6 Restaurants in Chinatown Boston You Need to Try

Dumplings, ramen, phở, fried rice, hot pot, bubble tea, sushi… So many scrumptious Asian dishes in the world, so little time. Fortunately, you can get it all when you visit Boston’s Chinatown!

Chinatown, Boston restaurants come in a wide assortment of delectable cuisines and flavors that span the Asian continent. Whatever your heart (and stomach) desires, Chinatown in Boston delivers.

close up of a colorful dragon puppet during a Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown, Boston
Boston’s Chinatown is home to tons of great restaurants and activities. Photo credit: Chris Mok || @cr.mok

Because of the many options at your disposal, it can be difficult to sift through them all and find the best of the best for yourself. Fortunately, we took the liberty of assisting you with this step. We’ve done the research, conducted the taste tastes (oh, woe is us!), and found the six best Chinatown, Boston restaurants you need to try!

For Ramen in Boston: Ruckus

There isn’t much that’s quite as soul-warming as a hot bowl of soupy goodness–and ramen is one of the best examples of such. And when you get a bowl of ramen from Ruckus, you are in for a really satisfying and revitalizing treat.

The menu is relatively small at Ruckus, but that’s how you know it’s authentically good. The quaint, hip venue adds a unique spin on a typical ramen joint, as it has a street-art inspired decorating scheme paired with light hip-hop playing from their speakers. Plus, orders come out steaming hot and delicious in almost record time.

And now for the ramen: it’s truly one you won’t regret nor forget. The broth is hearty, the meat is melt-in-your-mouth, soft, and moist, and the toppings are sublime accompaniments to the entire bowl. When in doubt of what to order, opt for their flagship Tori Miso Ramen.

close up of a bowl of ramen, another person eats ramen in the background
Always say yes to ramen. Photo credit: Kae Ng

For Hot Pot in Boston: Happy Lamb Hot Pot

Whether it’s the dead of the winter or the hottest day of the year, a steaming hot pot with your choice of additions is honestly never a bad idea–especially when it’s from Happy Lamb Hot Pot (693 Washington Street).

Happy Lamb Hot Pot is exceptionally clean, has an abundance of high-quality ingredients for your hot pot, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a relaxed atmosphere. We highly recommend you try the half and half soup base, for which we suggest the house original and the house spicy soup bases. Who doesn’t love to have the best of both worlds?

Trust us on this one: you’ll leave this restaurant as happy as a “lamb” (sorry, but we just couldn’t help ourselves!).

close up of a Chinese hot pot divided in half with a piece of metal, filled with two kinds of broth, half which is red and spicy, the other half is clear
Chinese Hot Pot is a great way for everyone at the table to be able to eat exactly what they want. And it’s fun! Photo credit: Watchcaddy

For Japanese Food in Boston: Tora Japanese Restaurant

Who doesn’t love a few rolls of fresh, exquisite sushi now and then? And when you do want sushi, you want (and deserve) the best, which Tora Japanese Restaurant can definitely manage.

Tora offers its hungry patrons sushi and sashimi crafted with the freshest ingredients, including raw fish and seafood. But that’s not all this Chinatown favorite has on their menu. They have a variety of kaisendon bowls (fresh seafood rice bowls), rice bowls with meat, udon and soba noodle soups, pork buns, takoyaki, and more.

The restaurant itself is snug yet inviting, offering an authentically low-key Japanese restaurant experience. The ambiance, the food, and the staff are all setting the bar high for other Japanese restaurants in the city. So hop on into Tora the next time you’re craving impeccable and unforgettable Japanese dishes–and don’t forget the sake when you do!

a bowl filled with white rice and a variety of raw fish with several smaller bowls of sauces and soups at a Chinatown Boston restaurant
Kaisendon bowls give you a wide array of fresh seafood to try. Photo credit: Cloris Ying

For Chinese Food in Boston: Bubor Cha-Cha

When in Chinatown, you of course should try out Chinese food! When on the hunt for the best Chinese food restaurant in this bustling neighborhood in Boston, look no further than Bubor Cha-Cha. Bubor Cha-Cha specifically serves Hunan cuisine, which offers an abundance of enticing flavors in all their dishes, including spicy and sour flavors, deep colors, and fresh aromas, along with Cantonese cuisine.

Some notables include cucumber salad, eggplant with preserved egg and green pepper, pork intestines, dan dan noodles, pork soup dumplings, General Tso chicken, fried lotus, salted duck yolk tofu, and so many more!

So if you’re looking for some real Chinese food and not just the greasy American Chinese we all know (and enjoy from time to time), then this is the place for you!

close up of a white bowl filled with marinated beef with spicy red chiles
Bubor Cha-Cha in Chinatown, Boston is the go-to restaurant for flavorful Hunan cuisine. Photo credit: David Leo Veksler

For Bubble Tea in Boston: Gong Cha

While walking around Chinatown, we cannot recommend you sip on a cool, refreshing, and creamy bubble tea enough! And when you’re looking for the best, then make a beeline to Gong Cha without hesitation.

Gong Cha is a popular bubble tea chain that originated in Taiwan and now has over 1,600 stores worldwide. It’s safe to assume, then, that they know a thing or two about bubble tea! They offer visitors truly satisfying, customizable, and fresh bubble teas, such as matcha, black tea, tea lattes, and various other lovables!

When you enter the location, look at the menu and find your desired bubble tea. Then when you order you can choose your level of sweetness, amount of ice, size, and toppings, which include pearls, milk foam, jelly, pudding, red beans, and others. Sip (or, really, gulp) and enjoy!

close up of someone holding a plastic cup filled with golden iced tea with the restaurant blurred in the background
Order your bubble tea exactly how you want it at Boston’s Chinatown location of Gong Cha. Photo credit: awee_19

For Vietnamese Food in Boston: Phin Coffee House

Fun fact: there is a signifant population of over 50,000 Vietnamese Americans in Boston. Because of this, both visitors and locals alike can find some pretty great Vietnamese restaurants around the city–but especially so in Chinatown. One prime example of a stellar, must-try Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown, Boston is Phin Coffee House.

Phin Coffee House, as you might have already gathered from the name, offers restaurant-goers sublime Vietnamese coffee (and if you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee before, we suggest you try it ASAP!). However, coffee isn’t all they have on their menu.

Phin Coffee House has divine summer rolls, phở burritos (yes, you read that right), phở, steamed buns, and more. They also have Asian fusion options along with popular Western dishes (even smoked salmon bagels!). The servings are impressive, the prices are affordable, and every dish and drink is essentially addicting. Plus, the staff is friendly and welcoming.

Be sure to head there and no matter what you order to eat, get the coconut coffee too! You will not regret it.

close up of a white coffee cup and saucer with a metal drip filter device over the cup, making Vietnamese style coffee
Vietnamese coffee is a must-try for the coffee enthusiast. Photo credit: Bing_Colorful_Life

When you’re looking for Chinatown, Boston restaurants that are worth a visit, then look no further than these six! Which one will you head to first?