Golden Harbor, a authentic Chinese restaurant located at 505 S Neil Street in Champaign and well-known for their delicious soup dumplings, is this year’s best of C-U for Chinese restaurants.

Nowadays it can be difficult to find true Chinese cuisine with cain-restaurant options such as Panda Express and P.F. Chang’s. However, this hidden gem in the heart of Champaign rekindles what it means to be a true, authentic Chinese restaurant. Golden Harbor greets customers with a very expansive menu, offered both in Chinese and in English, with plenty of options that even fit specific dietary needs. Menu options include anything from crispy eggplant and tofu to steamed taro buns, and for people who are used to Americanized Chinese food, Golden Harbor also offers a few classics such as General Tso’s chicken.

The flavors are definitely not lacking either at Golden Harbor. For spicy lovers, the crispy basil chicken is a little bit hot with a tangy undertone, and a very thick, flavorful sauce. For lighter eaters, the egg fu yung is loaded with protein and served in a flavorful broth that’s easy on the stomach. My personal recommendation is the shredded pork on noodles couples with a garlic soy dressing and fresh cilantro.

Golden Harbor is very accommodating to customers who are slightly picky and even offers a section of the menu for sauce-less meal options. Unlike many restaurants in C-U, Golden Harbor does not deliver, however, they make up for their lack of delivery with their pleasant ambience and convenient sit-down area. While Golden Harbor is a great place to go off campus and eat with some friends, it’s also extremely family friendly and the perfect spot to take your parents when they come to visit. So next time you’re in the mood for some authentic Chinese food, skip over Panda Express and take a trip to downtown Champaign because it will be worth it.

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