Where to get lunch in Chinatown

Photograph: Beth Levendis

Prosperity Dumpling

Prosperity Dumpling

Quick bite: Prosperity Dumpling
Cheap dumpling joints are chock-a-block in these parts, but the juicy pork-and-chive specimens (5 for $1) at this hole-in-the-wall are our favorites in the 'hood. Add a restorative beef-and-noodle soup ($3) or a pan-crisped scallion pancake stuffed with beef ($1.75) and your meal still clocks in under six bucks. 46 Eldridge St between Canal and Hester Sts (212-343-0683)

Business: Oriental Garden
Amid a sea of dragon-bedazzled Chinese restaurants, this sedate wood-paneled dining room—tended to by a warm, friendly staff—is a welcome oasis. Large round tables offer enough space for laptops and papers, and the hushed tone means you won't have to strain to hear your companion. Skip run-of-the-mill lunch specials and turn to the manager for guidance in navigating the abundant dim sum offerings or tips for off-menu seafood specials, like the steamed giant oyster with black bean sauce ($5.95). 14 Elizabeth St between Bayard and Canal Sts (212-619-0085)

Delivery: Bluebird Sky
This seasonal American caf is a boon to lunchers looking for break from Chinatown's General Tso routine. With little salad-and-sandwich game in the area, the owners could get away with prepackaged options. Instead their superlative selections, including grilled flank steak with pickled shallots and melted Gruyre on a Grandaisy baguette ($9), deliver fresh lunchtime salvation. 121 Baxter St between Canal and Hester Sts (212-966-4646, bluebirdskynyc.com)