There are restaurants in Chinatown that have been around since the 1920s—like the well-known Nom Wah, a tea parlor that also offers delicious dim sum. Even with competitive eateries opening up in other NYC boroughs, Chinatown still has plenty of delicious spots that are worth visiting. But, like most things in NYC, the choices can absolutely be overwhelming. So we pulled together some spots that are a must-try if you’re eating in the area. Here’s our top twelve:
[Bonus spot: there’s a cart at 159 Hester Street called Cheong Fun Noodle that’s been serving amazing rice noodle and steamed noodle rolls for over 30 years.]
1. Buddha Bodai
Situated in the heart of Chinatown since 2004, Buddha Bodai serves up tasty vegetarian meals. Their most popular dishes include triple mushroom pan fried noodles, pan fried turnip cakes, and shrimp dumplings.
Where: 5 Mott St
Offering a contemporary twist on Hawaiian poke, Chikarashi offers a selection of signature bowls that spotlight traditional Japanese ingredients and techniques. Each bowl is designed with intention and care, using the freshest ingredients and featuring delicious house-made sauces.
Where: 227 Canal St
The menu at Dimes changes weekly with menu items drawing inspiration from Japanese, South American, and Mediterranean cuisines. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner this menu has a large variety of dishes to choose from, all of which look way too good to eat.
Where: 49 Canal St
4. Joe’s Shanghai
Serving Shanghainese cuisine, Joe’s Shanghai restaurant offers signature soup dumplings which have been the favorite of many for over 20 years. Their menu includes many more dishes in addition to their beloved dumplings, all of which are equally as tasty.
Where: 46 Bowery St
5. Nom Wah Tea Parlor
Originally established as a tea parlor and bakery, Nom Wah has become a dim sum staple in NYC. Some of their most popular dishes include fluffy pork buns and crab claws encased in fried shrimp.
Where: 13 Doyers St
6. Xi’an Famous Foods
Part of a local Chinese food chain Xi’an Famous Foods features a menu containing spicy noodles, a plethora of dumplings, and some cumin flavored burgers. The menu isn’t large, but it’s definitely delicious.
Where: 45 Bayard St
7. Jing Fong
For one of the best dim sum experiences you can have in Chinatown you’ll for sure want to check out Jing Fong. Take a seat in their massive dining room which even sports a stage for special events. Once seated dim sum carts will roll all around you with anything you could ever imagine. Some of their most popular menu items include their fried turnip cakes, fried shrimp and chive dumplings, and their chicken buns.
Where: 202 Centre St
8. Dr. Clark
The cuisine of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, is known for its sea urchin. And while Hokkaido’s cuisine is Dr. Clark’s specialty, their star ingredient is mutton. Settle down under one of its heated communal blankets and dine under a twirling disco ball while chowing down on one of their many tabletop-grill specialties. See their full menu here.
Where: 104 Bayard St
9. Hwa Yuan Szechuan
Combining a modern experience with traditional Chinese cuisine, some highlights of Hwa Yuan’s menu include the spicy wine chicken and a sweet and sour fish. Many more items can be found here.
Where: 42 E Broadway
10. Friendship BBQ
Flushing’s popular late-night 90-seat restaurant spotlights authentic Chinese BBQ with a number of skewers boasting ingredients like pork belly, Taiwan sausage, and grilled quail. They also offer several different hot pots to choose from.
Where: 103 Bowery
11. Golden Unicorn
Golden Unicorn is another great dim sum option. From pork buns and rice rolls to baked pork pastries and rice noodle rolls each option is delicious. We recommend getting here around 10am on weekends to avoid a long wait.
Where: 18 E Broadway
12. August Gatherings
August Gatherings is an upscale restaurant with menu items like boiled chicken and fish ball soup and roasted duck with dried plum sauce. This restaurant is a great place to go with friends, and also offers private dinner in Omakase style.
Where: 266 Canal Street
Also published on Medium.