Chinatown: NYC Local Favorites Part 1

Most of the stuff on my blog is straight out of any old NYC guide book. It takes a long time to sift through it all before I find my personal favorites. But today, I'm proud to share some true gems of Chinatown. Thanks to my friend Meggie giving me and Ella a personal tour.

Meggie has lived in Chinatown her whole life--her parents only speak Chinese and rarely leave. It's only 0.108 square miles! While tiny, it's such an amazing place filled to the brim with culture. It shouldn't be missed. Meggie's enthusiasm and pride for Chinatown made it an unforgettable day.

This whole adventure actually started a few weeks ago after we ate at Donut Plant, remember this post? The Michelin Guide recommended Dim Sum Go Go, so after we ate donuts and played at this colorful park, we headed over to Dim Sum Go Go like good submissive tourists. I easily still consider myself a tourist even after living here for over a year.

As we were leaving the restaurant, I saw Meggie. She was so surprised to see us in her neighborhood and asked what we were up to. I told her we just had a fabulous meal at Dim Sum Go Go. She looked at me like I was crazy. "Dim Sum Go Go? Oh no, no!" she said, "Come back and I'll show you around!" I couldn't wait for our Chinatown adventure. Take two! I decided the adventure was best suited for me and Ella only. Another girls day!

FYI The waitress is holding a bowl of chicken feet.
 We started off at J & B Seafood Restaurant. Meggie's been going to this restaurant every Saturday for her whole life. Everyone knew her and her family. I can't help but think this got us the freshest, hottest food off the carts. The food was amazing. No menus--Meggie just pointed to what she wanted on the cart and the waitress immediately set it on the table. We ordered sooo much. I was shocked at the total cost of the meal: $26! That fed me, Ella, Meggie, AND Meggie's mother. The dim sum was only $1.50-$2.50 a basket/bowl!

I rarely take pictures in restaurants (so tacky!) but I was feeling particularly touristy this day, so I gave in and took a million. Hope you enjoy the yellowish photos!
Me looking very robotic as I eat a chicken foot. I was trying not to be disrespectful and be like, "Yeah, I'm totally cool with chicken feet!" But clearly I'm uncomfortable with the idea. Meggie was cracking up.

Who's responsible for teaching Ella how to use chopsticks? I shamelessly always ask for a fork no matter how authentic the restaurant is. It embarrasses Ella so much. Can't wait until she's a teenager. More embarrassing to come! Do you use chopsticks?

Yikes, this post is taking longer to write then I expected. I'll write about all the other things we did in Chinatown tomorrow. Until then, I put some more pics of J & B Seafood Restaurant after the jump. AND I'll also include a short list of all the things we did as reference! In case you can't wait . . .

Rice Wrap. It was like opening a present!

 Here's the short list of things we did for easy reference:

J & B Seafood Restaurant 39-41 E Broadway New York, NY 10079 (212) 233-3359

Elizabeth Center Gift Shops 15 Elizabeth St (between Bayard St & Canal St) New York, NY 10013

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory 65 Bayard St (between Elizabeth St & Mott St) New York, NY 10013 

Chinese Cakes Street Vender Corner of Mott St. and Canal St. (location might change)

New York Mart 128 Mott St (between Hester St & Grand St) New York, NY 10013

Columbus Park 67 Mulberry St (between Bayard St & Mosco St) New York, NY 10013

Hop Shing Restaurant 9 Chatham Sq Ste 1 (between Mott St & Worth St) New York, NY 10038


  1. Hi! I've been there too because of friends that love dim sum so much and go every week! it's great, an adventure in the very core of chinatown!

  2. I'm saving this post for my next trip to NYC and hitting up these spots... thank you (and Meggie) SO much!

  3. Good job on trying the chicken feet! For some reason while pregnant and during the height of my morning sickness I set my mind on real deal dim sum, and ended up at this place. In my random pointing, I ended up with a plate of chicken feet which did not do wonders for nausea. The prices are really unbelievable though!

    Great post! Thanks for all the tips. I definitely want to check some of this stuff out next time I'm in Chinatown.


  4. This post was too funny... Especially the chicken foot pic... Braver woman than I!

  5. Is there even any meat on a chicken foot?? That picture cracks me up.

    1. haha. No, not so much meat. A lot of skin though!

  6. I always love China towns! I lived in China for two years, and LOVE LOVE LOVE real Chinese food! Especially Dim Sum (which they call "yum cha" in Hong Kong).

  7. So cool! I must admit, as a vegetarian, I won't be trying that dish any time soon, but I definitely appreciated the fact that You were adventurous enough to do so!
    Also, I didn't know how small Chinatown was! It's so complex and engaging! Great post.


  8. I took my daughter to the city for the first time 2 yrs ago. If she could have had her way we would have stayed in China Town the whole time especially Columbus Park. She can't wait till we go again!

  9. Next time I'm in NYC I'll have to venture into China Town ... the food looks amazeballs

  10. I love this post. Here in Dallas we have Korea Town and a decently sized area of town with authentic Vietnamese shops and restaurants. I'm alway amazed at how inexpensive and delicious everything is. I usually get funny looks because I want to order everything. Ha.

  11. This is great! My in-laws are coming to town from Tennessee early June, and I'm putting Chinatown on our list of adventures, thanks for all the tips! Also, love that your friends name is Meggie! I've only met one other Meggie in my life :)

  12. I am going to NYC for the next weekend i hoped that i will be able to visit some chinese restaurants, i like going to chinese restaurants in different cities and feel the difference in the taste. I should meet someone to do my essay, well, not the whole essay, just will give me some data and i thought meet with him there.


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