“Pandamonium!” That’s the terms used by many happy customers at Panda Express who love the scoop-and-serve style of the Chinese-American chain of restaurants. There’s a certain sense of euphoria that comes when admiring the piles of orange chicken, vegetarian spring rolls, and fried rangoons just waiting to be scooped out of their serving plates, into your plate, and then into your waiting mouth. Panda Express prices are competitive with rest of the fast casual food industry.
Panda Express, of course, isn’t an upscale chain but a fast casual chain but the dishes and desserts here are delicious, nonetheless, and give great value for the money. Here, foodies and gourmands find deep satisfaction in the delectable quality of the food so don’t be surprised about the rave reviews.
Below are the latest Panda Express menu prices.
|String Bean Chicken Breast||$5.15|
|Build Your Own Plate - 2 Half Sides||$9.56|
|Build Your Own Plate - 1 Full Side||$9.56|
|Build Your Own Bigger Plate - 2 Half Sides||$11.35|
|Build Your Own Bigger Plate - 1 Full Side||$11.35|
|Build Your Own Bowl - 2 Half Sides||$7.78|
|Build Your Own Bowl - 1 Full Side||$7.78|
|Family Feast - 4 Half Sides||$41.93|
|Family Feast - 2 Full Sides||$41.93|
|Chicken Egg Roll||$2.33|
Sides - A La Carte
|Side Chow Mein||$3.96|
|Side White Steamed Rice||$3.96|
|Side Brown Steamed Rice||$3.95|
|Side Mixed Vegetables||$3.70|
|Side Super Greens||$3.96|
|Side Fried Rice||$3.96|
Entrees - A La Carte
|Sichuan Hot Chicken||$4.84|
|Honey Sesame Chicken Breast||$4.86|
|Honey Walnut Shrimp||$6.63|
|Grilled Teriyaki Chicken||$5.13|
|Cream Cheese Rangoon||$2.33|
|Kung Pao Chicken||$5.14|
|SweetFire Chicken Breast||$5.13|
|Shanghai Angus Steak||$6.63|
|Veggie Spring Roll||$2.33|
|Black Pepper Chicken||$5.13|
|Sweet And Sour Chicken Breast||$5.06|
|Dr Pepper Fountain||$2.33|
|Barq's Root Beer||$2.33|
|Coca Cola Cherry||$2.33|
|Coca Cola Zero Sugar||$2.32|
|Minute Maid Lemonade||$2.33|
|Coca Cola Bottle||$2.39|
|Coke de Mexico Bottle||$2.41|
|Bai Antioxidant Coco Fusion Bottle||$2.68|
|Dasani Sparking Lime Can||$2.27|
|Honest Peach Tea Bottle||$2.67|
|Minute Maid Apple Juice Bottle||$2.29|
|Powerade Berry Blast Bottle||$2.68|
|Honest Tea Half Tea Half Lemonade Bottle||$2.68|
|Minute Maid Orange Juice Bottle||$2.29|
|Vitamin Water Bottle||$2.67|
The first Panda Express was launched in October 1983 by The Panda Restaurant Group, its parent company that also owns and operates Panda Inn and Hibachi-San. Ming Tsai Cherng, Andrew Cherng, and Peggy Cherng founded The Panda Restaurant Group.
Panda Express was developed as the fast-food or fast-casual version of the upscale Panda Inn chain. The first Panda Express restaurants were located exclusively in food courts in large shopping malls but by the late 1980s until the early 1990s, the chain started its expansion into supermarket-based locations and standalone restaurants with drive-through facilities. Today, most of the 2,000+ restaurants are standalone locations with less than 2% in malls.
The chain has a strong presence in all 50 U.S. States including the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, El Salvador, Guatemala, the United Arab Emirates, and South Korea.
What They’re Famous For
Panda Express restaurants are known for their wide variety of Chinese cuisine-inspired dishes – or as many call it, Chinese dishes and desserts changed to appeal to the American palate. The bestselling items include Orange Chicken, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, and Firecracker Chicken Breast, as well as the Beijing Beef. The combo meals are served with the customer’s choice of steamed rice, fried rice, mixed vegetables, or chow mein.
The chain is also known for its avoidance of MSG in its dishes. Such is the commitment to MSG avoidance that the chain doesn’t buy from suppliers that use MSG in its products.
Why Eat Here
The sheer number of choices at Panda Express can become overwhelming for the first-time diner but just a few minutes of browsing the menu and it all becomes clear. The Chinese-American dishes and desserts are made to please the palate of nearly everybody! The savory dishes are presented in a way that makes us want to scoop up everything into our plates while the sweet desserts makes us want to forget about widening waistlines. In short, Panda Express is among the best fast-food restaurants that offer great food, especially if you’re tired of the usual hamburgers, hotdogs, and tacos.
If you can’t decide which dishes and desserts you want, you can take samples of many of the items before ordering them; the associates pass sample bites. Besides, the prices are so reasonable so much so that you can have your fill for under $10! You may even have leftovers to bring home.
While it’s fairly common to find a line of customers, the wait isn’t as long as anticipated. The conscientious employees and the steam table setup moves the line faster, and the associates (Panda Express employees are called by this name) are always smiling and ready to help the customers.
And the dishes and desserts are so appealing to the eyes and appetizing to the palate! The fried dishes, which are the hallmark of a respectable Chinese-style buffet restaurant, aren’t greasy and heavy but are instead light and flavorful. While availability varies between restaurants, there are staples like chicken egg rolls, fried shrimp, vegetarian spring rolls, and cream cheese rangoons.
Panda Express sells its food a la carte. Customers, however, have the choice of creating their own plates – a choice of either two or three main dishes plus a side dish, which are placed on a plastic container; when piled, the food seem to weigh a ton because the chain serves generous portions. The fresh-cut vegetables are crisp, the noodles are flavorful, and the rice is always a perfect accompaniment.
The main dishes are all delectable but there are favorites, too. The deep-fried orange chicken has the perfect batter and tangy sauce that continues to make it the must-have item on the menu. There’s no danger of running out of it, too, even during peak hours as the associates replenish it in huge batches; add a small fee and you get orange chicken with bacon bits.
Tea being a favorite Chinese beverage, many Panda Express restaurants have a tea bar that offers whole-leaf tea drinks like bubble tea, hot tea, lemonade tea, and fruit tea, as well as shakes, smoothies, and freshly-squeezed fruit juices.
To learn more about Panda Express or to find a location near you, visit their website at www.pandaexpress.com.