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Chinese Tuxedo
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The best Chinatown restaurants in NYC

Dumplings, tacos, ramen—the best Chinatown restaurants in New York City serve all that and much more

By Bao Ong and Time Out contributors

February 2021: Now more than ever, it's essential to support the best Chinatown restaurants in NYC, which have faced a unique set of challenges over the last year. Still, the neighborhood has risen to the occasion in brilliant and creative ways. From the illuminated lanterns now strung across Mott Street to creative outdoor dining set-ups, if you haven't been to Chinatown lately, it's worth taking some time to explore its many treasures—including its absolutely fantastic restaurants. These are our favorites that are currently open.

New York’s best Chinatown restaurants are more than dim sum and Peking duck—although, the downtown neighborhood is rife with fantastic options for both. No, the food possibilities expand well beyond some of the city’s best Chinese restaurants to include creative Mexican restaurants and Cali-coolcafes. Whether you’re looking for traditional soup dumplings or French-Malaysian fare, these Chinatown restaurants have something for you.

RECOMMENDED: Full neighborhood guide to Chinatown NYC

Best Chinatown restaurants

Bo Ky
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

1. Bo Ky

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

Slippery noodles submerged in rich, concentrated broths are the stock-in-trade (no pun intended) at this peach-tiled Chinatown spot. Dozens of options include searing teochew chili paste with flat noodles and potent mustard greens. Service is brisk and the language barrier impenetrable for non–Chinese speakers, but the taste-to-cost ratio is slanted ridiculously in your favor.

Spicy Beef Brisket Hui Mei at Spicy Village
Photograph: Jessica Lin

2. Spicy Village

Restaurants Chinese Lower East Side

A hole-in-the-wall temple to the cuisine of China’s Henan heartland, Spicy Village is a pilgrimage site for adventurous eaters and regional cuisine purists. The illustrated wall-mounted menu boasts noodle soups, dumplings, soup dumplings and their Big Tray of Chicken, made up of bone-in poultry chunks and potatoes marinated in Budweiser, chili oil, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. 


3. Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc.

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

Housemade wheat noodles are served in the broth of your choice at this tiny Chinese eatery. Lines are long but move quickly with everyone eye these inexpensive and tender plates of noods. When it's nice out, take you meal outside to the tables and chairs they set out on the street.

New York Noodle Town
Photograph: Courtesy New York Noodle Town

4. Great N.Y. Noodletown

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

Over the years, Great N.Y. Noodletown 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) ordered with roasted pork, duck, chicken or ribs.

Photograph: Courtesy Raydene Salinas

5. Dimes

Restaurants Californian Chinatown

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 highly Instagramable dishes for any time of the day, including a stellar breakfast menu.

Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

6. Jing Fong

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

For some, Jing Fong might be intimidating: It’s marked by giant escalators, a vast dining room and walkie-talkie–toting waiters marshalling diners. But it has remarkable dim sum. The shrimp shumai with glass noodles is exceptional, as is the ground pork and shrimp wrapped in a big black mushroom. The freshness and originality of its most mundane offerings keep people coming back for more.

Photograph: Courtesy Xi'an Famous Foods

7. Xi'an Famous Foods

Restaurants Chinese East Village

Part of a local Chinese-food 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. A mix of antique touches (porcelain figurines from the Ming dynasty) and modern effects (framed photos of the late Anthony Bourdain) decorates the 40-seat restaurant.

Peking Duck House
Photograph: Courtesy Lindsay Maclean Taylor

8. Peking Duck House

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

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. Yes, the menu lists many dishes besides Peking duck, but reading it will only delay the inevitable.

Royal Seafood Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Diane T.

9. Royal Seafood Restaurant

Restaurants Chinese Little Italy

Even in the city’s dim sum center, Royal Seafood stands out from its neon-ceilinged, cart-toting neighbors with its meals served family-style at large communal tables. While classics like chicken feet, turnip cake, short ribs and a host of deep-fried dishes lure the brunch-hour rush, it’s the off-the-menu lobster that garners rave reviews well into the evening.

Egg roll at Nom Wah Tea Parlor
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

10. Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

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. Come for the dim sum, where each mouthwatering plate is cooked fresh to order.

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