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View Poll Results: Best Chinese Communities
San Gabriel Valley 14 53.85%
Greater Vancouver 12 46.15%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 02-18-2019, 03:17 PM
 
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Neither. I'd go with San Francisco Chinese.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:34 PM
 
Location: In the heights
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These are definitely the second cities for Chinese communities in their respective countries after Toronto and NYC in raw population and more arguably in terms of influence. NYC, for example, pumps out more Chinese media what with the headquarters of World Journal which is the largest Chinese language newspaper and the massive Falun Gong derived Chinese language media output.

Among the number twos, arguably number three for LA compared to the Bay Area, it’s pretty close. LA has a lot more working class Chinese than Vancouver seems to have and Vancouver seems to have a greater Cantonese presence whether HK or otherwise. Vancouver has a far higher proportion of Chinese as well as better safety overall.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
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Originally Posted by Turnerbro View Post
Neither. I'd go with San Francisco Chinese.
Chinese food in SF is humdrum, the appeal mostly for people with only a mild interest in Chinese food, where Chinese-American is the extent of their experience. Certain Chinese-American restaurants are still vibrant, but SF has been riding on a reputation that hasnít been relevant for nearly 30 years. The back-and-forth innovation between China and the America is mainly distributed between LA, Vancouver and Toronto. I will say that NYC Chinese food is in a worse situation than SF. Both are improving at least.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:34 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
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Originally Posted by MrJester View Post
I'll have to say, though, that in places like Irvine (not SGV, but with a rapidly growing Chinese population), the vast majority of Chinese are either from Taiwan or from the Mainland, excluding Guangdong. Cantonese people are so few and far between in Irvine that when non-Chinese Asians hear Cantonese being spoken, they think it's Vietnamese. Ask a random Korean in Irvine if they've heard of a Chinese dialect called Cantonese, and they won't know.

Cantonese is a missing link in Irvine. There just aren’t a lot of great Cantonese dim sum places. That being said, Tim Ho Wan is opening up in place (but not in addition to) Capital Seafood (aside from the only-okay one at Irvine Spectrum), there’s the new J.Zhou which Jonathan Gold says is one of the best, and there is the reliable China Garden. It’s growing fast, but there definitely isn’t the great dim sum you can find in LA,SF, or NYC.

But it’s very telling that very good Chinese place like Din Tai Fung, 85 Degree and Meizhou Dongpo have choosen to franchise to Irvine as the second or third location after LA, even before SF and NYC. That’s how serious Irvine has become as a hub for Chinese food and frankly, I’d rather eat non-Cantonese Chinese in Irvine before SF and Flushing, NYC.

Last edited by dtran103; 02-19-2019 at 02:53 AM..
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
778 posts, read 244,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtran103 View Post
Chinese food in SF is humdrum, the appeal mostly for people with only a mild interest in Chinese food, where Chinese-American is the extent of their experience. Certain Chinese-American restaurants are still vibrant, but SF has been riding on a reputation that hasnít been relevant for nearly 30 years. The back-and-forth innovation between China and the America is mainly distributed between LA, Vancouver and Toronto. I will say that NYC Chinese food is in a worse situation than SF. Both are improving at least.
I find that it depends on what type of Chinese food you like.

Vancouver is straight Cantonese and NYCs Chinese community leans heavy towards Fuzhou. Their cuisines are very different.

LA and Toronto have much more diverse Chinese communities. That reflects on the food.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:42 AM
 
1,183 posts, read 364,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtran103 View Post
Cantonese is a missing link in Irvine. There just aren’t a lot of great Cantonese dim sum places. That being said, Tim Ho Wan is opening up in place (but not in addition to) Capital Seafood (aside from the only-okay one at Irvine Spectrum), there’s the new J.Zhou which Jonathan Gold says is one of the best, and there is the reliable China Garden. It’s growing fast, but there definitely isn’t the great dim sum you can find in LA,SF, or NYC.

But it’s very telling that very good Chinese place like Din Tai Fung, 85 Degree and Meizhou Dongpo have choosen to franchise to Irvine as the second or third location after LA, even before SF and NYC. That’s how serious Irvine has become as a hub for Chinese food and frankly, I’d rather eat non-Cantonese Chinese in Irvine before SF and Flushing, NYC.
Actually Din Tai Fung is in Costa Mesa and J Zhou is in Tustin. The main obstacle in Irvine is the sky high rent.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:45 AM
 
1,183 posts, read 364,925 times
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Originally Posted by As Above So Below... View Post
I find that it depends on what type of Chinese food you like.

