Most New Yorkers grow up eating Chinese food from the local take out spot, but much of that is not actually eaten by the Chinese. It may be tasty, but far from authentic. China is so vast and diverse that it’s ignorant to assume one restaurant can represent the entire country, so the more authentic restaurants tend to specialize in one region of China.
Zi’an is a city in central north western China, and the family behind Xi’an Famous Foods has mastered that regions specialties. Xi’an Famous Foods is a small but rapidly expanding ‘fast food’ style chain with limited seating that started in Flushing, Queens and now has locations scattered around Manhattan and Brooklyn as well.
There is no General Tso’s chicken at Xi’an, or anywhere in China for that matter. What they do have are delicious and spicy hand ripped noodles (look it up; it’s an art form) and soup dishes packed with spices that may be more reminiscent of Thai/Southeast Asian dishes than American style Chinese food. Spicy Lamb Cumin is one of the more popular dishes, but any variation of their pork and chicken soup and noodle dishes are worth a trip.
When it comes to small chains, we usually recommend going to the original first to get the full experience, but luckily there is probably a Xi’an Famous Foods location pretty close to you by now.
Pictured: Concubine’s Chicken Hand Ripped Noodles
41-10 Main St | Flushing, NY 11355 | (212) 786-2068
Multiple Locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn