Chinatown Chef Tour
We are bringing a group to New York and plan to visit Chinatown. I am coming with a chef and we would like to walk around to some fun markets (food) and then maybe have some dim sum or actual lunch. I have tried to read through the chinatown posts, but am having trouble. Would love the suggestion for the best restaurant. PS we are a group of 24
People love Amazing 66. And even though it is totally touristy, Joe's Shanghai is still very good and pretty big.
I do not know the name of the market, but it is located just north of Canal Street. There are two entrances, one on Elizabeth and one on Mott. The market runs right through to both streets. The store is amazing. Chinese/Asian paradise for food lovers
For a group of your size, Jing Fong @ 20 Elizabeth is probably your best bet to be seated at 2-3 tables for dim sum. Going to a smaller place would definitely be problematic on many levels. Be sure to arrive early, especially on weekends. Anytime after 11:30 AM usually requires a waiting period, and then the quality of your experience will suffer.
24 is a large group. I think Amazing 66 may have some difficulty accommodating you in one group unless you notify them ahead of time. Not sure where you're from, but tourists generally love dim sum. For dim sum, I think Golden Bridge is a good choice. Large enough for your group and one of the better dim sum places in NYC. I definitely prefer this over Jing Fong.
About markets, I think that Kam Man on Canal Street is definitely a do. It is a lot more tourist-friendly than some of the other ones. The first floor sells food and the basement has a lot of Asian housewares such as clay pots, rice cookers, Japanese sushi dishes, tea pots, etc. Deluxe Food Market (the market forunder was referring to) is a great market. You may have to go in shifts as it's very narrow and CROWDED. Make sure you walk down Mott Street to observe all the fish stands and vegetable markets. One of the fish markets on Mott between Hester and Grand sells frogs in a plastic bucket. You may get a kick out of that.
re: Miss Needle
I agree with Kam Man as an excellent excursion. The dry goods selection and variety is greatest to my knowledge of any market. It does have a bit of everything. The dried fish and ginseng on the wall is worth a stop alone to see. I am sure many have never seen a dried sea cucumber, abalone or shark fin. the prices associated for quality will be a shocker for most. Even seeing the dried oysters and scallops neatly arranged is a marvel.
As for downstairs, an inexpensive porcelain tea cup with lid, Chinese soup spoons, decorative plates/bowls or Cookware can be purchased very inexpensively. My favorite is the wide selection of knives......who needs Wusthof-Trident or J.A. Henkle when you can purchase a nice Stainless Steel Cleaver for less than $30.