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In a Chinatown as large as New York’s, it can feel like an overwhelming task to tackle the whole thing. When you have seemingly unlimited options for hand-pulled noodles, barbecue duck, and dim sum all in identical restaurants, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Lucky for you, I’ve scoured the depths of Chinatown to find my personal favourites! Here is my list of the absolute best restaurants in NYC’s Chinatown.
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Nom Wah consistently makes people’s lists for the best dim sum in New York City, and for good reason. Nom Wah has been a NYC staple since 1920, when it first opened as a bakery and tea parlour. It’s been through a few different transitions since then, but still maintains it’s authentic food and traditional appearance. I’d recommend trying the classic har gow and shiu mai, but also the shrimp and snow pea dumplings, the rice roll with spare ribs, and liu shao bao. Nom Wah also offers beer and wine, if that’s what you’re looking to pair with your Sunday morning dim sum! Nom Wah accepts American Express cards and cash.
Address: 13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Su – W 10:30 AM – 10 PM, Th – Sa 10:30 AM – 11 PM
This is one of my personal favourites on this list of best restaurants in NYC’s Chinatown. On a cold rainy day, there’s nothing I love more than a hot bowl of handmade soup noodles. 88 Lan Zhou offers both soup and stir-fried noodles. The soup noodles range from $6.50 to $9.50, and the stir-fried noodles range from $8 to $10.50, which is an absolute steal for food in NYC. You can also snag an order of 8 fried dumplings for $4, or pick up a bag of 50 frozen dumplings for $12. I’d recommend trying the pork bone soup hand-pulled noodles, or for vegetarians, the vegetable stir-fried hand-pull noodle. 88 Lan Zhou is cash only, but there are a few ATMs nearby to grab cash from.
Address: 40 Bowery St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: M – Su 11 AM – 11 PM
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou is one hundred percent a spot for locals. It’s very much a hole-in-the-wall destination, and operates in a no-frills fashion. They serve large amounts of food for very low prices, so this is a great pick if your stomach wants more than your wallet can afford. Give the pork and chive dumplings, fish ball soup, and wheat noodle with peanut butter sauce a try. If you fall in love with the dumplings (very likely), you can grab a bag of 50 frozen ones for only $9! Make sure you have cash on hand, as this restaurant is cash only.
Address: 118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: M – Su 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Taiwan Pork Chop House is a local favourite, and can get pretty packed during peak hours. However, it’s extremely quick and efficient, even for Chinatown standards. Even if there’s a wait, you can expect to be seated fairly quickly and expect to get your food even faster. True to its name, the star of Taiwan Pork Chop House is the pork chop over rice. And at only $5.75, who can really complain? An alternative to the pork chop over rice for non-pork eaters is the chicken leg over rice, which some claim is actually better than the house favourite. Other dishes that are sure to satisfy your appetite are the salt and pepper chicken and herbal soup, as well as their variety of Taiwanese desserts (Taiwanese mango ice and taro ball Taiwanese ice/herbal jelly are good options).
Address: 3 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: M – Su 10:30 AM – 9 PM
Calling all hot pot lovers! 99 Favor Taste serves both hot pot and Korean BBQ, but hot pot is where they shine. 99 Favor Taste has all you can eat hot pot for only $22.99, so definitely go on an empty stomach. You’ll have plenty of choices here, as you can choose from 6 different broths and 31 vegetables and meats. 99 Favor can accommodate larger groups, so this is a good choice if you’re looking to have a family dinner out. The interior is also nicer than most other Chinatown restaurants, and is NOT cash only!
Address: 285 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: M – Su 11 AM – 1 AM
This is a grab and go restaurant, so don’t expect a sit-down meal here. For visitors, there are a few areas to sit at outside of the restaurant if you don’t want to trek all the way back to your accommodation to eat. Their char siu and siu yuk are absolutely worth a visit here though, and a full meal is guaranteed to cost you less than $10. This restaurant is cash only.
Address: 79 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
Hours: Tu – Su 9 AM – 7 PM
In the world of Chinatown restaurants, this is my guilty pleasure. It’s hard to explain the appeal of Shanghai Dumpling, but somehow, I find myself there over and over again. The pork soup dumplings are an absolute must (and probably the main reason I keep going back), and the pan fried pork dumplings are also worth a taste. Cash only!
Address: 100 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Su – Th 11:30 AM – 10 PM, F – Sa 11:30 AM – 11 PM
While this is a good starting point for best restaurants in NYC’s Chinatown, it is in no way a comprehensive list. It’s hard to go wrong with any restaurant in Chinatown, so work your way through this list…and then keep going!