As Chinatown has changed due to construction, immigration and plain old gentrification, the neighborhood’s Hong Kong–style fast-food joints have started slipping away. That’s a shame. Not only is the grub often quick, cheap and delicious—a plate-size oyster pancake is both creamy and crunchy—but these casual restaurants can be a hoot of a culture clash, too: Gong zai mian, or instant noodle soups, come topped with fried eggs and hot dogs; soy-sauce-soaked beef “chow” is made with spaghetti. While the mural-painted M Star is open all day, it’s known for budget breakfasts, especially hot or cold “milk tea” (the latter is creamy and sweet, served over pellet-size ice cubes), and sandwiches like the tidy Spam and egg, made on pristine triangles of crustless white bread. Or for a sweet snack, try two toaster waffles spread with an indulgent triple threat of butter, peanut butter and condensed milk.
|Venue name:||M Star Cafe||Contact:|
19 Division St
|Cross street:||between Catherine and Market Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 7am–8pm|
|Transport:||Subway: B, D to Grand St; F to East Broadway|
|Price:||Average main course: $6. Cash only|
|Do you own this business?|