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May 18, 2009 09:36 AM

Tour of China Town

I'm coming in to China Town for the day from Baltimore. ( we have no Chinese restaurants in Baltimore). I figure I can fit in 3 meals in 8 hours. Any suggestions for an itinerary ?

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  1. Only three meals? :) How many are in your group? Here's a starter for getting stuffed:

    * Mei Lai Wah Coffee House - Bayard Street (almost kiddie-corner from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.) Get some milk tea and a baked roast pork bun. Then pop down to Big Wong King at 67 Mott Street for some delicious Cantonese style BBQ Roast Pork.
    MLW opens at 7:00 am (I think) and Big Wong King at 7:30 am.

    Pre-lunch snack at 11:00 am:
    Shanghai style soup dumplings at the Shanghai Cafe (100 Mott Street) or another spot with many fans: Joes Shanghai on Pell Street.

    Amazing 66 at 66 Mott Street - 66+ lunch specials at $5.25 from which to select. Includes tea, cup of soup and rice. Make sure to get their lunch special menu otherwise they will hand you the more expensive dinner menu.

    Post Lunch Snack:
    Some hand-pulled beef noodle soup. My favorite is Far Eastern Hand Pulled Noodles on Forsyth Street.

    Pre Dinner Dim Sum and Cocktails at Red Egg:

    Cantoon Garden

    Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Bayard.

    Another thread you might find of interest...
    Best Chinatown Restaurant:

    9 Replies
    1. re: scoopG

      Excellent itinerary. The only thing I might add is a dollar's worth of dumplings from Prosperity Dumpling on Eldredge St. I thought the Baltimore 'hounds had found a good authentic restaurant, Grace Garden in Odenton, so there may be hope for Baltimore after all.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        how about the little cakes,, the same that the old woman on Mosco st. used to make is still on bowery near Chatham restaurant ,,, If never been to chinatown i think a cart dumsum would be nice , possibly Golden Unicorn or 88 East Broadway ( you have the amll there to get some chinatown flavor),,, maybe a bubble tea place on Mott st. also ,, I second chinese ice cream factory ,,maybe egg custard king on mott

        1. re: foodwhisperer

          The Hong Kong egg cakes you can get on Bowery are way inferior to Mrs. Han's, who as Lau says, unfortunately retired a long time ago. (Actually, I'm happy for her: She put I believe 2 children through college with her earnings.) I'm not sure they're worth the stomach space and calories.

          1. re: Pan

            i think it was actually three is too bad she is gone, her's were actually better than the ones you get in HK

        2. re: Chandavkl

          You are absolutely right! Have to be able to squeeze in a delicious dollar's worth of Prosperity Dumplings!

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Yeah, Grace Garden is great, but it is still an hour drive from Towson. And in rush hour traffic it is closed on Sunday.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              not much i can add here, this is a good list

              fyi, the woman on mosco retired many years ago

              dim sum halls (golden unicorn, 88 palace etc): id avoid the big dim sum halls (none are good, in fact i think they're all pretty bad)...the options scoopG mentioned are a better use of precious time

              Cantoon Garden: highly recommend as I think its the best restaurant in manhattan always i'm a cheerleader for CG

              Mei Li Wah: you really need to get a coconut bun (gai mei bao), they have a really good version

            2. re: scoopG

              Had a ginger ice cream cone at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory today. Lychee and red bean are also good. Suggest you go with the non-Western flavors.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                "Suggest you go with the non-Western flavors." Most definitely! I also like taro, black sesame, pineapple, coconut; and mango/papaya sorbet.

            3. Although Chinatown in Manhattan is okay, it can't compare to the Chinatown in Flushing, Queens. Once you step off the train (#7 subway to main street) you'll swear you're in Hong Kong. The number and diversity of restaurants, food stores, bakeries,bubble tea places- even shopping m,alls with wonderful food in fact, all things Chinese is jaw-droppingly wonderful.
              Among my all-time favs are Spicy and Yasty for authentic Sechzuan and Hong Kong Supermarket,.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Ann900

                Flushing is wonderful - not a Chinatown per se but an ethno-burb that is much more polyglot and diverse than Manhattan. (Over 140 languages spoken in Queens alone.) It is closer in language and flavor to Taiwan or mainland China than Hongkong. The OP has not said how they were arriving in NY so getting to Flushing from Manhattan might be problematic. It will take 35 minutes via the #7 train or 20 on the twice-hourly LIRR. Although I like Spicy and Tasty, I think Little Pepper in Flushing is better and anyway, one does not have to travel all the way to Flushing to enjoy great Sichuan cuisine. A Manhattan stop at Szechuan Gourmet on West 39th street will confirm that.

                1. re: scoopG

                  Don't get me wrong. Flushing is practically in my backyard - I'm there very often, and dig the food. But, and I realize this is near-to-sacrilege, I enjoy Manhattan's Chinatown much more, and I feel a great many out-of-towners would feel the same way. You don't have the same Feng Shui in Flushing, the same alleyways and old streets, such as Doyers, for instance. Nor do you have the same electric current of energy, say, as you do where the Manhattan Bridge crosses over East Broadway and Division Street. There's no Mei Lei Wah in Flushing, an authentic Hong Kong style teahouse that serves cocktail and pork buns. I also think that Manhattan's Chinatown gets a bum rap foodwise. Yeah, yeah, I know by now that Flushing has more authenticity, and the underground foodcourts, etc, and Manhattan's Ctown has more - lord, help us - tourists. But one thing Manhattan has more of are tried and true bbq houses, such as Big Wong, Roasted Delights, East Corner Wonton and NY Noodletown. It's hard to get that fix in Flushing, and I've tried. There's also a whole Fujianese and hand-pulled noodle scene that's been extending its' borders eastward for the past few years. This section of Ctown - around Eldridge, East Broadway and Division - is decidedly non-touristy, in my experience (not that I care that much). I even spotted a new Lan Zhou hand pulled noodle shop the other day on Division street. People will think I'm knocking Flushing here, which is hardly the case. I love it. But I also think that, on these boards, there is such a hubbub about tourists and authenticity that the neighborhood's merits, strengths and overall vibe tend to be overlooked.

                  I hope the OP has a good time during his/her visit, and I'll just add some wonton noodle soup or hand-pulled noodles to the list of suggestions.

                  I also like Scoop's itinerary above,

                  1. re: Polecat

                    i agree on the ambiance of chinatown for a tourist, but the food in flushing is better without a doubt...although i agree on cantonese bbq in flushing