Chinatown is one of New York City’s most famous neighborhoods. The neighborhood, which is located in Lower Manhattan, is home to the largest enclave of Chinese people in the United States, and it is one of New York City’s most popular tourist destinations. Popular landmarks include the Church of the Transfiguration and the statue of Confucius. Yet, the thing that really attracts New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike is the food. Below are five must-visit Chinatown restaurants.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor calls itself New York’s finest dim sum restaurant. Many visitors would agree. The restaurant opened its doors in 1920 as a bakery and tea parlor. Unlike in most dim sum restaurants, here each plate of food is cooked to order. Here are some recommended dishes to try when you visit: the “original” egg roll, the scallion pancakes, and the roasted-pork buns.
As soon as you enter Oriental Garden, you’ll spot the crab tank, a sign of the restaurant’s speciality—Cantonese-style seafood. The menu prices might be slighter higher than other Chinatown restaurants, but most customers agree that the money is worth it. Recommended dishes: Fried shrimp balls, shrimp rice noodles, and baked custard buns for dessert.
Aux Epices isn’t your typical Chinatown restaurant. The menu offers a combination of Malaysian and French dishes. Mei and Marc, the married owners, claim to not use MSG in any of their dishes. Most of the French influence can be found on the menu’s dessert section. If you stop by, be sure to order the seafood laksa and lump crab cake.
Xi’an Famous Foods has eleven different locations throughout New York City. After being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations, the restaurant’s popularity exploded. Xi’an is a city located in Northwest China, and its cuisine is influenced by Middle Eastern flavors. The current Chinatown location opened in 2011. If you like spicy food, you’ll find a lot to enjoy on the menu. When you visit, make sure you taste one of these dishes: spicy and tingly beef hand-ripped noodles, spicy cumin lamb burger, and stewed oxtail hand-ripped noodles in soup.
Great N.Y. Noodletown isn’t really known for its atmosphere. Instead, this no-frills establishment focuses on serving up delicious dishes year-after-year. Leave your credit card at home because Noodletown is cash only. Repeat customers say you can’t go wrong with roast pork, roast duck, seasonal soft-shelled crabs, or ginger scallion noodles. Great N.Y. Noodletown is a great spot for a late night snack—it doesn’t close until four in the morning.