02/08/2013 07:12 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2013

The Best Chinese Restaurants In America (PHOTOS)

Just how all-American is Chinese food? We've been placing delivery orders since the 1920s,and there are now more than 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S., nearly three times the number of McDonald's, according to Chinese Restaurant News.

With this expansion, Chinese kitchens have pushed well beyond General Tso's chicken, introducing creations like Mission Chinese Food's fiery kung pao pastrami as well as more regional dishes, from western-style cumin lamb with hand-ripped noodles to Sichuanese pepper frog legs. The result is a reinvigorated debate over what makes for authentic Chinese food, plus plenty of tantalizing, adventurous eating. You'll find restaurants setting the bar higher in immigrant enclaves like New York City's Flushing neighborhood and California's San Gabriel Valley, but also in Vermont, Chicago, and Salt Lake City. Some are family-owned, hole-in-the-wall joints, while others have spawned celebrity chefs like Peter Chang, originally from Hubei Province.

Here's a first bit of good fortune: our short list of the best Chinese restaurants across the U.S. See how many you've tried, and share your favorites in the comments below.

--Kate Parham

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