25 Things You Didn't Know About P.F. Chang's

by: Mackenzie Goodman

Do you know where the original P.F. Chang’s location can be found? What about how many fortune cookies we give out every year? For our 25th birthday, we thought we’d celebrate with 25 things you may not know about us. Whether you’re a new guest or a longtime Chang’s fanatic, we’re pretty sure at least one of these will come as a surprise.


25 Things You Didn’t Know About P.F. Chang’s

  1. The very first P.F. Chang's opened on July 20th, 1993, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
    P.F. Chang's first restaurant location in Scottsdalr, Arizona

  2. P.F. Chang’s food is made from scratch. Every day. In every kitchen. Always has been and always will be. We’re not like other “chain” restaurants.

  3. The mother of our co-founder, Philip Chiang, is credited with being the first to bring traditional Chinese cuisine to America. In 1962, she opened the Mandarin in San Francisco, one of the first dining establishments of its kind. In 2013, she was honored with the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

  4. Often imitated but never duplicated, our famous lettuce wraps are one of the most-copied items in the restaurant industry. And while many adaptations come close, nothing beats the original.

    P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps appetizer

  5. We’re not just Chinese food. Our co-founder, Philip Chiang, was born in Shanghai but grew up in Tokyo and was inspired by the Japanese emphasis on balance and simplicity in food. From the very beginning, our menu has been inspired by the great street food cities across Asia.

  6. Ever wondered what our name stands for? It’s actually a combination of our two co-founders’ names. P.F. = Paul Fleming, Chang’s = Philip Chiang.

  7. We believe food should be made with heart and served with honor. This is the food philosophy we live by. Every recipe is crafted with purpose using traditional techniques, and served with honor, allowing us to celebrate the land, the seeds, the farmers, and the rich cultures behind every dish.

  8. We make our juices and cocktail mixers — like our ginger beer — fresh in-house every day. Try our Moscow Mule and you'll taste the difference it makes when you put in the extra work.
  9. You’ll find a unique mural inside each P.F. Chang’s restaurant. No two are alike

  10. Michael Jordan & Charles Barkley frequented our first Scottsdale location. Some say this proves our food is a ‘slam dunk.’

  11. Today's P.F. Chang's menu still features classic favorites inspired by our co-founder's mother. Dishes like our Chang's Spicy Chicken have stayed true to her original recipe and haven't changed since the day we opened.
    P.F. Chang's Chang's Spicy Chicken entrée on table next to gold chopsticks resting on a red paper crane holder

  12. Filler ingredients? Garnishes? Not in our house. Our recipes are purposefully simple featuring a few clean ingredients selected for their flavor and nutritional benefits. This means that everything on your plate or in your bowl is meant to be enjoyed.

  13. Sure, some restaurants talk the talk. But do they wok the wok? Wok cooking is a 2,000-year-old tradition known to be one of the purest forms of cooking. At P.F. Chang’s, it’s the center of your dining experience. One P.F. Chang’s employee even described our kitchens as “a culinary symphony highlighted with pyrotechnics.” Learn more about the science of wok cooking.

  14. From South Korea to the UK to Saudi Arabia, P.F. Chang’s can be found all over the world. We have over 300 locations and counting. Find the closest P.F. Chang’s to you.

  15. Even with locations all over the world, our #1 menu item remains the same across the board: Chang’s Lettuce Wraps.

  16. We believe in letting the good times roll. And roll. And roll. Many are surprised by this fact, but our iconic dim sum, wontons, and egg rolls are rolled by hand every day in every restaurant. We wouldn't have it any other way.
    Close-up of P.F. Chang's chef hands delicately folding wontons

  17. We're not afraid to add some spice. P.F. Chang's was the first national chain to use Sriracha, and now our restaurants go through over 100,000 bottles of the famous hot sauce every year.

  18. P.F. Chang's introduced the industry's first progressive wine list, which has been recognized with multiple awards over the years. Cheers to that.

  19. When cooking with a traditional Chinese wok, an intense flame creates what's known as a "wok hay" or "breath of wok." This is what gives our dishes their unique taste, and also makes them difficult to replicate. 

  20. We believe in sharing the gift of good fortune. P.F. Chang’s gives out more than 52 million fortune cookies per year.

  21. Our kitchens use more than 36 million fresh green onions per year. Our partners at Muranaka Farms grow a 16" green onion exclusively for P.F. Chang's that can't be found in any grocery store. Because of their size, every piece of each green onion is able to be used, helping reduce unnecessary food waste.

  22. We want everyone to enjoy our food. That’s why we’ve introduced a comprehensive allergy and nutrition matrix on our website. And because we make all of our food from scratch, we can customize however you like it. Find your favorite gluten-free, diet-friendly, or allergy-friendly dishes at pfchangs.com/nutrition/allergens

  23. We believe in sharing the love. Our dishes are meant to be enjoyed family-style, which is good news for all of you plate-pickers out there. It's okay to have an extendable fork at our table.

  24. The iconic horse statues found at the entrance of every P.F. Chang’s weren’t introduced until our third restaurant, located in La Jolla, California. The horses stand guard as a symbol of strength.

  25. Our mission today is the same as the day we opened our doors: to celebrate life, family, and food. Our talented chefs create dishes with bold flavors, mixing regional ingredients in unexpected ways to satisfy culinary curiosities and bring people together.
    P.F. Chang's Korean Bulgogi Steak entrée on table next to dark-colored chopsticks


Originally published July 2018