Whether you burned the holiday ham or simply aren't celebrating Christmas at all, we know there are plenty of people out there looking for alternative dining options this Christmas Day. And you're in luck. Because there's a whole slew of Chinese restaurants open all over the Valley. Calling ahead for reservations is a good idea though, since many will be busy during dinner hours.
Nee House 13843 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix 602-992-3338
This no-frills neighborhood Chinese restaurant offers a selection of Americanized Chinese dishes as well as a selection of authentic Cantonese eats including egg white and crab fried rice, wok-fried snow pea leaves, fried silken tofu with a dried scallop sauce. And you can't go wrong ordering fish, lobster or crab -- which will be plucked from the restaurant's tanks and cooked to perfection.
Great Wall Cuisine 5057 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix 602-973-1112
This is a favorite place in the Valley for dim sum. The selection tends to be better on weekends then weekdays, but you can indulge daily until 3 p.m. after which time the regular menu kicks in. Don't miss the shrimp dumplings, chicken feet and fried sesame balls.
New Hong Kong Restaurant 2328 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix 602-954-9118
Yes, this restaurant looks like it was stuck in 70s but retro facade aside it's a favorite place for authentic, flavorful Cantonese fare. Skip the Americanized menu in favor of dishes off the Cantonese one. We almost never stray from the black pepper beef, salt-and-pepper chicken wings, and at least one clay pot.
Phoenix Palace 2075 N. Dobson Road, Chandler 480-855-4047
Here's another outpost for dim sum. This Chandler restaurant is located in the same shopping complex as Lee Lee's Supermarket and -- in addition to dim sum -- serves full menu of both Mandarin and Cantonese cuisine.
China Magic Noodle House 2015 N. Dobson Road, Chandler 480-786-8002
If you're looking for dinner and a show on Christmas, head here where you can watch China Magic Noodle House's chef hand-pull noodles in the style of the Lanzhou region of northwestern China. This modest spot is located around the corner in the same Lee Lee's shopping complex and serves five different kinds of noodles, which you can order pan-fried, braised, in soups, or chilled.
Flo's Unique Chinese Cuisine 15027 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale 480-661-8883
At this spot you'll find all your Chinese-restaurant favorites, done-up to appeal to the north Scottsdale crowd. Not everything will be authentic (for example the "chips and salsa," or fried won ton skins and a dip made from minced chicken, tomatoes and scallions) but the quality is high, and the prices reasonable. On Christmas Day the restaurant will open at 3:30 p.m. for dinner only. The other Scottsdale location at 20775 N. Pima Road will not be open.
Both locations of Jade Palace will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas, though the restaurants are pretty booked for dinner from 5 to 7:30 p.m. They recommend you either come in before or after that time period or opt for take-out.
Miu's Cuisine 2314 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe 480-966-3098
Heat things up this Christmas at Miu's, which specializes in Sichuan cuisine. You'll find a nice selection of boldly flavored sauces, spicy meats, and dishes steeped in the tingle-inducing Sichuan peppercorns. We suggest the dandan noodles, wontons in chili sauce, and garlick-y pork belly.
Super Dragon 1212 E. Northern Ave., Phoenix 602-997-1685
Duck, and yes that includes Peking style, is a specialty at this neighborhood Chinese spot. The pricing is fair and the quality high at Super Dragon, where you can choose from a menu of Cantonese, Szechwan, and a few other Chinese cooking styles.
China Chili 302 E. Flower St., Phoenix 602-266-4463
This central Phoenix restaurant moved to a new location but still serves the same menu of Chinese favorites. We like the braised eggplant with garlic and chili paste, Hong Kong-style "pillow tofu" with broccoli and oyster sauce, and peppery Yu Shiang pork. On Christmas they'll be open regular hours, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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Bonus: a Korean restaurant open on Christmas:
Cafe Ga Hyang 4362 W. Olive Ave., Glendale 623-937-8550
West Valley-ites and late-night noshers will be happy to hear that this spot will be open regular hours on Christmas -- as in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Though the specialty here is kick-ass Korean cuisine, you can also get some Chinese dishes. But mostly we come back for the authentic jap chae, duk boki, and bulgogi.