Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jul 11, 2007 01:05 PM

Chinese Food on Upper West Side

I've been having really bad luck, any suggestions? Also, recommended dishes.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ivy's isn't too bad. I liked their scallion pancakes.

    Good luck, it's tough to find stuff that isn't goopy or sludgey or too sweet. I tried for a few years and then just gave up. (Then I moved.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      it's terrible. the situation is really quite bleak. to the point that FattyDumplin' and his wife, Slurpin'Noodle, are seriously contemplating a move to an area with easier access to Chinatown.

    2. It's not you. It just doesn't exist. Decent chinese means a trip out of the neighborhood. Nothing but's baffled me for 10+ years.

      5 Replies
      1. re: harrison

        It's the same story in many other cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco--some of the country's greatest Chinese food in parts of the city and vast wastelands in other parts. In Los Angeles there is literally a 50 square mile swath between downtown and the westside without a single (well, maybe one) authentically good Chinese restaurant, yet there are 300 to 400 authentic places in a smaller sized area east of the city, the San Gabriel Valley. The answer isn't anything complicated--unless there is a Chinese customer base to force some level of authenticity, you're looking at a lowest common denominator customer base for which sweet and gloppy is good enough. At least Manhattan has a subway system which lets you get to Chinatown in minutes, even during rush hour. In Los Angeles, the 15 mile trek to satisfy your craving for good Chinese food can cost you an hour and a half of your time--one way.

        1. re: Chandavkl

          I hear you. Most Manhattan neighborhoods have at least 1 above average Chinese restaurants. On the UWS we have been lulled into accepting mediocrity - and they all seem to do ok business.

          I had more decent Chinese places in suburban NJ where I grew up in the 70's and 80's.

        2. re: harrison

          There used to be one good place Dynasty on 110th and bdway a couple years ago but Columbia bought them out so they could demolish the property and build a new building. I guess they never relocated as far as I am aware.

          1. re: jeanki

            Dynasty was just ok... it was quick and reliable, but that's about it.

            And for the record, is that new building on the corner really a Columbia building? Do they own it? It looks like a expensive residential high-rise....

            1. re: senyc

              Shun Lee across from Lincoln Center is very popular

        3. I know exactly what you mean. I live on the upper west side and am equally frustrated with this problem. The Indian food situation is about as bad.

          Shun Lee is good, but much more expensive.

          It's amazing how the food items that you would consider most simple are often just toally screwed up. There is no reliability, and no consistency. I would settle for something reliably mediocre, but even that is hard to come by.

          One new place that I tried the other day place the other day gave me mexican flour tortillas with my Moo Shu! Totally Unacceptable. that is one example of many.

          It's actaully quite strange that an entire neighborhood in manhattan does not have a descent chinese place.

          1. Hey Amy, I get my fix at China Fun. It has decent dim sum offerings like pan-fried radish cake, egg custard tarts, curry puffs, roast pork buns, pot stickers, and on weekends, fried crullers with sesame flatbread and soybean milk. Pearls for dim sum items, is also not bad.

            I stay far, far away from places like Shun Lee, personally.

            1. I live in the 80's on the west side, would order from Grand Sichuan in Hells Kitchen and they would deliver it to me when the were opened.. This is really the only solution to getting good Chinese Food for the UWS.

              Its crazy because you have a place like Saigon Grill that serves like a thousand people a night.. And I think they are prospering because of the void of Chinese Restaurants..