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Chinatown is a buzz for Chinese New Year

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This being my 1st year working in Chinatown I am getting excited to see what festivities are around to partake in without feeling too much like the "outsider" I am here. Do the restaurants offer "special" items during the new year celebrations that aren't offered the rest of the year? I haven't really experimented much down here as its all a mystery to me. What would be the one item I must try during the New Year Celebrations?
When is the main celebration/parade does anyone know? I would love to be able to watch it this year.

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  1. Lucky dog to be there to see it all up close. Traditionally you should have noodles (long life) and in particular the year of the Rat favors pork as a lucky food. This is, obviously, music to my ears. Me, I'd head to New Shanghai and get some of their braised pork foot, but take a friend because it's a big dish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      Well i'm glad that this year doesn't favor rat dishes! I ordered that pork foot dish by my lonesome once and ate it for three days. RE OP, I work across the street from Chinatown and the major thing to look out for is the Lion dance parade which should be on New Year's day itself. Also this weekend will be big with another parade and firecrackers. The next morning there is exploded red paper everywhere. Most restaurants are a little busier but the live poultry places are lined up. Cantonese always serve chicken. The noodles and dumplings tend to be a northern thing. I don;t recall any new Years specials at the restaurants but maybe someone who can read the chinese signs on the wall can pipe in.

      1. re: gourmaniac

        AFAIK, the lion dances and street fair are on the 17th

        1. re: Spike

          Yes, there was a flyer to that effect posted all over the place when we were in Chinatown last weekend.

    2. Does anyone know if the shops/restaurants in Chinatown close at all for the Chinese New Year?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pa amb Tomaquet

        Depends on the place - some shops close for 2 weeks (traditional, 'til the lantern festival/end of CNY) - I think most of the restaurants are open though.