Chinese Restaurants Ebb and Flow
It is worth noting that some Chinese restaurants in Colorado are not reopening for dine-in because their take-out orders are doing well.
This may be surprising, as even before the shutdown, Chinese restaurants saw a significant drop in customers due to discrimination from patrons wrongfully wary of Chinese food spreading the coronavirus in the U.S.
However, in May, Yelp revealed a map of each state’s most popular delivery order during the pandemic. Crab rangoons (or cheese wontons) were at the top of the list for Colorado—others included chicken, wings, pizza, tacos, and gyros. So it would appear that Chinese food is a popular go-to item to order to-go.
Food ordering service GrubHub also released data on the most popular Chinese takeout dishes in the US which included sweet and sour chicken, hot and sour soup, egg roll, and dumplings.
Chinese cuisine includes varieties originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world.
The history of the cuisine stretches back for thousands of years and has changed from period to period and in each region, according to climate, imperial fashions, and local preferences. Over time, techniques and ingredients from other cultures were integrated into the cuisine of the Chinese people due both to imperial expansion and from the trade with nearby regions in pre-modern times, and from Europe and the New World in the modern period.
Literally meaning “to touch your heart,” dim sum which is Cantonese cuisine consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other small plates. In Denver, popular dim sum restaurants include Star Kitchen, Empress Seafood Restaurant, and Super Star Asian Cuisine.
In China, soups are thought to hold healing properties and noodles are a system of longevity. A noodle soup is therefore taken very seriously! Some of the best spots to enjoy a Taiwanese beef noodle soup are Lao Wang Noodle House, Chen’s Kitchen and Zoe Ma Ma.
Another unique style of Chinese food is hot pot. Chinese hotpot consists of a simmering metal pot with broth at the center of a table. Raw ingredients including meats and vegetables are then cooked in the pot Some hotpot restaurants are open again including Aki Asian Hot Pot, Seoul Korean BBQ, and Hot Pot, and Yummy Hot Pot.
Aki Asian Hot pot, Aurora
Lastly, Szechuan-style food is growing in popularity for its bold flavors and liberal use of garlic and chili peppers. Restaurants doing it right include Szechuan Tasty House and Yum Yum Spice.
Some of the most popular Chinese dishes include peking duck, chow mein, fried rice, ma po tofu and basil eggplant. These can be ordered at Hong Kong Cafe, Shanghai Kitchen, Golden Shanghai, and most Chinese restaurants in metro Denver. More Americanized dishes include sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, and cheese wontons.
The Chinese food scene has inundated Colorado with hundreds of Chinese restaurant options. Even mountain towns will have at least one Chinese restaurant. In fact, the oldest Chinese restaurant in the US, Pekin Noodle Parlor, was established in Butte, Montana in 1911. Chinese food has since then continued to flourish in the US.