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Photography: Courtesy of Tang Hotpot

Where to get Chinese New Year dinner in NYC

Celebrate the Year of the Rat with the best Chinese New Year dinners in NYC

Written by
Bao Ong
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Among the best ways to celebrate Chinese New Year—or the Lunar New Year as many people call it because various Asian cultures celebrate the holiday—is through food. To get your fill of noodles, dumplings, fish, rice and other dishes that are considered part of bringing good fortune in the Year of the Rat, New Yorkers have plenty of options that go beyond the best Chinese restaurants or Chinatown. Here’s where you’ll want to consider dinner to celebrate one of the biggest holidays.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to  Chinese New Year in NYC

Chinese New Year dinner in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 4 of 4

Hakkasan often gets lumped in the “clubstaurant” category with its buzzy atmosphere, moody lighting and multiple locations throughout the world. But where this modern Chinese restaurant sets itself apart is the quality of its dishes, from steaming baskets of dim sum to crispy Peking duck. For the Lunar New Year, a prix-fixe menu ($98 per person) available January 25-February 8 includes the popular yu shen salad and an excellent baked salt-crusted chicken—which can all be paired with a rum-based cocktail.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Noho
  • price 2 of 4

Anyone who’s celebrated Lunar New Year can tell you the feasts are like Thanksgiving on steriods. It often involves multiple meals, and it’s not uncommon for it to be a family affair (or amongst friends). At Bessou, chef Emily Yuen is celebrating the tradition on January 26 with family-style dishes: yuba spring rolls, smoked gouda Napa cabbage gyoza, mapo eggplant and other plates worth sharing over dinner ($55 per person).

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Chef Joe Ng infuses his playful take on Chinese fare with a farm-to-table sensibility. For the holiday, this means you’ll find items like the Gold Coins (uni-filled dumplings) and Long Life (a fish course doused with spiced lemon sauce). If you miss out on these items available January 23-26, there’s always the Pastrami Egg Roll and crowd-pleasing “Pac Man” shrimp dumplings.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

Dominique Ansel recently debuted a new shop in Hong Kong and just in time for the new year, he’s showcasing two pastries from the latest opening at the Soho bakery. Riffing on the signature Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot is a Hong Kong Milk Tea Cookie Shot that comes with a snickerdoodle suger cookie that holds a shot of homemade cold-brewed Hong Kong Milk Tea ($5). There’s also a Pineapple Bun Mousse Cake ($8), a play on the breakfast treat known as a “bolo bao,” a sweet morning bun with a crisp cookie crust. Both are being sold January 24-26.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Midtown West

Our favorite fast-casual Chinese eatery has launched its first rice bowl in honor of the Lunar New Year. The Firecracker Chicken Millet Rice bowl is a hearty meal with sweet-and-spicy chicken thights complemented by a soy-marinated egg, cabbage, leeks, caramelized shallot and carrots. Add some additional chili oil, and you’ll taste why this bowl is aptly dubbed a firecracker.

Tet is the Vietnamese celebration for the Lunar New Year and at Madame Vo, chef Jimmy Ly is offering a traditional dish not often found in New York: bánh tét, a glutinous rice cake filled with pork belly and mung bean that’s enveloped in banana leaves ($15 per slice for dining in and $25 for a whole one to take home). It’s available January 25-February 7.

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Chinese Tuxedo
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Chinatown
  • price 3 of 4

A special banquet menu ($88 per person) by chef Paul Donnelly is avaialble all day starting at noon on January 25 at this hip Chinatown restaurant. While feasting on shrimp-and-lobster toast or the Buddha’s Noodle, you may also catch the Lion Dance Troupe throughout the day.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • East Village

In addition to all our favorite dishes at this East Village spot (the crispy pork belly is not to be missed), chef Thomas Chen is offering up oxtail spring rolls. And to celebrate the Year of the Rat, the restaurant will hand out the custom red-and-gold envelopes at the end of each meal on January 25 (five diners will win $50 gift cards).

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

In a collaboration with Shelsky’s, Simone Tong and the New York appetizing and delicatessan staple are offering two specials available through February 8: a lamb meatball paomo with Shelsky’s flagel ($24) combines the best of an everything flagel with a specialty of Shaanxi. A flagel (a flattened bagle) sits atop the rich lamb soup. There’s also a Pastrami Guo Ki ($12), a play on the traditional Chinese pancake where a bialy stuffed with pastrami is topped with ingredients such as Sichuan pickles and fermented chili bean paste.

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Flatiron
  • price 3 of 4

After you devour the parade of small plates of dishes here, you’ll also receive a complimentary tteokguk, a rice cake soup that’s tradditionally served in Korea for Lunar New Year.

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Tang Hotpot
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Hot pot season is at its peak this time of the year in New York. For its Chinese New Year celebrations, Tang Hotpot will offer a prix-fixe on January 24 and 25 ($75 per person or $99 per person with three drinks). This idyllic communal feast will showcase a holiday staple: dumplings.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Upper East Side

Chef Sung Park’s cooking at Ivy Lane is classified as modern American but for the Lunar New Year, he’s turning to his Asian roots. From January 24-26, there’s a duck consomme ($19) with Peking duck dumplings, rice gnocchi, root vegetables, garlic blossoms and shiitakes.

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