The Best DC-Area Chinese Restaurants Open on Christmas

Our favorite spots for dine-in, takeout, and delivery on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Q by Peter Chang, one of many top Chinese restaurants open on Christmas. Photograph by Scott Suchman

This story was updated December 2023

These are some our favorite Chinese restaurants around DC right now, all open for in-person dining (unless otherwise noted), takeout, and/or delivery on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The “Jewish Christmas” tradition is one of our favorites, whether you’re craving dim sum, Peking duck, hot pot, or delicious kung pao delivery.



4316 Markham St., Annandale, 703-813-8181; 1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-251-7878

Delicious dim sum at A&J in Rockville. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Delicious dim sum at A&J in Rockville. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

These dim sum houses have a large, loyal following—so yes, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and go early (you can now also opt for carryout and order online). We love feasting on spicy wontons, handmade noodles, the thousand-layer pancake, smashed cucumber salad, and spicy beef soup. It’s hard to go wrong, unless you under-order.  


Bob’s Shanghai 66

305 N. Washington St., Rockville; 301-251-6652

Bob's Shanghai soup dumplings. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Bob’s Shanghai soup dumplings. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

This longtime restaurant is known for ultra-flavorful soup dumplings—best enjoyed in the spacious dining room. The checklist menu of 100-plus Cantonese, Szechuan, and Taiwanese dishes is a lot to navigate; favorites include the fragrant cumin lamb or spicy fried tofu. Order delivery here via GrubHub (for takeout, the restaurant is usually cashless). Note that holiday orders estimate 60-90 minute wait.


China Wok

8395 Leesburg Pike, Vienna; 703-893-4488

Focus on the Chinese menu at this strip mall spot near Tysons Corner—that’s where you’ll find the signature Peking duck, crunchy “kingdom” pork chops, and Hong Kong shrimp blitzed with green pepper, and Phoenix fish. We like to kick things off with a round of pork dumplings wrapped in house-made dough. The dining room is open, or you can order delivery and pickup online here.


City Lights of China DC and Bethesda

2443 18th St., NW; 4953 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda

There may be flashier Peking duck games in town, but the bird—half or whole—from these longtime restaurants is a sleeper hit. (The DC restaurant recently moved to Adams Morgan.) Other tasty items include the homemade dumplings, any crispy chicken dish, Shanghai noodles, moo shu, and beef with broccoli.


Dolan Uyghur

3518 Connecticut Ave., NW, 202-686-3941; 13872 Metrotech Dr., Chantilly, 703-817-2730

Noodles are likely what will get you hooked on Uyghur cuisine, a crossroads of Middle Eastern and Chinese flavors from China’s Muslim population. Chewy hand-pulled laghman noodles with stir-fried beef and vegetables are the signature attraction, while wider ribbons star in the “big plate chicken,” smothered in a spiced gravy with potatoes and peppers. Dine-in or order online here, as well as third-party platforms.


Fahrenheit Asian

1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean; 703-646-8968

The perfect antidote to a wintery day: a bubbling cauldron from this hot pot and noodle shop. Signatures include thin-sliced lamb and clams or spicy beef, all of which arrive on a fiery burner with house dipping sauces. We’re also partial to the searing mapo tofu.  Don’t leave without an order of homemade pork dumplings. Note: the dining area is small. You can also order takeout online here.


Full Key

2227 University Blvd. W., Wheaton; 301-933-8388

It’s tempting to stick to the list of proven hits—say, the justly famous shrimp-dumpling soup—but this Hong Kong-style eatery is the sort of place where you can order with abandon. Other tasty options include pan-fried fish with ginger-scallion sauce, or a barbecue platter with roast duck, pork, and soy sauce chicken. Check out the menu here.


Gourmet Inspirations

2646 University Blvd. W., Silver Spring; 301-929-8818

This popular dim sum hall breaks out the carts starting at 10:30 AM on weekends, but you may want to get there earlier on the holiday—especially since they’ve limited capacity in the pandemic. It’s easy to fill up on shrimp rice-noodle rolls, chive dumplings, spare ribs, and taro cakes, but you’ll also want to try tender braised beef tripe or sweetened custard-like tofu. You can also order online here.


