Crispy, crunchy, and packed full of flavor, egg rolls are often a must-have when ordering takeout or dining at your local Chinese-American restaurant. However, there are some misconceptions about the popular Asian appetizer, so before we get into where to find the best egg rolls, let's clear a few of them up.
These crispy handhelds are often assumed to be an invention hailing from China, but while the precise origin of the first egg rolls cannot be traced with absolute certainty, many people believe that egg rolls as we know them today were actually invented in New York City.
That often-told origin story says that back in the 1930s, immigrants who settled in the city's Chinatown neighborhood began opening restaurants, creating a riff on the classic spring roll. This heartier version typically has a thicker outer skin than a spring roll and is fried and stuffed with shredded cabbage, meats, and other ingredients. Contrary to its name, the egg roll does not contain any egg.
Given the many different fillings, the effort required to finely dice the ingredients, not to mention the deep frying, making your own egg rolls can be a lot of work—plus you'll need the proper kitchen equipment. Instead of schlepping to the store and working up a sweat in the kitchen, many fans of the popular appetizer prefer to satiate their craving at a restaurant.
Although classic versions of this dish contain pork or chicken, some restaurants have Americanized the appetizer further, filling their rolls with popular combos such as Buffalo chicken or bacon, egg, and cheese. Whether you're on the hunt for an authentic egg roll or an inventive one, here are some of the best restaurant chains serving top-notch egg rolls. And next, check out the 4 Best Healthy Chinese Food Orders, According to Dietitians.
There's no reason to wait to go to your nearest P.F. Chang's. The worldwide chain has more than 300 locations and features primarily Chinese cuisine, along with flavors from Japan, Korea, Thailand, and other parts of Asia. Naturally, the restaurant has egg rolls on its menu. The chain's version is filled with pork and julienned veggies and served with a sweet and sour mustard sauce.
Lao Sze Chaun
Born in Chicago, Lao Sze Chaun now boasts locations throughout the city and the country. The chain has consistently received rave reviews for its Chinese cuisine. Depending on the location you visit, you can order a plate of pork or chicken egg rolls. One customer proclaimed that "the egg rolls were the best I have every [sic] had…so much better than your average eggroll."
HuHot Mongolian Grill
Place an order for crispy egg rolls at HuHot Mongolian Grill and you won't be disappointed. The chain serves its rolls in 4- or 7-piece size options, and they come filled with pork and vegetables, along with sweet and sour sauce. This crispy, fried app makes for the perfect starter to pregame the restaurant's well-known all-you-can-eat stir fry.
Pei Wei Asian Kitchen
Head to your local Pei Wei Asian Kitchen for your fill of Asian-inspired eats, starting with its hand-rolled chicken egg rolls. These crackling rolls are stuffed with seasoned chicken, cabbage, carrots, black mushrooms, and scallions and come with a sweet chili sauce for dipping. One happy customer even took to X (formerly Twitter) to espouse his love for the appetizer, writing simply, "Honestly…Pei Wei egg rolls are amazing. That's all."
The first Leeann Chin restaurant opened in the 1980s in Minneapolis, and it's since grown into a thriving franchise with more than 40 locations. In addition to its vast menu of entrees and combo meals, Leeann Chin has an array of appetizer selections. This includes the restaurant's egg rolls, which are filled with chicken and shredded vegetables, all wrapped up in one crispy bite.
Probably one of the most well-known Chinese fast-casual chains in the U.S., Panda Express makes sizzling Chinese-American food at an affordable price. You can order a single serving of its chicken egg roll or six if you want to make your whole family happy. If you don't live near an outpost, there are plenty of copycat recipes online to experiment with in your home kitchen, too!
Pick Up Stix
The first Pick Up Stix opened in 1989 in California, and it has since grown to more than 50 locations in the state alone. With locations popping up around the country, too, it's no wonder that this fast-casual chain is making waves with its chicken egg rolls. Filled with chicken, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and celery, this dish is a mainstay on the menu for good reason. One Yelp reviewer wrote, "The chicken egg rolls fit the bill. They were hot & delicious."
Kona Grill is no stranger to crafting delectable and decadent dishes. The chain has another hit on its hands with its avocado egg rolls. Yes, this vegetarian take on the classic egg roll is stuffed with the fruit and served with a honey-cilantro dipping sauce. These fun bites will have you tossing out the avocado toast in favor of the new and improved avocado egg roll. If that doesn't convince you, just check out this TikTok video of the dish. Cue the drooling.
TGI Fridays is home to the loaded potato skin and countless other American classics including wings, burgers, and brownie sundaes. But topping the list (literally) as one of the chain's best menu items is its Philly cheesesteak egg rolls. This grabbable app comes stuffed with roast beef, red and green bell peppers, melted cheese, and onions, and it's served along with a poblano queso dipping sauce. The appetizer is so popular that it ranked number one on a list of the best menu items from the restaurant by Guilty Eats.
The Cheesecake Factory
Another innovative iteration of the classic egg roll is The Cheesecake Factory's Tex-Mex egg roll. The fiery fusion appetizer comes with spicy chicken, black beans, peppers, corn, onions, and melted cheese, all wrapped in a delicious bundle and served with avocado cream and salsa. But if these flavors aren't calling your name, the restaurant also has avocado egg rolls for you to enjoy if you're still looking for that iconic crunch.