Our 10 Best Things to Eat in Manhattan's Chinatown
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.
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