Reader Query: Chinatown Lunch

Since my readers have been so helpful in the past, I’m seeking advice for an upcoming lunch date I have in Chinatown this week. What’s a great Chinatown spot, open weekdays for lunch, and what should we eat there? Your advice is much appreciated.

23 comments

  1. Joe’s Ginger on Pell Street. All you need to get are the pork soup dumplings. A steamer’s usually enough for one person but the more, the merrier!

  2. In “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” a show that I am particularly fond of, he visited the Congee Restaruant on Bowery, where he ate such things as, if I remember correctly, sea cucumber and goose intestines and frog congee. While I am eternally awed by his ability to chow down on such things and respect him for having a gag reflex far superior to mine, I would be fascinated to see the same restaurant presented from the viewpoint of a true restauranteur.

  3. In “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” a show that I am particularly fond of, he visited the Congee Restaruant on Bowery, where he ate such things as, if I remember correctly, sea cucumber and goose intestines and frog congee. While I am eternally awed by his ability to chow down on such things and respect him for having a gag reflex far superior to mine, I would be fascinated to see the same restaurant presented from the viewpoint of a true restauranteur.

  4. Definitely stop in at Hop Kee (on Mott Street) for the salt-and-pepper squid! I grew up on the stuff :) My brother moved to Dallas years ago and when he comes home, a trip to Hop Kee is always on the itinerary. Afterwards we always stop for bubble tea down the block, to enjoy while we go shopping…

  5. Joe’s Shanghai! Nothing against Joe’s Ginger, but Joe’s Shanghai is terrific. The decor is a bit more spartan than Joe’s Ginger, but it has a great energy and a good menu. You check check it out at http://www.joeshanghairestaurants.com/

    Get at least one order of the soup dumplings. When I go with friends, we usually get one order per person but that might be a little much. The pork soup dumplings are the ones to get. While the crab dumplings are good, the pork dumplings are better.

    If you haven’t had soup dumplings before, beware! The insides are very hot. My preferred method for eating them are to put them on a spoon, tearing open the dumpling and letting the soup cool into the spoon. After that, you can start to eat the soup dumpling. Chances are you will also get your shirt dirty–soup dumplings can be messy. But a ruined shirt and a burnt tongue are well worth the luxury of the soup dumpling!

    Another lunch alternative in Chinatown is Peking Duck House. At the risk of sounding obvious, get a duck. It’s a beautiful preparation and a perfect meal for two. http://www.pekingduckhousenyc.com/

  6. I don’t remember specifics but the recent Cheap Eats issue of Time Out New York had some incredible sounding stuff. My mouth was watering as I read.

  7. New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe

    65 Bayard St., nr. Mott St

    This place is DELICIOUS — recommended to me by a friend who is from China (she goes all the time and claims it’s the best Chinese food in NYC). I would definitely get the soup dumplings. They are seriously one of the best dishes I have ever tasted.

  8. I really like Peking Duck House. The food is really delicious — a cut above most of the other Chinese restaurants in the area — and the duck is exquisite. The best thing is that it’s quiet enough that you can actually have a conversation. You have to ask for the lunch specials menu, by the way. I also like Dim Sum Go Go, especially if you have a smaller group for lunch.

  9. 69 Bayard…don’t know the name….

    dollar bill wall paper….

    It’s not a “special” place with “awesome different out of this world food” but every time I ate there it was good….maybe 6 tables in there….I think mostly take out…

  10. Hop Kee is definitely delicious. Salt and pepper squid is the main draw for a lot of people, including me.

    Wonton Garden has great soups as well as good pigs feet, beef stew, hoi nam chicken, and roast pork pan fried noodles.

    NY Noodletown may be my favorite place in Chinatown for (what I’ve been told) authentic Chinese food. Lobster with e-fu noodles, roast pig, roast duck, soft shell crab, salt baked flounder or sea bass, and sauteed baby bok choy. It’s all good there

  11. Best soup dumplings: Goody’s on Confucious Square.

    Wo-Hop – standard “touristy” fare

    69 Bayard pretty good

  12. I like New Green Bao. Great soup dumplings! What more do you need? Although the rest of the food is good as well.

  13. As a New York outside, I’ve always loved Joe’s Shanghai whenever I’m in NYC Chinatown. Great soup dumplings, but everything else is great as well. I had a whole fish in black bean sauce last time and it was fantastic.

  14. As a New York outsider, I’ve always loved Joe’s Shanghai whenever I’m in NYC Chinatown. Great soup dumplings, but everything else is great as well. I had a whole fish in black bean sauce last time and it was fantastic.

  15. Definitely Joe’s Shanghai. Soup Dumplings can’t be beat.

    Now tell us who this date is with… ;-)

  16. I left a lot of good ideas here, (Nyonya, Skyway, New Malaysia, Red Egg, Shanghai Cuisine, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory….), but they didn’t show up. A double post from someone who doesn’t live in New York, on the other hand, gets approved twice. What gives?

  17. I love Nam Wah Tea Parlor on Doyers Street, the proverbial hole in the wall. Don’t order, just sit there (as long as you want) waiting for the best dim sum. Great almond cookies too.

  18. Well, looks like everyone is crazy for Joe’s Shanghai. Some dishes I like there:

    Xiao long bao

    lions head

    braised pork belly

    For something super simple, you can try Excellent Pork Chop House. They do thin style pork chops.

    New Malaysia for some curry noodle soup, but it’s going to be hot this week.

    Nyonya on Grand. Any of their noodle dishes.

  19. Joe’s Shanghai soup dumplings are the best. EVER. Hands down.

    I also second Congee Village. They have this shrimp/mayo/walnut dish that is to die for, as well as the pork chops!!

  20. I’d go with Joe’s Shanghai or Joe’s Ginger as well – they’re owned by the same people, and are right down the street from each other. I’ve had the xiao long bao at both and can’t really tell the difference. But I prefer the ambience of Joe’s Ginger, and it’s always quieter at dinner time… not sure about lunch. Either way you can’t go wrong at either restaurant!

  21. I will be in NYC in October…what are soup dumplings? I don’t want to miss something good but I don’t want any exotic ingredients if you know what i mean!

  22. It might be heresy to suggest you go for anything other than chinese food in chinatown but it’s become hard for me to go anywhere other than Nha Trang on Baxter street for vietnamese when i’m in the hood. Get a couple orders of nim chow (summer rolls with nuoc cham sauce), the bbq pork appetizer that you roll in lettuce with vermicelli and dip in sauce, and DEFINITELY the salt and pepper shrimp. possibly the best shrimp i’ve ever eaten. no joke. so good.

    otherwise new green bo (on bayard, i think), which is now called nice green bo, is great for chinese.

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