Northern China Eatery – Doraville, GA

Late last year, Atlanta Magazine published a list of the 75 “Best Restaurants” and gave me 30+ places we hadn’t been, to try. We were heading back across town and I gave my beloved two cuisines to choose from (Asian or Latin). Yes, this was a broad choice, particularly as we were pulling off 285 onto BuHi, at the time….

Undecided, I chose Asian and that led us to Northern China Eatery. Well, it kind of led us there. This isn’t the easiest place to find, as the storefront is below street level. And doesn’t face Buford Highway. And, if you’re heading south-bound, there’s a sudden median so you can’t pull in the entrance.

I did end up turning into the wrong parking lot first. Then I was confronted with either: a) going in the exit; or b) driving (briefly) southbound in the northbound lanes; or c) driving further south and making a u turn. I opted for A.

We were seated and getting ready to order and I looked around a bit, and saw they had a thriving carry out business. The hot and sour soup arrived

looking tasty. But served with plastic soup spoons that I feared would melt during use. We asked for fried noodles to put in it. “No.” Well, that was concise. While waiting for our food, I asked my wife, “What will be my first comment about this place?”

”Too white?” Ding. Ding. Ding. We have a winner. There was only one table with anyone Asian at it, in a packed restaurant. That just isn’t a good sign.

We ordered a couple of chicken dishes. I went with Chong Ching Spicy Chicken – my go-to dish in any Szechuan restaurant.

This was a good dish – spice level was about 6 out of 10 – that I’ve never seen served on a bed of icerberg lettuce. Bites were small and boneless, with diced, not whole, peppers. Then 15 minutes passed and the other dish had not yet arrived. We mentioned it to a server and about ten minutes later, after they cooked it, a chicken dish with garlic sauce and vegetables arrived.

Which didn’t resemble the picture on the wall behind us (wok fried, with no batter and different veggies), but was good. They are know for their buns and dumplings, but the smallest order would have been either a meal for one or appetizers for four. So we passed on those options.

Overall, food was good and service was off, timing wise and “feel” wise. I hate being given plastic tableware when I’m eating “out” – you can say it’s due to covid, but I think it’s just lazy. The only thing worse is being served in to go containers). It was pricey – $58, before tip for two dishes, a shared soup and a canned Sprite. We probably won’t be back.


  1. Your initial comment was a sign. It was for us as well. Pricy, not that good. Try Yummy Spicy diagonally across the street.

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who uses that gauge.

      We’ll try Yummy Spicy on a future BuHi run. Have you tried MasterPiece up in Duluth. Pricey (not as much as this), but exceptional. And I like Wei and Tasty China 2 in Marietta as well.

      1. We have not tried them but now have them on the list. Thank you.

        For thought: Don Burrito Grill at the Atlanta State Farmers Market. The location next to Super-Sod. A simple lunch spot. Popular for my Little Princess is the bowl and nachos for me, meat selections are always lengua. We made a habit of visiting there when shopping for a now defunct completive vegetable plant source for the garden or passing by on I-75. For fresh vegetable shopping, City Farmers Market (N. E. Plaza) is fresher and more competitive, and for us, closer.

        For sushi craving: Rain on Lavista/Cheshire Bridge and Sushi Yokohama on Buford Highway inside the Perimeter next to the iconic Ooglebloops restaurant building. While still good, Sushi Yokohama was a little better under previous ownership three years ago.

        A Marietta lunch consideration:

        For a similar Northlake/Lavista lunch spot: Fork in the Road, 3892 Lavista Road, great catfish and oysters.

        Although they distort my girlish figure, I love your burger and hot dog reviews.
        For your SC area travels:

      2. Thanks for the kind word on the reviews. I’ll be adding these to my list.

        I only have 88 places on my list in the metro area, so this will put me back close to 100.

        I’ll check out the SC list and see what I need to add there.

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