In 1903, the New York Times described the Chinatown clientele in inimitable fashion: “It is the men and women who like to eat after everybody else is abed that pour shekels into the coffers of the man who knows how to make chop suey.” Well into the 1950s, Chinese restaurants in New York were still Americanized, offering saucy, sweet items like orange chicken, chop suey, and sweet and sour pork. Fast forward to today, when kitsch-free restaurants serve up serious versions of Sichuan, Hunanese, Shaanxi, and Cantonese dishes.
Travel to Flushing, Queens, where you can find subterranean malls with stall upon stall of delicious dishes, like soup dumplings that will transport you to Shanghai, and Hunan-style lamb cooked soft in cumin and pepper. Head Manhattan’s Chinatown and you will discover an extraordinary dim sum restaurant and tea house that dates back to 1920. No matter how far you want to travel or how much you’d like to spend, one of these Chinese restaurants is sure to hit the spot.
Here are our five favorite Chinese restaurants in NYC.