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Food & Drink

Staff Pick

Best Chinese 

Yen Ching

Over the past decade — and ramping up over the last three years — St. Louis has been blessed with a host of authentic Chinese restaurants, mostly up and down Olive Boulevard in University City. Whether traditional dim sum or modern street food made by young, up-and-coming restaurateurs, these restaurants dazzle by taking diners on a journey through real-deal Chinese cuisine. Then there’s Yen Ching, an unapologetically American-style Chinese restaurant that serves up the sort of familiar comfort that only a plate of crab Rangoon and some General Tso’s chicken can provide. Since 1972, this Richmond Heights institution has been the go-to for St. Louis diners looking to enjoy the best this genre has to offer. The place has almost a country-club-like feel as multi-generation families who’ve been coming for years take time to chitchat with the longtime GM as he bags up to-go orders and assures them the restaurant is making it on to-go business. Any thoughts to the contrary would be too much to bear; it’s hard to imagine the St. Louis dining scene without this institution. — Cheryl Baehr

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