When walking the streets of Hoboken, among the trendy fast-casual eateries popping up around town, you’ll notice several old, no-frills Chinese takeout restaurants, writes Hoboken Girl. Many of them have been around for more than 20 years and are still busy filling delivery or pick-up orders from locals in the neighborhood every day. If you ask an owner of one of these restaurants what the most popular menu item is, the answer is always “General Tso’s chicken” — an “American” favorite.
General Tso’s chicken has become synonymous with Chinese takeout, but it’s largely an American invention and is not frequently ordered by native Chinese customers, especially the younger ones, according to one of those aforementioned owners. We did a little digging into the history of American Chinese food. It’s a story of immigration, politics, and cultural integration that is still unfolding today. Here’s a brief history of Chinese takeout in town and our top must-order-from spots. Read on for a guide to Chinese takeout in Hoboken + Jersey City and a brief history of the cuisine.