Vancouver is straight Cantonese and NYCs Chinese community leans heavy towards Fuzhou. Their cuisines are very different.

LA and Toronto have much more diverse Chinese communities. That reflects on the food.
Xi'an native and YouTube star MikeyChan praises the Xi'an food in Vancouver.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:09 AM
 
Location: In the heights
21,213 posts, read 22,707,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtran103 View Post
Chinese food in SF is humdrum, the appeal mostly for people with only a mild interest in Chinese food, where Chinese-American is the extent of their experience. Certain Chinese-American restaurants are still vibrant, but SF has been riding on a reputation that hasn’t been relevant for nearly 30 years. The back-and-forth innovation between China and the America is mainly distributed between LA, Vancouver and Toronto. I will say that NYC Chinese food is in a worse situation than SF. Both are improving at least.
Are you talking about the Bay Area as a whole? I was told that there’s a pretty wide diversity of Chinese options in the Bay Area, but not so much in Chinatown, SF itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtran103 View Post
Cantonese is a missing link in Irvine. There just aren’t a lot of great Cantonese dim sum places. That being said, Tim Ho Wan is opening up in place (but not in addition to) Capital Seafood (aside from the only-okay one at Irvine Spectrum), there’s the new J.Zhou which Jonathan Gold says is one of the best, and there is the reliable China Garden. It’s growing fast, but there definitely isn’t the great dim sum you can find in LA,SF, or NYC.

But it’s very telling that very good Chinese place like Din Tai Fung, 85 Degree and Meizhou Dongpo have choosen to franchise to Irvine as the second or third location after LA, even before SF and NYC. That’s how serious Irvine has become as a hub for Chinese food and frankly, I’d rather eat non-Cantonese Chinese in Irvine before SF and Flushing, NYC.
One thing of note is that prime Manhattan has seen a lot of new Chinese places pop up. Tim Ho Wan and DaDong had their first US outposts in Manhattan outside of Chinatown, so it’s not just Flushing or the other predominantly Chinese neighborhoods that are seeing a wealth of new Chinese options.

I’m in OC/SGV a lot and live in NYC. When it comes to diversity of Chinese cuisines, the two places run pretty close to each other for most regional cuisines except NYC seems to do Cantonese and Fuzhounese better.

Last edited by OyCrumbler; 02-19-2019 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:06 PM
 
Location: YYJ - YVR
181 posts, read 196,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by As Above So Below... View Post
I find that it depends on what type of Chinese food you like.

Vancouver is straight Cantonese and NYCs Chinese community leans heavy towards Fuzhou. Their cuisines are very different.

LA and Toronto have much more diverse Chinese communities. That reflects on the food.
Vancouver's Cantonese presence, culturally and as represented in the food has taken a bit of a step back in recent years. There is now a significantly larger proportion of mainland Chinese food in Vancouver proper and Richmond than there was a decade ago, where you used to have to go to less centrally located areas in Burnaby to find.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, CA
539 posts, read 990,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
Are you talking about the Bay Area as a whole? I was told that there’s a pretty wide diversity of Chinese options in the Bay Area, but not so much in Chinatown, SF itself.



One thing of note is that prime Manhattan has seen a lot of new Chinese places pop up. Tim Ho Wan and DaDong had their first US outposts in Manhattan outside of Chinatown, so it’s not just Flushing or the other predominantly Chinese neighborhoods that are seeing a wealth of new Chinese options.

I’m in OC/SGV a lot and live in NYC. When it comes to diversity of Chinese cuisines, the two places run pretty close to each other for most regional cuisines except NYC seems to do Cantonese and Fuzhounese better.

I’m talking about SF itself. Chinese food in the bay area is becoming more democratized on the Peninsula. As the rest of the Peninsula gets better with more diversity of Chinese, SF stays the same, except that Richmond is now has better restaurants than Chinatown.

Maybe over Irvine, but I wouldn’t go so far as saying NYC and SGV are at all comparable. Fuzhounese is probably the only Chinese that significantly exploded for NYC during decline of Chinese food in the city as a whole. Cantonese is done better in SGV (and Vancouver) than NYC, as well as almost every other region I can think of, minus Fujianese is done better in NYC. If any NYC regions come close to SGV I’d say it’s Sichuan, not Cantonese. There’s an upswing in good Chinese restaurant in NYC the past few years, but I can’t imagine them catching up to SGV any time soon, especially when they’re still need to make a convincing claim over SF.
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