The first time I ventured into chinatown to have a meal, I was overwhelmed by the filth and people crowding the streets! How mundane the restaurants looked and how rude the waiters were. I thought I would never go back in there.  Over the years though, just like how everything else in NYC does, it grew on me. 

I realized it just takes a tiny bit of patience to navigate and find the hidden gems. But once you do, it will be an experience you will never forget. In fact, it is now one of my favorite neighborhood! Not just for food and drinks but also for people watching and sometimes if I am really really lucky, Shopping :)! 

I often get asked for my favorite places to eat and drink around chinatown, so I thought I will save these guys the googling and spill my list here. Also, you guys know how much I love my travel/ city guides :). This is not an exhaustive list, it's just a list of my favorites and trust me you won't be disappointed with any of these.

To Eat:

  • Joe's Shanghai  - Classic chinatown, I'm sure there is a fan club for this guy in New York.Don't miss the soup dumplings.
  • Nom Wah Tea Parlor  - This place is everything for dim sum.
  • Xian's Famous Foods - It's an explosion of flavors here! Must try: Concubine's hand ripped noodles.
  • Spicy Village - Hole in the wall, henbanes gem. 
  • Mission Chinese Food - This list cannott be complete without this place! Best americanized oriental food you will taste. 
  • Pulqueria - Hidden underground Mexican spot in chinatown. Caution : Might be full of drunk people in the late evenings/ nights.
  • Chinatown Ice cream factory - You cannot leave chinatown without tasting the ice cream here. 

To Drink

  • Apotheke - Most popular in chinatown, has a pharmacy vibe.
  • Mulberry Project -  Yummy craft cocktails.
  • 169 Bar - My favorite dive bar in all of New York, go after midnight.
  • Asia Roma - Vibrant space and yummy cocktails.
  • The Flower Shop - Has a 1970's house party vibe. Classic cocktails.

Hot , New and Instagrammable

  • Chinese Tuxedo - Right next to Apotheke,  has a hollywood film set vibe.
  • The good sort - Instagram dream, get the rainbow iced latte for that perfect shot.
  •  BEP GA - New Vietnamese hole in the wall, yummy food.
  • Aux Epices - French-Malaysian gem, has the best food.