Between Kenmare and Worth Streets, Mott Street is lined with restaurants serving up Chinese food that represents the cuisine of virtually every province of mainland China and Hong Kong; the Bowery, East Broadway and Division Street have just as diverse offerings. The choices are overwhelming, but this list of Chinatown restaurants will help you narrow them down, whether you crave fiery Szechuan cuisine, Peking Duck, cheap eats or delicious dim sum in NYC.
RECOMMENDED: See the full Chinatown NYC neighborhood guide
Best Chinatown restaurants
One of New York's first dim sum houses opened in 1920 at a crook in Doyers Street referred to as "the bloody angle." That Chinatown passage witnessed the grisly havoc of the Tong gang wars, but the bakery and tea shop has a sweeter reputation: Its almond cookies and moon cakes were legendary. For more than three decades, the Choy family ran Nom Wah but sold the operation in 1974 to Wally Tang, who in 1950 started there as a waiter and eventually became a manager. In 2010, Wally Tang passed the establishment on to his nephew Wilson Tang, a banker at ING Direct. Tang did away with cooking dim sum dishes en masse and now each mouthwatering plate is cooked fresh to order.Read more
The first thing you see at Oriental Garden are the crabs waving their claws inside a front-window tank. That’s a good sign, for this Chinatown stalwart (with brightly lit dining-hall decor) specializes in fresh, Cantonese-style seafood and embraces a lengthy menu of dishes such as steamed whole fish, glazed prawns with broccoli, and clams galore. The dim sum offerings are also copious. Prices are a tad higher than those of other options in the surrounding neighborhood. A bowl of shark’s fin soup is yours for $68. But such exorbitance is balanced by the $7.99 prix-fixe lunch, served on weekdays.Read more
Talk about a melting pot: A French and Chinese husband-and-wife team—Marc Kaczmarek and Mei Chau—is dishing out traditional Malaysian food in Little Italy. Chau (born to Chinese parents in Port Dickson, Malaysia) and her Parisian hubby have revived the East-meets-West vibe of their beloved Tribeca bistro Franklin Station Cafe (shuttered in 2008) at this bright, narrow restaurant. The teensy open kitchen supplies big portions of homestyle fare, from laksa (spicy Peranakan noodle soup) to lemak (coconut milk rice, the national dish of Malaysia). The 550-square-foot spot is humbly outfitted with old-fashioned tin ceilings, exposed brick and black-and-white tiled floors, and features a rotating selection of Kaczmarek's colorful photography of Manhattan street art.Read more
Part of a five-venue Chinese chain featuring the mouth-tingling cuisine of the ancient capital of Xi'an along China's Silk Road, this spot bears the same short menu of spicy noodles and cumin-flavored burgers but in roomier digs. Unlike its sparely appointed siblings, a mix of antique touches (porcelain figurines from the Ming dynasty) and modern effects (framed photos of frequent customer Anthony Bourdain) decorates the 40-seat restaurant.Read more
At this SoCal-inspired café, the lineup can change weekly. Expect colorful plates with equal parts Japanese, South American and Mediterranean influences. The menu has included a bonito chili–spiced black-rice bowl loaded with sweet potato and eggplant, and braised chicken in stick-to-your-ribs apricot couscous.Read more
Your waiter parades the roasted duck past your party before placing it on the center show table. A chef brandishes his knives dramatically, then slices the aromatic, crisp-skinned, succulent meat with great flair. Folks at other tables drool with envy. (They might not
know the establishment doesn’t require ordering the specialty in advance? Pity.) Select the “three-way,” and you'll score the duck main course (complete with pancakes and plum sauce for rolling up the goods), a vegetable stir-fry with leftover bits of meat, and a cabbage soup made with the remaining bone. Yes, the menu lists many dishes besides Peking duck, but reading it will only delay the inevitable.
Over the years, New York Noodle Town has proved that it can deliver on the promise of its name. Choose from panfried selections (boiled angel-hair noodles that are lightly fried for a crunchy-soft texture) or softer preparations (served floating in a flavorful chicken broth); they can be ordered with roasted pork, duck, chicken or ribs. Suckling pig is also a treat, but the supply usually runs out by 8pm. In a signature combination, Chinese flowering chives are sautéed with duck, scallops, fish or squid. The chives lose their pungency and sweeten in the flash of heat, making them a great accompaniment for delicate fowl or seafood.Read more