Explore NYC's Chinatown Through These 10 Restaurants

Home to the largest population of Chinese people in the Western hemisphere, Manhattan's Chinatown can be daunting. Hurried shopkeepers peek out from windows while children play ball in the streets. In terms of food? Well, buckle up. To find the good stuff takes a little time and a whole lot of patience. If clean and tidy floors are on your list of musts, well...let's just say you may be better suited to grab grub somewhere else. 

But if you're open for culinary adventure and looking for it on the cheap, there's few better places in the city to get your fill. From old-standbys-turned-neighborhood-hotspots like the dim sum restaurant Nom Wah Tea Parlor to fresh fusion newcomers like Japanese-Hawaiian-Korean-inspired Chikarashi, Chinatown is brimming with possibilities old and new. 

If it's simply low costs and high value you're after, you'd be remiss to visit New York and not pass through Chinatown for a bite at Tasty Dumpling, or swing by Canal Street Market for a mini-food tour all under one roof. Another option that's not as often documented are the food carts dotting the streets, so you can forget halal and skip right to the rice noodles. 

Below, we dive into the 10 best restaurants in Chinatown. 

Canal Street Market
Photo courtesy of Mason Wilkes/CSM


Due to inflated rents and high fail rates for new restaurants, food halls are quickly replacing singular brick-and-mortar joints. Sometimes this is good, sometimes...not so good. In the case of Canal Street Market, this is very, very good....  Read More



Chinatown isn't often associated with high-quality ingredients or a focus on sustainability. The newest player on the block, Chikarashi, hopes to change that. Inspired by Hawaiian cuisine like poke (fish salad) and Japanese chirashi (essentially...  Read More



The stylish, contemporary digs at this ever-popular Chinatown joint are a refreshing departure from the other, more ho-hum alternatives in the area. As the name suggests, the star of the menu here is the delicious duck.

Prepared by pumping the...  Read More



French-Malaysian may not sound like it belongs in Chinatown, but this neighborhood gem is worth a serious look if you're in the area. With great lunch specials and counter service (they also offer dine-in), Aux Epices nails the cheap-delicious...  Read More



Dim sum minus the push cart might seem like a crime to some, but Nom Wah Tea Parlor has perfected push-less patronage. Famous for its homemade lotus paste and red bean filling for moon cake, in addition to its almond cookie, you'll find bakery...  Read More



Though not much to look at on the outside, this Vietnamese restaurant remains popular thanks to its excellent dishes and reasonable prices. Among the regulars, favorites include staples like banh mi cary ga (curried chicken), the steamed fish...  Read More



There's a bit of debate amongst dumpling aficionados about where to best indulge around Canal Street, but plenty of people hand over their hard-earned cash to Joe. Long lines often form in anticipation of stuffing these steamed soup dumplings...  Read More

Xi'an Famous
Photo courtesy of Xi'an Famous Foods


The original location is in Flushing, but the guys running the show recognized that if they wanted to get Xi'an cuisine out to the masses, they needed a Manhattan-based location. Enter the Bayard Street outpost of this mini-chain, which was one...  Read More

Tasty Dumpling
Photo courtesy of Taste Trekker


Aptly named for their bite-sized morsels of doughy goodness, Tasty Dumpling has amassed a steady flow of regulars. A hole in the wall joint of epic proportions, don't expect to find pristine conditions or top notch service inside.

But we're in...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lalito


Lalito is Mexican food. Kind of. It's also vegan. Kind of. One thing it's certainly not is Chinese, though they do fry whole fish, which could fall into nearly any ethnic category. Regardless of how it's classified, all you need to know is that...  Read More


Meet Andrea Wien

Andrea Wien was bitten by the travel bug from an early age, and has lived in New York, Seattle, Cleveland and Sydney, Australia since 2007.

When she's not traveling or planning a trip, you'll...  More About Andrea