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NYC Chinatown's top 5 eats

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JANUARY 23, 2023

This winter, I spent my time in Manhattan, New York City with my brother. It was my first time here since I was a toddler, so I did a good amount of exploring. Needless to say, NYC is a food paradise. However, without my parents here to fund my meals, my budget was tight, which meant that Chinatown was my go-to place for food. With so many options, it can be a challenge to decide where to eat, but I’ve compiled for you my top five favorite Chinatown eats.

Wah Fung

If you’re even remotely familiar with Chinatown, you know Wah Fung. As proven by its long, snaking lines, Wah Fung’s $5.50 roast meat and soft cabbage on rice is one of New York’s favorite cheap eats. Although Wah Fung is often cited in many food lists and traveler guides, I’m going to mention it here because it’s truly that good. My personal favorite is the crispy pork belly, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Make sure to go before 3 p.m. or else you run the risk of everything being sold out!

Tasty Dumpling

These are hands-down the best dumplings I’ve ever had in my life. I appreciate chewy dumplings, so the thick wrapping and juicy filling complements my taste buds. At $2 for four pan-fried dumplings or $5.50 for 10 boiled dumplings, this hole-in-the-wall place is a steal and leaves my stomach feeling over the moon.

Mei Lai Wah

I haven’t tried anything else here except for the baked roast pork bun and the pineapple bun with roast pork. And I don’t need to, because these two items are like heaven on earth. The filling is super generous, with the perfect amount of sweetness and fatty pork, while the bun is soft and chewy. For less than $3 each, these buns could honestly serve as a light meal because of how decadent they are.

Teado Tea Shop

I randomly stumbled across this gem while walking through Chinatown because I was thirsty from walking around so much. Upon entering, I was greeted by garden decor and zen vibes. I proceeded to order a simple iced Chinese traditional tea. What truly surprised me was when the tea master gave me a sample of my tea to make sure it was to my liking before he proceeded to complete the brew. No such boba or tea shop has ever offered such an individualized experience. I highly recommend making a trip down there when it’s not busy, as only one person is allowed into the shop at a time.

With so many delicious options, Chinatown in New York City was a delightful winter break destination. Coupled with the dazzling Christmas festivities and world-famous New Year’s Eve ball drop, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the last few moments of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 anywhere else. I look forward to visiting this dreamy city in the near future and seeing what other delicious things are awaiting.

Contact Josephine Ng at 


JANUARY 23, 2023