Chinatown

 

 

Click here for a map of all the restaurants listed below.

 

Fried Dumpling [99 Allen St. (bet. Broome St. and Delancey St.) 212-941-9975]
So cheap it's silly. $1 gets you 5 dumplings. Or 4 pork buns. Or two huge pieces of a Sesame Pancake. And so on and so forth. The dumplings are solid, but unspectacular. But did I mention that they cost $1 for 5?! If you really like them, you can bring 30 of them home for $5 and cook them yourself.

Great N.Y. Noodletown [28 1/2 Bowery (at Bayard Street) 212-349-0923]
My new Chinatown eatery after the sad closure of Win Hop, a Berger family staple for nearly 30 years. Try the Wonton Noodle Soup ($3.50) and any dish over rice. Beef with Broccoli is only $3.50. Typical authentic Chinatown atmosphere.

Joe's Shanghai [9 Pell St. (bet. Doyers St. and Bowery) 212-233-8888]
The line outside is usually long. Once inside, you sit at a big table with strangers (ours were from Sweden) and everyone is packed together. But the soup dumplings are very good. A Shanghai specialty, these treats filled with pork, or my preferred pork and crab, should make up the bulk of your meal. They are the main reason to come here, as opposed to other Chinatown restaurants. One caveat: don't eat the whole thing in one bite Tom, or you will burn your mouth. I also recommend the Shredded Turnip Shortcakes and the Shanghai Fried Flat Noodles, which were both tasty. And of course, as this is Chinatown, prices are very low.

Mandarin Court [61 Mott St. (bet. Bayard and Canal Sts.) 212-608-3838]
It's all about the Dim Sum at this Chinatown joint. And for about $10, you can stuff your face full of some pretty tasty versions of all the classics. Make sure to get Char Siu Bao (steamed buns with BBQ pork), Shu Mai (shrimp or pork), Cheong Fun (rice noodles with meat fillings), Har Gau (crystal shrimp dumplings), and whatever else strikes your fancy. They have old Chinese women walking around with carts here, just the way it should be. And if you don't see something you want, don't hesitate to ask for it.

New Green Bo [66 Bayard St. (bet. Mott and Elizabeth Sts.) 212-625-2359]
Another cheap Chinatown joint, you will have a lot of options here. Because it serves Shanghai-style cuisine, New Green Bo offers the classic Shanghai Dim Sum. Steamed Crab Meat and Pork Tiny Buns (soup dumplings) are the way to go in this regard. I recommend splitting an order of these with someone else and then each of you should get one dish "Over Rice." The Chicken with Broccoli is a solid choice. Do NOT get the Stewed Beef unless you know a lot about authentic Chinese cuisine!