Skip to content

Get those taste buds ready for some delicious food because it’s time to celebrate National Chinese Takeout Day! Grab a buddy and have some fun while enjoying delightful Chinese cuisine on this day that honors the historical and modern elements of this unique fusion of cultures.

History of National Chinese Takeout Day

Due to the gold rush in California, the first Chinese restaurants in the United States began popping up in the mid 1800s with the intention of serving the Cantonese workers. These little hole-in-the-wall restaurants popped up all over and were called “chow-chow houses”, indicated by their triangular flags of yellow silk hung outside.

The authentic Chinese flavors began to evolve into foods that were more palatable to the American people, often making the meats boneless, frying more dishes and making sauces that had more sweetness to them. Eventually, the fortune cookie made its way to the end of Chinese meals in the early 20th century, though the roots of this cookie are probably from Japan.

Often open late at night and providing delivery when other restaurants were less likely to, the option for Chinese takeout became particularly popular throughout the 1970s and beyond. This popularity was fueled by political activities, as the American immigration policy was liberalized in the 1960s and US President Richard Nixon made his famous visit to Beijing, China in 1972. By 1980, Chinese food had become the most popular ethnic food in the United States.

Today, some statistics show that there are three times as many Chinese restaurants in the United States than there are McDonald’s franchises, which means that these restaurants have obviously made an indelible imprint on American culture. With menus that offer a huge range of options that are often affordable and usually quick whether picked up or delivered, Chinese takeout is a tasty (and sometimes healthier) alternative to typical fast food.

National Chinese Takeout Day offers a tasty opportunity to show appreciation for and celebrate this unique blend of cultures and cuisines as it has developed over time.

For other holidays related to Chinese culture and Chinese food, consider observing National Orange Chicken Day in July, National Chop Suey Day in August or Chinese New Year in February.

How to Celebrate National Chinese Takeout Day

Share the love of Chinese food and the convenience of ordering takeout food for dinner by getting involved with National Chinese Takeout Day. Check out some of these fun ideas for enjoying and celebrating the day:

Order Chinese Takeout

That’s right, it’s time to dig to the bottom of that drawer where the takeout menus have always lived and order up some Chinese food. Or, for the more modern person, get online to look at a menu and then place the order. Celebrate this day with some delicious dishes like Orange Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork or General Tso’s Chicken. And don’t forget to add in some appetizers or side dishes like wonton soup, egg rolls, spring rolls or crab rangoon.

Since it’s National Chinese Takeout Day, make a big deal out of it by inviting some friends over and choosing a number of different dishes and flavors that can be shared among the group. It’s a delightful way to enjoy the day – and also to avoid cooking dinner!

Visit a Museum of Chinese History

National Chinese Takeout Day is a great time to not only enjoy some delicious food choices, but also to learn a bit about this culture that the food comes from. A bit of research online or at the library would be great, but even better might be to visit a museum to get up close and personal with various artifacts from Chinese Culture.

Of course, the National Museum of China would be an amazing visit, but for those who can’t travel to Beijing, consider some of these in the US:

  • Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York City
  • San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in California
  • Chinese American Museum in Washington, DC
  • American Chinese Museum in Philadelphia

Make Some Chinese Food at Home

Don’t have a favorite local Chinese restaurant that offers takeout? Or maybe you’re a person who just really loves to cook? Celebrating National Chinese Takeout Day can also be done by preparing some of this cultural cuisine at home!

The internet is filled with different unique options for making some of the most delicious Chinese food dishes that often cook up in a hurry. Pick a recipe, easy or difficult, and get ready to do some chopping – because most Chinese foods contain a slew of chopped vegetables and meats. Try cooking up some fried rice to go on the side and maybe even prepare some egg drop soup, which is easier than it might seem. The family or friends this food is served to will surely be excited to compare this home-cooked cuisine to their favorite Chinese takeout.

Also on ...

View all holidays

National Love Your Red Hair Day

Treat yourself at the salon, pair your ginger locks with a matching outfit and paint the town red with a fiery passion.

Bonfire Night 

An annual spectacle marked by crackling flames, brilliant displays in the night sky, and a historic plot remembered with reverence.

Guy Fawkes Night

A celebration featuring mesmerizing fireworks, commemorating a historical event with bonfires and sparklers lighting up the night sky.

View all holidays

We think you may also like...

Global Scouse Day

A cherished culinary tradition, warm and hearty, born from the heart of a vibrant city, nourishing body and soul through generations.

Amagwinya Day

Every culture has at least one fried bread dish. For South Africa, that’s the Amagwinya. Find a South African restaurant, or try making your own at home.