#1 Chinese Restaurant is a communal comic created by Karl Orozco and Isha Aran that explores the people who drive the American Chinese restaurant industry. A prestigious and obsessive food critic takes it upon herself to visit every single restaurant named “#1 Chinese Restaurant“ and definitively rank them according to her tastes. As a result, the restaurants must change their signs to reflect this ranking. #1CR’s team of writers and artists (which you can join!) tell the stories of heartbreak, success, loss, love, and hunger of the various restaurants, their families and their communities.

Chinese food in the US is as ubiquitous and American as apple pie, but its importance in food culture and role as a force of labor is often rendered invisible, an assumption of convenience that ignores the work put in and the livelihoods at stake. #1CR seeks to give genuine accounts of the diverse people and families that make America’s favorite food from their point of view, exploring how food interacts with culture, age, race, class, gender, immigration, gentrification, authenticity—and what that can reveal about the state of America.


Writers & Artists

Karl Orozco

Isha Aran

Amelea Kim

Camilla Zhang

Charles Pulliam-Moore

Christine Lee

Daniel Tam-Claiborne

Julian Tucker

Lissette Lorenz

Marc Alexis

Phoenix Tso

Robin Wong

Sophia Park

Ted Young

Tracy Wong

Xenna Goh

With Thanks To

Irene Yeung

Joestine Con-Ui

Jonathan Yu

Katrina Cortes

Nick Loh

Ramon Luquin

Yue Qiu