The Oldest Chinese Restaurant In The US Is Right Here In Montana And It’s Delicious
When Montanans visit the Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte, it’s typically not for the food. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it — in fact, the chow mein and chop suey are downright tasty. But more importantly, people come because they appreciate the history… the Pekin Noodle Parlor holds the title of the longest continuously operated Chinese restaurant in America.
The Pekin Noodle Parlor is located at 117 S Main St. in Butte, where it has remained since 1911.
You'll know you've arrived when you see the neon Chop Suey sign.
Step inside and you'll go up a steep set of stairs, which lead to a narrow room lined with cozy dining booths.
The booths have contributed to rumors that this place was once a brothel (it wasn't), but in really, this is a traditional way to dine in many Asian restaurants.
The restaurant was originally opened by Hum Yow, and it has been in the same family ever since.
Danny Wong, an immigrant who is now in his 80s, bought the place from Hum Yow (his great uncle) in the 50s. He still owns it, and his son, Jerry Tam, runs it.
So, what should you order when you're here? The short answer is, you really can't go wrong.
We recommend going with a group, ordering several entrees, and having a family-style dinner.
It might seem odd that the country's oldest Chinese restaurant is in Montana. But if you know anything about our history, especially in Butte, it makes sense.
Between 1850 and 1900, around 250,000 Chinese people came to the United States, and many of them chose to live in Montana because of the 1949 Gold Rush boom. While early Montanans weren't always friendly, but their animosity eventually dwindled, and Chinese Americans helped build our railroads and became local entrepreneurs.
The Pekin Noodle Parlor is open Wednesday - Sunday at 5 p.m. for dinner.
On Wednesdays and Sundays, they close at 10:30, but on the weekends, you can dine until midnight.
It’s pretty great that we have a (tasty) piece of living history right here in Butte. Did you know this city was once called the
Richest Hill on Earth?
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