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Where can you find the best Chinese food in the world? Flint, motherf$@king, Michigan.

a man holding plates of food

Where can you find the best Chinese food in the world?

The answer: Flint, motherf$@king, Michigan.

Located right next to and across the street from two gentlemen’s clubs is positively, undoubtedly the best Chinese food in the history of civilization. Before you hit the X in the upper right corner, let me state the assumptions of how I arrived at this conclusion:

1. The study is based on an American’s tastes and preferences for what Chinese food should be.

2. The study does not take into account homemade food. In that case, my mom’s Chinese cooking would win.

3. The study is completely biased because I am from Flint, Michigan.

Here are the relevant portions of the 100+ page findings that will be published next quarter in the journal of The International Centre for the Study and Development of Chinese Foods.

Credibility of the Scientist

I have lived in Shanghai, traveled to just about every country in Asia, and love Chinese food. I also like to eat, a lot.

Sample Size

Obviously to assert something as the greatest in the world you have to try it all over.

Arizona: Let me first say that the worst place for Chinese food in the United States, without question, is Arizona. In the words of Chris Tucker, “How you gonna sell a bucket of grease.” They just don’t care about quality. It’s too much sauce, too much oil, and pretty much disgusting.

Incidentally, Arizona is the birthplace of P.F. Changs ,a funny joke in The Hangover 2, and an even bigger farce in the world of Chinese cuisine.

Grade: F

China: Clearly, the best Chinese food has to be in China rght?

Wrong. See assumption #1 stating that the study is based on an American’s taste. Chinese food in China is not American Chinese food. On the whole, Chinese do not like chicken breast. They prefer the odds and ends of chicken and usually serve it with skin and bones. Sadly, I did not come across this famous General Tso and his chicken in all my time in Asia.

That isn’t to say that the specialty dishes unique to each part of China are not delicious. Indeed they are.

Let’s go on a quick tour:

Chengdu: Hot Pot

skewers of meat and vegetables on sticks in red containers

trays of food on a counter

a group of food in a pan

Shanghai: Dumplings

a sign with writing on it

a person cooking food in a kitchen

a man sitting at a table with chopsticks

Beijing: Peking Duck

a chef preparing food in a restaurant

a table with plates of food

You haven’t lived until you try these authentic dishes. At the same time, I have to mention the street food. After a night out, nothing is better than the local merchant making fried rice, noodles, dumplings, vegetables, and an assortment of meats, in his mobile cook stand. Furthermore, the price can’t be beat.

a table with food and cans on it

a trays of food on a table

Finally, there is the fried rice. The fried rice in Shanghai that you get at some nondescript restaurant at 2PM or 2AM is the best in the world. It is ridiculous how good it tastes and beyond ridiculous how much they charge for an inferior substitute in the US.

a bowl of rice with chopsticks

But, apart from fried rice and specialty dishes, do not trick yourself into believing that going to China will be the MSG binge your heart so desires.

Grade: A-


Melbourne is a great city for food. The diversity of the people ensures that you can find all types of delicious cuisine. However, I happened to pick the one Chinese restaurant in all of Melbourne where the food was plain and boring. The rest of the time we stayed clear of Chinese food.

Bootleg Empress: see below

a plate of food on a table

Grade: Incomplete


“Chinese Indian food in Delhi is the best!” Anshuman said. “Chinese Indian food?” What the hell was my friend talking about. Indian food in India, unlike Chinese food in China, is the best in the world, hands down. So I took him at his word and went out for some Indian Chinese food or vice versa. Let me tell you, besides the beautiful, exotic locale of Flint, Michigan; Delhi, India does have the best Chinese food in the world. It makes sense because Indians have mastered the art of curry, are excellent at making at variety of rice dishes (biryani being my favorite), and love spicy food as much as I do.

Take those skills, add in flavors from the Orient, and bam! You have appetizing Chinese Indian food.

Grade: A

United States: I have tried Chinese food all over the United States and nothing really stands out in terms of ‘wow’. Here are a few of the noteworthy places nonetheless:

Ann Arbor, Michigan: There were little mom and pop Chinese restaurants in Ann Arbor, Michigan that have since shut down that were great for the college budget in terms of quantity.

Grade: B+

Butte, Montana: This place was worth checking out because it was more like the Red Light District than a Chinese restaurant. You get your own little area behind curtains to drink and eat. From what I can remember the fried rice was great but the rest was meh.


2015-03-26 20.22.55
The Private Booth

a table full of food

Grade: B

Now for the winner:

Flint, Michigan: Empress of China 

Home of the best crab cheese, American steamed dumplings (that the waiter likes to remind me even though I’ve been there 1000 times, takes fifteen minutes to prepare), hot and sour soup, New York egg rolls, curry shrimp, and most notably, princess chicken, Empress of China has something for everyone. I have been going there for decades and I still order the same thing and it is still as delicious as the first day I tried it. Many times when dining at Chinese restaurants, groups prefer ‘family style’ where everyone shares. Not my family. We each order our own princess chicken and grow anxious when someone wants to engage in a trade.

What makes Empress so good? Quality ingredients, a world of flavors, and who knows what else. It’s just so good. The pictures convey the meaning better than I can’t convey right now on an empty stomach.

a plate of food on a table

From the left: curry shrimp, fried rice, princess chicken
From the left: curry shrimp, fried rice, princess chicken
a plate of food with a spoon
The Legendary Princess Chicken

Grade: A+

Don’t believe me? Read the reviews below.

Peer Review

–          “It’s the only place to celebrate your birthday,” Brent Dutcher.

–          “I love Empress!” Zina Bachuwa.

–          “很好很好,” 中国人


I would love to know those secret places in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and throughout the world that garner the same enthusiasm as my love for Empress of China in Flint, Michigan. The reason I say this is because if you were to visit Michigan, apart from reading this or knowing someone local, you would never know that Empress exists. My study is not meant to stir up controversy, it is meant to inspire discovery.

Having said that, I encourage you to come to Flint, eat at Empress, then get the hell out of there.

Well, maybe a stop at the Vu before you do.





  1. Thanks. Will try Empress of China. Be in Flint August 2016 visiting family. From Flint. Now L.A.. Always looking for Chinese food. Wife is from Hunan and we rely on family who sadly . . . well better not say. Q: Do they serve Congee? Thanks again.

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