Essential Chinatown grocery store (and meal)
My little brother, an Asian food buff, is visiting me in Manhattan, and I want to take him on a trip to Chinatown that includes a great (budget friendly) meal AND a trip to a market or two where he might have access to ingredients not readily available to him at his generic Asian grocery store back home in the Maryland suburbs.
Any recommendations are welcome!
Would you consider doing a crawl rather than one meal?
You could have a few orders of dimsum at Nom Wah, grab a bubble tea, do some shopping at Hong Kong Supermarket, sesame pancakes and dumplings at Prosperity, and finish at Xi'an.
Just go to the Bayard Street market. They've got everything from crocodile legs to "frank steak".
For Chinese groceries, there are tons of stores north of Canal street on Elizabeth and Mott. Hong Kong Supermarket and NY Mart are modern supermarket-style groceries that have all manner of Asian groceries and tons of snacks and candy (the entire basement of HK Supermarket is snacks, dried food, and tea). Deluxe Food Market, which is basically a tunnel connecting Mott and Elizabeth north of Hester, has lots of prepared food items like roast duck, steam tables, and even a bakery. There are also lots of fruit and vegetable and seafood vendors on Mott between Hester and Grand, and also on Grand street east of Elizabeth.
I recommend staying away from canal street and walking the eastern edge of chinatown along grand street/elizabeth/mott and instead of a "meal" to stop various places for snacks. This would be best around lunchtime vs dinner. Hong kong super market is a good place to check out but has gone downhill lately. There are also a few random markets with produce stalls outside along grand st that are good including one that is thai. "Wonderful bakery" at 280 grand st (i think the sign outside says "deluxe bakery") is where i stop for a snack, their green tea fried sweet with sesame paste inside (plate of 3) is unique and recommended.
The hot sweet mini cakes from a street vendor are fun too
Kam Man at 200 Canal:
Deluxe Food Market on Elizabeth:
Bangkok Center Grocery:
Big Wong King:
Food Sing 88 Corp:
Best Fuzhou (The former Best Fuzhou on Eldridge is now Spicy Henan):
Great New York Noodletown:
Mei Li Hua:
Xian Famous Foods:
Dim Sum Go Go:
Serious Eats Guide: