15 Best Restaurants in Chinatown

Chinatown in Manhattan, New York

TripSavvy / Brakethrough Media

You can find excellent Chinese food all over New York City, but no experience matches stepping into Chinatown for a meal and feeling like you've been transported to another world. Manhattan's Chinatown is a popular tourist destination home to not just some of the city's best restaurants, but also some of the most affordable.

One of the key ways to have a great meal in Chinatown is to figure out what sort of cuisine is the restaurant's specialty. China is an enormous country with a variety of different regional cuisines, and many of them are on display in Chinatown (not to mention several other noteworthy East Asian restaurants). Sure, you can order lo mein or soup dumplings at many Chinatown restaurants, but you'll find that the lo mein is better at a Cantonese place and the soup dumplings are best at a Shanghainese spot.

01 of 15

456 New Shanghai

456 Restaurant exterior

456 Restaurant

Address
69 Mott St A, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 212-349-9999

If you're looking for soup dumplings, look no further than 456 New Shanghai, a restaurant specializing in Shanghai cuisine that's one of the best for this ever-popular staple. Apart from the pork or crabmeat soup dumplings, which are obligatory to try, other stand-out dishes include the eggplant in garlic sauce, sauteed eels with chives, and pork shoulder in sweet honey sauce. Ordering off of the large menu can be overwhelming if you aren't familiar with Shanghainese cuisine, but look for items with small heart icons if you need inspiration—they're dishes recommended by the New York Times.

02 of 15

Deluxe Green Bo

Dumplings at Deluxe Green Bo Restaurant

Deluxe Green Bo Restaurant

Address
66 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 212-625-2359

Another spot specializing in Shanghai cuisine, Deluxe Green Bo restaurant is a great place to get Lions Head stewed meatballs, yellow fish with dried seaweed, and rice cake dishes, as well as soup dumplings (of course). The restaurant is small so it's best to go with one or two others as it can't really accommodate big groups. It's also cash-only, so make sure to stop at an ATM before you get there.

03 of 15

Hop Kee

Hop Kee Chinatown

TripSavvy / Heather Cross

Address
21 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 212-964-8365

In a city where restaurants constantly turn over, it's a testament to the food at Hop Kee that it is one of the oldest restaurants in Chinatown. Hop Kee has been serving traditional Cantonese cuisine since 1968 and is famous for its deliciously cheap offerings. Believe it or not, snails are one of the most popular dishes at Hop Kee, so curious diners should definitely not miss out. From pan-fried flounder and Cantonese-style crab to chow fun and roast duck wonton soup, the servings are plentiful, affordable, and always leave customers with the desire to come back.

04 of 15

Great N.Y. Noodletown

Great NY Noodletown

Ryan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Address
28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013-5100, USA
Phone +1 212-349-0923

Great N.Y. Noodletown lives up to its name with its mouthwatering selection of Cantonese specialty dishes. You can order noodles with meat, noodles with vegetables, noodles in soup, and noodles in pretty any form imaginable. You've probably heard of Peking duck from Northern China, but the southern Cantonese-style duck is even more succulent, as it's stuffed with spices like star anise, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon while it roasts, and then drizzled with hot oil just before serving to crisp up the skin.

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05 of 15

Ping's

Ping's Seafood

Jenn (Yana) / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Address
22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013-5033, USA
Phone +1 212-602-9988

As soon as you walk in and see the tanks full of live crab and fish, it's clear that seafood is the specialty at Ping's. In addition to its freshly-caught dishes, Ping's is known for serving delicious dim sum all day long. The pleasant atmosphere and credit-card-friendly policy at this Cantonese seafood restaurant in Chinatown mean that there are often lines, but they move quickly. While many Chinatown spots are too small to accommodate big groups, Ping's is one of the few that accepts large parties and even offers a prix fixe menu for parties of 10 or more to simplify ordering.

06 of 15

Original Wo Hop

Wo Hop Restaurant

Cory Wright / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Address
17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013-5002, USA
Phone +1 212-962-8617

The original Wo Hop, also known as Wo Hop Downstairs or Wo Hop 17, has been a Chinatown staple since 1938, making it one of the oldest neighborhood restaurants. The food is Cantonese-inspired, but the truth is that Wo Hop doesn't serve the most authentically Chinese cuisine—and that's exactly what sets it apart from newer restaurants. The menu harks back to a time when NYC diners wanted the "Americanized version" of Chinese food, so you'll find deliciously greasy dishes like chop suey, lo mein, and broccoli beef. Even if there are menu items you wouldn't necessarily find in China, the original Wo Hop celebrates its Chinese-American roots.

07 of 15

Wo Hop Next Door

Wo Hop Next Door and original Wo Hop

Wo Hop Next Door

Address
15 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 212-566-3841

If you're heading to Wo Hop on Mott Street, you may be taken aback by the two locations side-by-side with the same name. They are, in fact, two different restaurants with a fierce Chinatown rivalry, and both locations have a loyal and passionate fan base. The original Wo Hop is down a set of stairs at 17 Mott St., while the newer Wo Hop Next Door, or Wo Hop 15, is at street level at 15 Mott St. Getting into the debate of which one is better comes down to personal preference, but rest assured that whichever Wo Hop you end up at, both are excellent options.

08 of 15

Da Long Yi Hot Pot

Da Long Yi Hot Pot

Da Long Yi Hot Pot

Address
159 Canal St 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 917-889-5539

Most Chinatown restaurants serve either Cantonese or Shanghainese cuisine, representing the biggest immigrant groups in New York City. But another regional type of cooking that's growing in popularity is Sichuan cuisine, specifically hot pot. Da Long Yi Hot Pot started in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and serves this family-style meal with a big pot of boiling broth in the middle of the table so diners can dip raw meat and vegetables into the broth to cook it. The experience is communal, fun, and above all delicious. Just remember that if you're sensitive to spice, Sichuan food is famous for its signature tingly heat.

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09 of 15

Hou Yi Hot Pot

Hou Yi Hot Pot exterior

Hou Yi Hot Pot

Address
92 Hester St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Phone +1 212-966-3420

Hou Yi Hot Pot is Taiwanese-style, not Sichuan, so the flavors aren't quite the same (nor quite as spicy). You can also order an individual-sized pot of broth and, since everything is all you can eat, you can refill your pot as many times as you like. All of the meats, vegetables, and other dipping items are also unlimited, including the house-made sauces. The best part of the meal, however, may be the ice cream bar that awaits after finishing your hot pot. Even though it's traditionally less spicy than Sichuan hot pot, the Taiwan version still has a kick to it and a cold dessert is a welcome end to the meal.

10 of 15

Xi'an Famous Foods

Noodles from Xian Famous Foods

Xi'an Famous Foods

Address
45 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013-4929, USA
Phone +1 212-786-2068

Xi'an Famous Foods is a legend in New York and can be credited with introducing Northwestern Chinese cuisine to the city. Xi'an is the capital city of Shaanxi province and the flavors are notably different from the typical dishes you find in Chinatown restaurants. There are plenty of hot dishes but cold noodles are a Xi'an specialty, and while Cantonese restaurants typically serve pork or beef, you'll find that lamb is the leading actor on Xi'an's menu. The line is often long but it moves fast and it's worth the wait. If you aren't around Chinatown, you can also try Xi'an Famous Foods at their locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

11 of 15

Peking Duck House

Peking duck

Peking Duck House

Address
28 Mott St A, New York, NY 10013-5000, USA
Phone +1 212-227-1810

Peking duck is a dish almost everyone has heard of, but if you're looking to try it, then Peking Duck House is one of the tastiest options for this iconic meal outside of Beijing. The signature duck is pricier than other Chinatown options, but the time and energy that go into each duck explain the price. You'll be served in the traditional way, meaning your server carves the duck at the table beginning with the crispy skin dipped in sweet bean sauce. Afterward, the duck meat is wrapped in savory pancakes with whatever sauces and vegetables you choose to add.

12 of 15

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Dim sum plates at Nom Wah

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Address
13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013-5104, USA
Phone +1 212-962-6047

Nom Wah Tea Parlor isn't just one of the oldest Chinatown restaurants, it is the oldest Chinatown restaurant. For over a century, Nom Wah has been serving Chinese pastries, steamed buns, tea, and dim sum, and not much has changed since opening its doors in 1920. The vintage design feels like going back in time and the classic menu still offers some of the best dim sum plates in the neighborhood (and at a much more affordable price than trendier restaurants that have popped up since). Enjoy your tea while carts pass around with small plates like siu mai wonton dumplings, scallion pancakes, or roasted porn buns. It gets busy, especially during weekend brunch, so be sure to arrive early.

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13 of 15

Joe's Shanghai

Soup dumplings at Joes Shanghai

City Foodsters / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Address
46 Bowery, New York, NY 10013, USA
Phone +1 212-233-8888

You can get soup dumplings at Shanghainese restaurants throughout Chinatown, but you'll be hard-pressed to find more flavorful dumplings than those at Joe's Shanghai. You can get them with pork meat or crab with pork meat, and they are always freshly made to order. After gorging on these broth-filled dumplings, be sure to save room for the actual entrees as there is a full menu of dishes from Shanghai and other parts of China, with chef's recommendations like soft-shell crab, short ribs with mushroom sauce, and Shanghai egg noodles. Joe's Shanghai is a cash-only restaurant.

14 of 15

Kopitiam

Malaysian food at Kopitiam

Kopitiam

Address
151 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA
Phone +1 646-609-3785

China's cuisine is incredibly diverse, but Chinatown isn't limited to just food from within the country's borders. You can find all types of great East Asian restaurants and one of the most talked-about is Kopitiam, a Malaysian spot that means "coffee shop." The menu is a blend of flavors that flaunt Malaysia's diverse history, taking inspiration from Malay, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and British cuisine. The restaurant is a casual eatery where you order at the counter and take your food to a table, just like a traditional Malay coffee shop. The food includes all kinds of sweet and savory snacks plus full entrees, but the exotic drink menu of teas and coffees is what really shines.

15 of 15

Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery

Bahn mi sandwiches

iStock / Getty Images

Address
198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013-3787, USA
Phone +1 212-941-1541

Many NYC restaurants these days have to add a lot of frills or eye-catching dazzle to attract customers, so when you see a bare-bones joint like Bahn Mi Saigon Bakery that's remained open since 1989, you know it's because the food is just that good. Choose your protein at this Vietnamese hole in the wall from options like grilled pork, barbeque chicken, pate, or shrimp, which is then stuffed into a fresh baguette with all of the traditional toppings—pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, daikon, and mayonnaise. Even though bahn mi is the house specialty, you can also choose to get your protein over a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles, instead.

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15 Best Restaurants in Chinatown