Our 10 Best Sichuan Restaurants in NYC

zgrandsichhouse.jpg
Grand Sichuan House
Braised whole fish with hot bean sauce at Grand Sichuan House


When Sichuan sailed into town in the '70s, it was spelled Szechuan, and the food was a pale evocation of one of China's foremost regional cuisines. If chile oil was used, it was just a drop, and the sole vector of a timid spiciness was dried red chiles, which you were often advised to pick out of a dish before eating it.

Now we have real Sichuan restaurants in every corner of the city, and more are moving into neighborhoods that never had them before. Yes, the food is often overwhelmingly spicy--if it causes you to break a sweat, you're eating the real thing. And now that Sichuan peppercorns are legal in the U.S., you don't have to feel like an outlaw when asking that they be used liberally when ordering at any of these places. Here are our current favorite Sichuans, a cuisine we can't get enough of.

[Note: an earlier version of this piece listed Szechuan Chalet as number 10, but several friends noted by Twitter, e-mail, and in the comments that the place has closed and reopened, and is not nearly as good. Pending a recheck, we've promoted number 11 to number 10.]


10. Grand Sichuan House: Unexpectedly located in Bay Ridge--never a stronghold of Chinese food--GSH excels at spiciness, fully deploying the four vectors of hotness: fresh green chiles, pickled red and green chiles, dried red chiles, and, best of all, Sichuan peppercorns, which numb the mouth like Novocaine and cause a drink of water afterward to taste like metal. Here, the fish in spicy bean sauce (shown above) is spectacular, and so are the conch in wild peppery sauce, Chengdu dumplings, and toasty red chong qing chicken, strewn with sesame seeds. 8701 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-680-8887


sgrandstmarks1.jpg
9. Grand Sichuan: Ever since the flagship at 9th and 24th in Chelsea shut under mysterious circumstances, speculation has run high about which is now the best Grand Sichuan in the city. For years, new recipes have been tested at the St. Marks branch, so that's our current choice. The chong qing chicken there--rife with nicely toasted red chilies--is the best in town. Shown above: ox tongue and tripe in chile oil. 19-23 Saint Marks Place, 212-529-4800


DSC02448v.jpg
8. Spicy Bampa (f/k/a Bamboo Pavilion): Dan Dan noodles (above) display remarkable sublety, and the beef tendon in bright red chile oil has never tasted better than at this Bensonhurst incendiary specialist. And where else can you step across the street for Italian pastries and a demitasse of espresso afterwards? 6920 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, 718-236-8088



Location Info

Map

Grand Sichuan

19-23 St. Marks Place, New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

, ,

Category:

Bamboo Pavilion

6920 18th Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Restaurant

Lan Sheng Szechuan Restaurant

60 W. 39th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Legend Restaurant

88 7th Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Hot Kitchen

104 2nd Ave., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

Golden Shopping Mall

41-28 Main St., Flushing, NY

Category: General

Land of Plenty

204 E. 58th St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
Bil161rtw
Bil161rtw

missing here is Old Sichuan at 65 bayard street--an awesome--no jive Sichuan eatery

szechuanfiend
szechuanfiend

also for upscale dining, I think Grand Sichuan in village is superior to Wu Liang Ye

szechuanfiend
szechuanfiend

LOP should be replaced by Spicy and Tasty. The range of cold dishes and variety is superioer at Spicy and Tasty.

Szechuan Gourmet in Flushing should also make top 5.

Anne Mendelson
Anne Mendelson

Glad to see Little Pepper singled out! And Wu Liang Ye, expensive but still awfully good.

Teresa 廖
Teresa 廖

I'm shocked Spicy & Tasty didn't even make it it to the top 10?!

Nathan Gao
Nathan Gao

Little Pepper is where it belongs.

Jake
Jake

How can Cafe China be left off this list? 

SoundBitesNYC
SoundBitesNYC

No Spicy & Tasty? Seriously?

Richard
Richard

What about Szechuan Gourmet at 39th Street?

l.e.s.ter
l.e.s.ter

Szechuan Chalet is no more. R.I.P.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks, l.e.s.ter, have swapped it out for another, though I hear it's reopened under new ownership. Will be checking it out soon.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...