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Chinese take-out for Christmas? Tacoma & Pierce County restaurants are open

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The email messages started a few weeks ago. “Where do I get Chinese take-out for Christmas?” Every year I compile the list, and every year more people ask for the list earlier and earlier. That leads me to this: For Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I fear our short supply of Chinese restaurants around Tacoma and Pierce County will be fully overwhelmed.

Bring your patience and a tip: Order as early as possible and take advantage of online ordering. Read carefully below. Some restaurants are closed Christmas Day, but open Christmas Eve only. 

Looking for a more traditional Christmas dinner? Find where to get ham or turkey dinners, but be warned that there could be slim pickings if you’re reading this after December 23.

TACOMA 

HONG KONG TACOMA

8843 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-531-2533; http://hongkongtacoma.com/

Holiday hours: 12-8 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: See the menu online here. Old school phone orders only. 

Try these dishes: Remember back when restaurants used to dip their egg rolls in batter and fry them? That yesteryear preparation is still how Hong Kong makes its egg rolls. The same shattery crisp batter is used on the almond fried chicken, too. Get the pork egg foo young. This restaurant covers the greatest hits of Chinese-American food. 

MING PALACE 

8736 S. Hosmer St., Tacoma, 253-548-2419, https://www.mingpalacewa.com/

Holiday hours: Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: Order in advance online here for pickup at a specific time. No delivery, pick-up only. 

Try these dishes: The restaurant is known for dim sum and if you’re hankering for dumplings, don’t miss the well-crimped shumai, har gow and cilantro-shrimp dumplings, but do note that only a limited steamed dim sum menu will be available for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The restaurant also has all the Cantonese basics covered.

NORTH CHINA GARDEN

2303 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-572-5106, northchinagarden.com

Holiday hours: Open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. Closed Christmas Day, December 25. Open regular hours on New Year’s Eve, December 31, and New Year’s Day, January 1

Tip: Order online in advance for take-out on the restaurant’s website

Try these dishes: Aside from Dragon Ball in Sumner, my favorite General Tso’s chicken in Pierce County can be found at North China Garden, home to classic Chinese-American food. The tangy sauce seesaws between sweet and spicy. Great destination for hand-made dumplings, too. 


LAKEWOOD 

HONG’S RESTAURANT 

11101 Pacific Hwy SW, Lakewood; 253-212-2167; https://www.hongsrestaurants.com/

Holiday hours: Opens at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24 and 1 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: Order online through Door Dash, Uber Eats, or call in your order. View the menu here. 

Try these dishes: This hybrid restaurant offers everything from Japanese to Vietnamese to a robust menu of Chinese wok classics, plus dishes such as fried rice, chow fun, chow mein and more. The restaurant has vegan items on the menu. 

HUNAN GARDEN 

8623 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood; 253-589-2100, hunangarden.net

Details: Open 12 p.m. to around 8 p.m. (hours might change) on Christmas Eve, December 24. Closed Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: Phone order only, but you can view the menu online here. 

Try these dishes: Greatest hits of Chinese-American food served here. Sizzling rice soup is loaded with spinach and mushrooms, the house special prawns are tasty and they do a decent General Tso’s chicken here. 

TACOMA SZECHUAN 

9601 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood; 253-581-0102, tacomaszechuanchinese.com

Holiday hours: Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24 and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: Order online now here for pickup on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. No home delivery, but third-party apps list Tacoma Szechuan. Get your order in early. 

Try these dishes:  This restaurant specializes in Szechuan cuisine and it’s the best in the area for a broad selection of spicy Chinese. The handmade dumplings in a hot chile oil are a must order, and I always get a double batch. Definitely check out the hot pepper lamb. 

YEN CHING  

8765 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood; 253-582-3400, https://www.yenchingrestaurant.net/

Holiday hours: Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25. (Also open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve, December 31, and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day, January 1). 

Tip: No self delivery, but the restaurant is listed on Door Dash, Post Mates, Uber Eats and more. View the menu here.  

Try these dishes: The Wang family specializes in Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine and has been operating for more than 40 years. This is my favorite destination in Pierce County for twice-cooked pork, tender pork belly in a clingy sauce that carries a kick of spice. Also try the spicy eggplant draped in a garlic-spiked tangy sauce. 


PUYALLUP

HOUSE OF KEE 

15305 Meridian E., Puyallup, 253-848-4899, houseofkee.com

Details: Open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. Closed Christmas Day, December 25. 

Tip: View the menu here 

Try these dishes: Mongolian beef and General Tso’s chicken. 

ROSE GARDEN 

13105 Meridian, Puyallup; 253-770-9988, http://rosegardenfoods.net/

Holiday hours: Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25.

Tip: Order online in advance on the restaurant’s website here

Try these dishes: This South Hill Chinese restaurant owned by Kathy and Jack Wang does great Chinese-American classics, but also has a sizable specialty menu of regional Chinese. From the Chinese-American menu, don’t miss the excellent Mongolian Beef and the honey walnut prawns are a favorite because they are served with cubed fresh mango. From the specialty Taste of China menu, get the spicy seasoned chicken with stir-fried green beans and a tongue-numbing sauce made from Sichuan peppercorns. Always order the slippery wontons in hot chile oil.


SUMNER/BONNEY LAKE 

DRAGON BALL 

15609 Main St. E., Sumner; 253-891-1328, facebook.com/Sumnerdragon

Holiday hours: Open 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24 and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25. 

Try these dishes: This downtown Sumner eatery covers the basics of Chinese-American dining. This is my go-to in Pierce County for fluffy and well-fried egg foo young, plus a stellar version of General Tso’s chicken. I also have a special place for their hot and sour soup. 

NEW PEKING

Where: 21179 State Route 410 E, Bonney Lake, 253-826-0000, newpeking.biz

Holiday hours: Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24. Closed Christmas Day, December 25.  

Tip: Old school phone ordering, but view the menu here 

Try these dishes: Spicy chicken is a real specialty here. There’s a nice kick of heat in the General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken and hot pepper chicken. 

PEKING GARDEN 

1201 Valley Ave E, Sumner, 253-891-9900, pekinggardensumner.com

Holiday hours: Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve, December 24 and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Day, December 25

Tip: Pre-orders are a good idea, which you can do using their online ordering system. Get 10 percent off by using the code “STAYSAFE” 

Try these dishes: The almond fried chicken is a must order if you’re a fan of panko-style breading, rather than the fried batter style of almond fried chicken. I always order the fried rice here

GIG HARBOR 

PANDA GARDEN 

5500 Olympic Dr NW, Gig Harbor; 253-858-2199, pandagardenwa.com

Holiday hours: Open regular hours on Christmas Eve until 9 p.m., but closed Christmas Day. 

Tip: Order online on the restaurant’s website here

Try these dishes: Dry sauteed green beans with chili peppers, hot-and-sour soup.

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