Food & Drinks

What To Drink With Chinese Food (10 Best Pairings)

What To Drink With Chinese Food

You probably ordered chow mein from the local Chinese restaurant and are wondering what to drink with it. You’ve come to the right place. Chinese cuisine is diverse and rich in spices, and the drink you take can make or break the meal.

So what do you drink with Chinese food?

Depending on the food, the best pairings with Chinese food usually make German, red, or sparkling wine, beer, and cocktail like Mai Tai or the more traditional option, tea.

Please stick with me as we explore different drinks and the best Chinese foods to take them with.

Best Drinks To Pair With Chinese Food

One of the great things about Chinese food is that there are so many different flavors and textures to enjoy. But with so many options, it can be hard to know what to drink with your meal.

Below, we’ll give you some tips on what to drink with Chinese food so that you can enjoy all the deliciousness that your meal has to offer.

German Wine

German Wine

People say the best wine for Chinese takeout is the Reisling. You’ll have to try it yourself to verify this claim. Simply sniffing this wine can help you release dopamine.

The Reisling combines well with any Asian food as the sweetness and high acidic of the wine complements the flavor profile of many Asian dishes. If you can’t get your hands on a bottle of Reisling, other great German wine choices include Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Red Wine

Red Wine

Red wine is moderately acidic, so it’ll balance the spice in Chinese takeout. If you’re going for red wine, don’t choose the darkest red on the shelf. Go for something light instead.

Lighter red wines can handle spicy Chinese dishes without overwhelming you. Some bottles you can consider include Pinot Noir, Lambrusco, Cinsaut, Gamay, and Beaujolais.



If you thought beer wouldn’t go with Chinese food, a tall glass of beer and a hot plate of fried rice will change your mind. Although any kind of beer will do, I’ll tell you some of the best beer+chinese food combinations to get the best bang for your buck.

Carlsberg Smooth

Carlsberg Smooth is a lager that combines well with medium spicy Chinese food. Carlsberg Smooth has low alcohol, so it’s totally fine to take after work.

Kingfisher Ultra

This people’s favorite is a great malt beer that can enhance the flavor of a spicy Chinese meal. It has 4-5% alcohol, so it feels light and tastes amazing.


Tsingtao is a mild-flavored Chinese beer that’ll make your Chinese dish experience enjoyable. It’s a classic American-style beer that will quench your thirst and complement your food. Tsingtao goes better with spicy noodles, Gan Guo, and Sichuan hotpot.

Red Ale

Any kind of red ale will go great with Chinese food. The moderate acidity and alcohol balance the spiciness of Chinese cuisine.

However, red ales tend to have a strong flavor, so that they won’t taste well with veggies and seafood. Red ale is ideal for BBQ ribs, stir fry beef, sesame chicken, etc.

Mai Tai

Mai Tai

If you’re a sucker for cocktails, then you can enjoy the Mai Tai with any Chinese dish of your choice.

Mai Tai is a strong cocktail with a citrus and rum flavor. It isn’t too sweet, so you’ll get to savor your food. It’s refreshing, and you’ll quench your thirst.



Drinking hot tea with meals is a habit that the Chinese have been doing for a long time. Although tea is ingrained in China’s history, there are actually benefits to drinking tea with meals.

Firstly, the Chinese drink tea to aid digestion. They have a special kind of tea called Pu’er that contains vitamins that aid digestion. Drinking Pu’er after a meal will help you feel less bloated.

Chinese tea also boosts metabolism. If you’re aiming to lose weight, then drinking tea may just be right for you. Teas have a type of flavonoid called catechins that boosts metabolism and helps you break down fats.

Lastly, tea is also nutritious. Green tea will provide you with antioxidants you may not get while eating. It flushes out toxins from your body and is an excellent substitute for coffee.

Some teas the Chinese drink include black tea, Green tea, Chinese tea, Pu’er tea, white tea, and Oolong tea.

A Brief History of American Chinese Food

A Brief History Of American Chinese Food

How did Chinese cuisine become popular in America? If you’ve ever visited China, you would have discovered that Chinese restaurants don’t have the same menus as American Chinese restaurants.

That’s because Chinese food as we know it in America today originated in San Francisco. During the gold rush, Chinese immigrants arrived in San Francisco, bringing along their food and culture. But Americans were not quick to accept this new cuisine.

Not long after, around the early 19th century, some New York bohemian artists discovered the greatness of Chinese food, and it started to spread far and wide.

A few years later, chop suey restaurants were situated in different parts of America. Chinese food has since then been adapted over the years to fit Americans’ taste buds.

Now in 2022, there are over 23 thousand Chinese restaurants in the US, an increase of 1.2% from 2021. More people continue to appreciate the rich culture and taste of Chinese food.

Final Thoughts

You can enjoy your Chinese takeout with wine, cocktails, beer, or tea. Whatever you choose, ensure it’s refreshing enough to quench your thirst and doesn’t mask the taste of the dish.

The alcohol volume the drink should have is your choice, but I’m sure you want to have a clear head after your meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What drinks do Chinese people drink?

Knowing what the Chinese drink with their food may give you an idea of what to drink with your Chinese food. Some of the most popular drinks in China include Tieguanyin, Pearl Milk Tea, Xinjiang Black Beer, Chrysanthemum tea, and Soybean Milk.

What non-alcoholic drinks go well with Chinese food?

If you don’t drink, some drinks that go well with Chinese food include milk, jelly or cheese tea, Suan Mei Zhi (sour plum drink), and sweet soy milk.

What do you drink with Dim Sum?

Tea goes best with dim sum. You’re often given three options in a Chinese restaurant: the Pu’er, the jasmine, and the chrysanthemum flower.