Sunday, January 22 ushers in another Lunar New Year — the Year of the Rabbit. Also known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Tet Nguyen Dan, or Seol-Nal, it’s celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian countries, from China and Vietnam to Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Centered around family gatherings and shared feasts, the holiday is also marked by public festivals featuring cultural performances, food, and more. For 2023, local celebrations include a Chinese New Year Festival in Balboa Park, a Lunar New Year Festival in City Heights, and a Chinese New Year Fair in downtown San Diego.
In honor of the New Year, Eater presents our guide to San Diego’s essential Chinese restaurants. The history of Chinese food in San Diego dates back to the 1860s when the first Chinatown was established in an eight-block district where the Gaslamp Quarter sits today. Since then, standout Chinese restaurants have spread far and wide, from Kearny Mesa to North County and everywhere in between, cooking up regional Chinese cuisine and specialty dishes ranging from Shanghai soup dumplings to Sichuan hot pot, Peking duck, and Uyghur lamb.Read More