and close by.

Red Hot Szechuan [347 Seventh Ave. between 10th and 11th streets in Park Slope, (718) 369-2577].

Yen Yen Chinese Restaurant in Flatbush/Dyker Heights

This Chinese joint isn’t just known for its food — it’s campy, well-priced and tasty. We like this place because it serves old-school cocktails like a mai tai — complete with brightly colored paper tropical umbrellas perched in the glass; it makes us feel like we’re in the 1960s, and it’s Christmas eve.

Yen Yen Chinese Restaurant [404 Church Ave. at E. Fourth Street in Flatbush/Ditmas Park, (718) 633-8711].

M. Shanghai Noodle in Williamsburg

First things first: this resto bills itself as a Chinese “bistro,” so you should know ahead of time what you’re dealing with. It’s not authentic, and it’s not trying to be. It is, however, pretty delicious. The noodles are hand-pulled and tender, the soups are savory but the real draw is the soup dumplings, mostly because they’re hard to come by in North Brooklyn. A plus: there are six varieties of soup dumpling to choose from — even one for your vegan pals (because remember, we’re in Williamsburg).

292 Grand St. between Roebling and Havemeyer streets in Williamsburg, (718 384-9300)].

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Reader Feedback

Moses from Park Slope says:
Red Hot is objectively lousy and discredits this entire story. The lameness of Red Hot should have been the jumping off point for a real investigation.
Jan. 28, 2012, 9:41 am
Map Guy from Kensington says:
I dunno, Yen Yen is west of Ocean Parkway, so that's not Flatbush, Ditmas Park, or heaven-forbid-typos, Dyker Heights.

It's Kensington.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:30 pm
Barb from Kensington says:
It would be nice if the Brooklyn Paper learned the names and boundaries of the neighborhoods it serves.
Jan. 29, 2012, 11:37 pm
Rachel from Kensington says:
They don't know where Kensington is; they also assume their Brooklyn readers don't live anywhere near Sunset Park, Sheepshead Bay, or Bensonhurst, because obviously those neighborhoods are an inconvenient "trek" away (compared with Park Slope, whose restaurants are assumed to be wonderfully convenient). How odd.
Jan. 30, 2012, 12:49 am
LouLou from Kensington says:
AND on top of it all, Yen Yen sucks.
Jan. 30, 2012, 8:11 am
dan from kensington says:
LouLou-
we've been ordering from Yen Yen for years. If it sucks so much, what's your go to area Chinese???
Jan. 30, 2012, 9:25 am
Alaina from Kensington says:
I think Yen Yen is the best of Kensington Chinese food. But the article is definitely lacking depth - Borough Park/Dyker Heights has great Chinese - authentic Chinese. From the cheap dumpling from Kai Feng Fu in Borough Park, to dim sum at East Harbor Seafood Palace in Dyker Heights, to crispy suckling pig at Lucky Eight in Borough Park.... That is just scratching the surface!
Jan. 31, 2012, 9:11 am
W-ski from Greenpoint says:
Dear god please dont tell me anyone seriously recommended M. Shanghai Noodle?

I ordered szechuan noodles there and it was one of the most offensively bland, stodgy, not fit for New York chinese meals I've ever had.

I didnt finish the bowl, and I never, ever dont finish chinese food.
June 16, 2012, 11:17 pm
Mark from Sunset Park says:
This is easily the worst collection of recommendations I have ever seen for Chinese restaurants in Brooklyn. None of these places is even close to being authentic or remotely tasty.
July 13, 2013, 2:29 am

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