Our 10 Best Things to Eat in Manhattan's Chinatown

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In A-Wah's Hong Kong-style wonton lo mein, the noodles are cooked al dente, and the broth is served on the side.


The amazing thing about Manhattan's Chinatown, no matter how it ebbs and flows, no matter how many restaurants come and go: It's always been a bastion of excellent cheap eats. That's because every new generation of immigrants puts its imprimatur on the restaurant scene, and the layers build up. While tourists often confine themselves to the oldest part of the neighborhood and adjacent streets, the true aficionado combs the periphery to find some of the best and newest places. We've done so, with a special emphasis on budget dining, because, Buddha knows, we need it now more than ever.


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Pork With Lichee at Best Fuzhou.


10. Fried Dumplings at Fried Dumpling -- This narrow stall was the first in town to sell Northern Chinese-style pot-sticker dumplings, handmade with wads of unctuous pork flavored with scallions. It reopened recently after a hiatus, and the four-for-a-dollar dumplings are still the city's most amazing deal. Two orders make a satisfying meal. 99 Allen Street, 212-941-9975

9. Pork With Lichee at Best Fuzhou -- There are no lichees in the signature dish of Fujianese cuisine. The nuggets of pork are supposed to resemble unpeeled lichees. No matter, the dish is delectable, the painfully red meat slightly sweet and set off by crisply cooked vegetables. 71 Eldridge Street, 212-219-3328

8. Sour Beans and Minced Pork at Grand Sichuan -- The original version of this sprawling but still excellent chain retains lots of vitality, including this wonderful dish from the restaurant's hilarious Mao Tse Tung menu of home-style Hunan dishes. Savor the tartness and the heat! 125 Canal Street, 212-625-9212


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Sour Beans and Minced Pork at Grand Sichuan.

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13 comments
Howdini
Howdini

Thanks once again, RS!

Couple questions, though: why can't these posts be contained on one page? Is the VV so desperate for page hits that they have to break it up so annoyingly? And: can't your webmasters make the addresses of the listed restaurants link to map pages?

Keep up the great work!

Tara Messenger
Tara Messenger

Just a note in support of Mr. Sietsema. I'm sure there are Chinese food specialists, or people who grew up in Chinese households, who know a lot more about it. But he takes on any and all ethnic foods in NYC with the same open-minded spirit, a palate that's both egalitarian and discerning, and a writing style that clearly reveals his passion for the food. He's a NY treasure!

Dan Nguyen
Dan Nguyen

Banh Mi Saigon, on Grand near Mott, is the best $3.75 sandwich in Manhattan. It may not be a hot sitdown meal, but it's the one Manhattan meal I could eat (and afford) every day.

Matt
Matt

I work close by to Chinatown and find choosing a lunch spot difficult. Though some sound predictable, they are probably worth a try. Don't forget Bo Ky for soup.

Born2wait
Born2wait

Went to Grand Sichuan today; told me Sour Beans are out of season and will continue to be for the next three months. They suggested the pork and scallions from the same menu; it might be the worst thing I have ever eaten. Flavorless slabs of pork belly swimming in a pool of tepid grease with a handful of soggy scallion tops. I had asked for it spicy and I got dried whole chilies tossed in the dish that more than tripled its size. After my experience, I can't imagine the dish mentioned here could possibly be that good and anything else here for that matter.

AIK72
AIK72

I love the duck noodles at Oriental Garden. Their shrimp balls with the sweet mayo on the side is also addictive.

Guest
Guest

After I saw this article yesterday, I went to Best Fizhou right after work for the Lychee Pork. As soon as it got to the table and the aroma hit me, I knew it was going to be delicious.

We ordered pan fried noodles, dumplings & sticky rice which were all great too. I will go back for the sizzling platter.

Thanks for these recommendations. I lived by Chinatown for years but have mostly stuck to the same handful of locations because of cleanliness concerns and to avoid the Americanized touristy spots.

You can't really go wrong with a location were the staff doesn't really speak English and a good portion of the menu isn't even offered in English.

Jason
Jason

How the fuck can you know this little about chinatown food and get paid to write an article on it?

r k
r k

Has any one found Hand Shaved Barley Green Noodles in Chinatown? I have been looking for these since moving to NY!

christyd_123
christyd_123

@Matt I visited Chinatown in sept. we ate at a small Chinese restaurant,down maybe 5 steps. there were duck and meats hanging in the front. I cant remember the name and wouldlove to tell my friend she should go there when she visits. 

rsietsema
rsietsema

Thanks,RozzoR, so glad you liked it!

rsietsema
rsietsema

Will keep my eyes open, r k, sounds good.

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