Snacking Tour of NYC Chinatown

01 February 2014

NYC Chinatown is somewhat expansive and, if it’s your first time visiting, utterly bewildering. From the throngs of locals hurrying to get across (China)town, to the gaggles of slowly meandering tourists, to the fruit, vegetable, and maybe-contrabands-maybe-not vendors that fill the streets, Chinatown has its own, busy charm in all this chaos.

There are some things that Chinatown lacks: super-convenient subway options, empty taxis, and Duane Reades come to mind. However, food is Chinatown's specialty, and with some exploration, a savvy tourist can uncover many tasty restaurants and cafes in a very compact area.

This guide is meant to highlight some of these offerings. The options below are great for snacking, and taken together, they can form a “snacking tour” of Chinatown. This list will only cover the western part of Chinatown, which is roughly bordered by Lafayette St. on the west, Broome St to the north, Bowery to the east, and Worth to the south. The best subway stop to reach this area would be the NQR/6/J Canal St. stop, which puts you right on the western edge of this box on Canal.

Here are the places, roughly in north to south order:

These eight stops are just some of my favorite places for snacks in Chinatown, but there are definitely many more establishments to try and discover. And this only draws from half of Chinatown - past Bowery, Chinatown continues along East Broadway and runs all the way to Essex, where there’s an F subway stop (if you’re walking from the western half, look for the statue of Confucius). Chinatown is really best done on an empty stomach.

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