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It’s Christmas Time on Long Island, and You Know What That Means*

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It *means, that on Christmas Day if you’re a Jew, or if you have no family or friends around, that it’s time for your annual pilgrimage to the movies and Chinese food!  We will leave the movie reviews up to those other so-called experts.  But, we will share our expertise, such as it is, regarding where to find the best Chinese restaurants on Long Island (and Queens).  

Since the last time we published this list, we have discovered a few new Chinese restaurants that have supplanted some of those that were on this list in Christmas’s past.  Breaking from past Christmas list traditions, I checked the list not once, but twice, and I’ve decided to stray slightly from the hard and fast ratings that we assigned and I give you here my personal top three Chinese restaurants in each County (Suffolk, Nassau, and Queens). 

I have not confirmed that every Chinese restaurant on this list is open on Christmas Day, so please call ahead before going.  It’s one of a Chinese restaurants most busy day, so do consider making a reservation too.  If you do call and find out they’re not open on Christmas Day, please post that in the comments and I will update this article accordingly.

Like the direction of the rising sun (no pun intended), let’s take this from East to West (Click on the name of the Chinese restaurant to read our full review):

~ Suffolk County ~

F-A-N Chinese Restaurant (534 Commack Road, Deer Park, NY)


This Chinese restaurant has been confirmed to be open on Christmas Day.  Newly opened F-A-N Chinese Restaurant specializes in authentic Szechuan cuisine. The space is small, nicely decorated, and the English speaking waitstaff are friendly and helpful. The night we were there had a nice mix of Chinese and Caucasian customers.  And it smashed its way in to the Top 5 of our Rankings!


Red Tiger Dumpling House (1320 Stony Brook Rd, Stony Brook, NY)


Please do pay homage to the framed Newsday article on the (Wailing?) Wall about The Chinese Quest.  Please take a pic, and post to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #TheChineseQuest and we will feature your pictures in an article next week.  

Almost like a mirage appearing amidst the miles and miles of strip malls, big box stores, shopping malls, gas stations, fancy steak houses, and a Duane Reade, we found a hidden oasis just off of Rte 347 in Stony Brook.   Ever since we got turned on to Soup Dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai in Flushing, we Quested to find a Chinese restaurant of similar ilk in the ‘burbs that we call our home, Long Island.  Red Tiger Dumping House is not a mirage.  It’s the real deal!


LOL Kitchen and Grill (2545 Middle Country Rd, Centereach, NY)


“LOL” is no laughing matter.  They are serious about their eats!  Looking to create an experience of Chinese Street food and Northern cuisine, they’ve brought authenticity to their kitchen, grill, and the dishes that they serve.

A former Stony Brook Student, Yang, and a few friends decided it was time to open their first restaurant, and they knew that they could reach their roots via their connection to Stony Brook University.  What they opened is “LOL Kitchen & Grill”, a thoroughly modern looking restaurant.  Small in size, just six tables, and another room that would hold a small private party.  They even designed the chairs themselves.  Leftover plumbing supplies became chairs.  Ingenious!


~ Nassau County ~

Pearl East (1191 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, NY)


Catering to the well heeled clientele of the Gold Coast of Long Island, Pearl East never disappoints. Though not visually appealing from the outside, presented quite a different ambiance on the inside.  Pure opulence, class, quality, gilt, and more.

Pearl East features Cantonese cuisine served in a manner most fitting a royal banquet.


Chef Wang (1902 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park, NY)


Promising Authentic Chinese cuisine, the Chef delivered on his promise.  Chef Wang has three extremely popular Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. This is his first venture to Long Island.  While Chef Wang wasn’t present this evening, clearly his staff has been well trained, and his Chef’s are upholding his “Legend”.Chopsticks

Moonstone (14 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck, NY)

Moonstone Exterior

Clearly competing with Pearl East, which is located a few miles east on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, Moonstone came to play.  The interior of the restaurant was immaculate. I’m talking pristine and tasty (just as their food turned out to be).  Now clearly this restaurant is looking to attract the Gold Coast clientele. 


~ Queens ~

Joe’s Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave., Flushing, NY)

Joe's Shanghai in Manhattan New York City

One of the first goldmines that we discovered on our Quest, this was a real authentic Chinese restaurant. The kind we’ve been looking for. No sugars and sweeteners to go with the tea. No fried noodles to munch on. No spare ribs on the menu . Joe’s Shanghai has a few different locations, including one in Chinatown, one in midtown, as well as in China and even Japan. But, it all started at this very location in Flushing, NY.  If you go, of course you must order the Soup Dumplings, but in our humble opinion, no matter what you order after that will be fantastic too!


Legend of Taste (2002 Utopia Parkway, Whitestone, NY)


Daring to go where no other authentic Chinese restaurant has gone before, “Legend of Taste” is located not in Flushing. Not in Little Neck. No. They ventured to be different and opened in the quiet Queens suburb of Whitestone. Why? Perhaps to separate themselves from the over-abundance of choices in those other towns. And also to differentiate themselves from all the other dining choices in Whitestone. After our visit there last night, “Legend of Taste” will be a secret no more. Sorry Whitestone!


You Garden Xiao Long Bao (41-07 Bell Blvd., Bayside, NY)


Yes, it’s the Chinese restaurant with the longest name and tied for the longest wait you may have to get a table along with Joe’s Shanghai!  You Garden Xiao Long Bao, sister Chinese restaurant of Shanghai You Garden Dumpling House in Flushing, opened a few months ago in Bayside. Their reputation certainly preceded them as lines out the door to get a table are the norm every night of the week.  Come now while you can still take advantage of either a free order Soup Dumplings, or a sample of their outrageously delicious Peking Duck (one per person).


With these nine choices, spread out across Queens and Long Island, you’re sure to find a Chinese restaurant to suit your palate.  And The Chinese Quest guarantees that you will love your meal.  If not, let us know about it in the Comments.  And if you don’t like any of these choices, you can always consult our Ranking of the Best Chinese Restaurants on Long Island and New York City!

Please post in the Comments below which Chinese restaurant you ate at, and which movie you saw!

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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  1. I know for a fact that all 3 restaurants in Nassau and the ones in Queens are excellent. We will be going to Moonstone. Pearls is impossible on holidays. That is our favorite but I dont want to spend hours. We actually had our 50th and 69th anniversary parties and they were fabulous People still can’t get over the sumptuous banquet Kathy prepared

    • Oh my goodness, 69th wedding anniversary! Mazel Tov to the two of you!

      Is Pearl East your favorite Chinese restaurant? Or is it another one?

      I think one day, we need to invite you and your husband to join us on a Quest. I bet you have some fascinating stories to share!

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