Holy Chow

1331 Lamberton Dr., Silver Spring; 301-649-5466

Christmas is like the Super Bowl for this Glatt Kosher-Chinese restaurant, the only one of its kind in the area. They’re currently taking advance takeout and delivery orders for “the big event” on Christmas Eve and Day. The classics are all here: egg rolls, lo mein, kung pao, moo shu, and more. Order online here for pickup, while delivery is offered to specific neighborhoods.


Mark’s Duck House

6184 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church; 703-532-2125

Mark’s storefront remains a standard-bearer of Hong Kong-style cooking, from Peking duck to lacquered roast pork. Don’t miss shrimp-and-pork wontons with vinegar and chili sauce, beautifully stir-fried greens, and steaming noodle soups. Pick-up and delivery available on multiple platforms.


Panda Gourmet

2700 New York Ave., NE; 202-534-1620

Panda Gourmet Cheap Eats 2016
A takeout spread from Panda Gourmet. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

Szechuan heat-seekers flock to this restaurant hidden in a Days Inn on New York Avenue. Start a meal with noodles—we love the dan dan and chilled spicy noodles—before moving on to huge portions of fish filet with silky tofu and chilies, mapo tofu, and kung pao chicken. Order from Panda Gourmet here. Both are also open for in-person dining.


Peking Gourmet Inn

6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; 703-671-8088

We love feasting on duck at this decades-old Falls Church institution from restaurateur Eddie Tsui, which has lured a spectrum of celebrity guests from Psy to Ovechkin. The details make this bird stand out: house-made hoisin and fresh pancakes, local scallions, and servers who expertly hew the moist meat and crackling skin. Round out a festive meal with stellar plates like shrimp with garlic shoots, or a shareable scorpion bowl.


Peter ChangMama Chang, Q by Peter Chang, and Chang Chang

Locations in Arlington, Rockville, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, and Bethesda

Mama Chang. Photo by Rey Lopez.
Mama Chang. Photo by Rey Lopez.

At his eponymous chain of Szechuan restaurants, chef Peter Chang specializes in airy scallion bubble pancakes, numbing stone-pot dishes, and dry-fried eggplant showered in chilies. Mama Chang, a family-run affair in Fairfax, pays tribute to the female chefs in the Chang family with homestyle dishes and wonderful seasonal specials. Q by Peter Chang, the family’s finer-dining Bethesda restaurant, is a must for Peking duck and dim sum. The latest, Chang Chang in Dupont Circle, serves a menu of Chang classics and modern Chinese dishes. 


Shanghai Taste

1121 Nelson St., Rockville; 301-279-0806

Ultra-light soup dumplings are the draw at this bustling cafe. On weekends, the cozy place serves a delicious pan-fried version. Round out the meal with a salad of mustard greens and edamame, plus salt-baked ribs with noodle soup. Dine-in or call for takeout.


Tiger Fork

922 Blagden Alley, NW; 202-733-1152

Shaw’s Hong Kong-inspired hotspot will offer favorites like Chinese BBQ plates, handmade dumplings, pork ribs, and stir-fried chow fun for both dine-in and and takeout. In addition, new executive chef Simon Lam is cooking up some dine-in only specials for Christmas day, including a crispy soy chicken with rice and ginger scallion sauce as well as a BBQ Ibérico pork secreto steak with smoked salt, chow chow and sesame aioli.


Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot

2972 Gallows Rd., Falls Church; 703-560-6868

Henan-style hand pulled noodles with lamb at Uncle Liu's. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Henan-style hand pulled noodles with lamb at Uncle Liu’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman .

Hot pot might be in this restaurant’s name, but it’s no longer the only attraction since the former owners of Tempt Asian took over. The best finds are concentrated under the “chef specialties” section of the menu—in particular, the handmade noodles, whether cumin-scented strands stir-fried with lamb and peppers or the wide, chili-oil-soaked ribbons in the “city large plate chicken.” They’re open for takeout and dine-in, but the usual lunch special will not be available.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.