HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >



I have a friend visiting NYC from Stockholm, and she wants to go out in Chinatown for dimsum and also for dinner. I know the question has been asked a million times, but where?? Cost doesn't matter, but want lots of ambience -- the real deal!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Could you clarify "ambience." Typically we think of that as tablecloths, subdued lighting, peaceful quiet etc. But you also ask for the real deal, so perhaps I'm thinking you mean authentic Chinese restaurant ambience, which is often totally the opposite--fluorescent lighting, noise and bustle. Which one?

    1. You could try a variety of Chinatown experiences. A few that I like:

      -- Xi'an Famous Foods for the hole in the wall experience. Only two seats there, so be prepared to take out and eat in the 88 East B'way mall. All the soups I've tried have been wonderful. It's well known for the lamb 'burgers' (actually stewed lamb or pork on flatbread) and cumin lamb noodles.

      -- Red Egg or Dim Sum Go Go for more modern styles of dim sum. Red Egg is also a good place to go for cocktails. They have a happy hour with dim sum items are half off and cocktails are two for one.

      -- Bubble tea (especially taro) and egg custard tarts on just about every corner. I personally really like the tarts at the Manna House Bakery on Mott St.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cimui

        Good choices.

        Note that Xi'an Famous Foods can be hard to find. It's not IN the 88 East Broadway mall itself, but rather, one of the storefronts that's part of the building that houses the mall. It is actually located on Forsyth between East Broadway and Division, across the street from the Mayor Hotel. Don't go inside the mall!

        Also, is you friend looking for cart based dim sum? Or are you OK ordering off a menu? Both Red Egg and DSGG are menu based (IMO quality is higher at the non-cart places.)

        1. Dim sum in Chinatown Manhattan is disappointing at best, especially if your guest is familiar enough with dimsum to ask for it. Chinatown Manhattan does better with soup dumplings and Fujianese, Shanghainese cuisine.

          1. Red Egg has ambiance but Dim Sum Go Go has better dim sum, overall. If money is no object and it's OK to go somewhere that's about a 15-minute walk north of Chinatown, consider going to Chinatown Brasserie for dim sum (caveat: I haven't been there for years - too expensive).

            I don't really know any dinner place in Chinatown that has "ambiance." Do you? I do know places that have good food, though. But it really depends what you're looking for. Do you want Teochew food? Cantonese? Sichuan? Shanghainese? Fuzhounese? Do you want noodle soup, barbecued items, dishes over rice, noodles, etc.? If you ask a more specific question, you can get a more useful answer that's tailored to you.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Pan

              Actually it's not clear what kind of ambiance the OP is looking for, since the term "real deal" is also used in the same sentence. If you're talking upscale ambiance you hit the nail on the head. On the other hand it could mean something like Xi-an and it's lack of dining area, or perhaps Jing Fong with its Hong Kong dining palace type of feel.

              Jing Fong
              18 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: Chandavkl

                You're right. rossinyc has to come back and clarify.

                1. re: Pan

                  Unlikey to happen since the OP posted over a year ago, and judging from his or her "recent posts," the OP has long left the building.

              2. re: Pan

                Peking Duck House has upscale "ambiance" but I will never go back. Completely mediocre.

                Peking Duck House
                28 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: MMRuth

                  We used to go there a few years back (they had some Shanghai specialties that were hard to come by elsewhere at the time) but as soon as better Shanghai places opened we stopped. Even their duck isn't very good. Their old restaurant on Division was much better. Shame, really, the people were very nice.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    The midtown east location is much better and even then, only get the Peking Duck. At 27 Division St. there used to be a great Peking Duck place - and it was a Shanghainese restaurant to boot. Closed shortly after 9/11.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      That's the one we used to go to (since 1989). The Great Shanghai? They had soup dumplings before anyone else did. Mrs Mao is a lovely person. She was having lunch with a group of her girlfriends one day and came over to us to say "My friends asked me how come you are ordering like Chinese people. I told them because you were my regular customers!".

                      1. re: buttertart

                        That's it! How could the name Great Shanghai have escaped me?