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Feb 28, 2010 09:34 AM

Dinner ideas for best chinese/Italian in Chinatown/Little Italy - bringing 11 year old son

I'd love some feedback for a March trip to NYC with my son - his first visit. We will show him the touristy spots of Chinatown and Little Italy so I wanted some of the better suggestions. Have heard Wo Hop and Hop Kee for chinese and Paesano's or Angelo's on Mulberry for Little Italy. Discuss....(please)

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  1. Well, Little Italy has mediocre, overpriced, tourist trap food, so getting a good recommendation would be difficult. At one time, core Chinatown was similarly full of touristy places, but things have changed in the past decade or two. I suggest a place like Jing Fong on Elizabeth because it has a different kind of ambience, i.e., being in a large dining hall in Hong Kong. That's something that you can't replicate in many parts of the country. Neat escalator ride to the second floor dining room.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      I think that the OP wanted to show their 11-year-old the touristy places in Little Italy. Hence, the need for Little Italy Italian restaurant.

      1. re: RCC

        Was just putting out a warning for lowered expectations in Little Italy.

        1. re: Chandavkl

          Well, you sure have your way of dashing out any expectation that an 11 year old kid has of New York's Little Italy neighborhood.
          What Italian restaurant/neighborhood would you take an 11 year old to?

        2. re: RCC

          Yes (assuming OP is not something I wouldn't agree to, LOL). I realize what Chandavkl says is absolutely correct and a perfectly appropo Chowhound/foodie reply. Since it's my son's first visit to NYC, I wanted him to experience the neighborhoods. At his age, he would enjoy that moreso that Lupa or Osteria del Circo, etc. although the same is clearly not true for me. So, with that in mind, yes, I'd like the best from the group of middle of the road Little Italy or Chinatown spots. Thanks so much you all! This Texas Girl is highly appreciative...

      2. I think a Dim Sum Palace would wow! Your son, all the carts, the other families, the energy. I would also say, look at a Korean BBQ place, Also another experience I am sure any 11 year old would love.

        Sorry I am not big on Italian, so no suggestions there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          Thanks Quine. Great idea. Any recs on such a dim sum place?

          1. re: agulledge

            Jing Fong doesn't have the best dim sum in town, but it is rather impressive visually.

            1. re: agulledge

              I am sure your son will adore dim sum. I bow to the chowhound opinions, as what I chose is more based on choices that are probably not perfect for this situation.
              I just googled the suggested Jing Fong and I do think this will give a good dim sum experience!

              If he is not yet a chopstick user, you might wanna whet his appetite for the surprise ahead by gifting him with a pair to learn on. I am sure he will be delighted!

          2. I always think of Wo Hop or Hop Kee as places you go late night after you drink with your friends -- perhaps I am biased. I agree that a dim sum place would be more fun for him, there are quite a few threads debating the best dim sum in Chinatown. If you're interested in dim sum, definitely read those threads! Tons of information. Korean BBQ would be fun too but there really isn't a good one in the area. Oh, and I always love grabbing some ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Stick to the "regular" flavors!

            1. Little Italy is a great place to see for an 11 year old. He'll love it and remember it forever. Try Il Cortile. It's a bit pricey but I think it's the best tasting of the Little Italy restaurants.


              1 Reply
              1. re: CantStopEating

                You are sweet to post. Thanks. I had heard of Angelo's (which is overpriced and just ok) and Paesano's but wasn't really satisfied those were the right spots. I'll check your rec out! Thanks again...

              2. I actually think the Dim Sum idea sounds fun. But if you're more in the mood for Italian, just a couple of blocks from Mulberry Street is L'asso, which has pretty decent brick oven pizza, as well as pastas, salads, etc. I've only ever tried the pizza there, but I like it (better than Grimaldi's, which is also close by). I think it's probably the best Italian in the immediate area, and it's where Lou DiPalo always tells people to go.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: Westminstress

                    Agreed. Dim sum is oh-so delicious and would be really fun, but if you're in the mood for Italian, Little Italy is quite a sight to see for a youngster. Pizza/salad/pasta is a familiar route and, while I've not been, I've heard good things about L'asso.