The Chinatown in me


No matter where I move to, I end up going back to my hometown for the essentials: haircut, eyewear, and, of course, food. Here is a list of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Chinatown:

Just because:

  • Confucius Plaza – the tallest building in Chinatown
  • Optical 88 – on Mott and Hester Streets (just got new glasses and contacts – super and friendly service with affordable prices. Also, eye exam fee is waived if you are an eyewear customer)
  • Hair salon – on Eldridge St for $14 I got a complete wash, cut, and dry
  • Miscellaneous kitchenware and common household knickknacks can be found in stores on Mulberry Street (near Columbus Park)
  • Columbus Park for playground, free Chinese opera, and other forms of people watching
  • Chatham Square Public Library for some quick reading
  • Need a watch battery or band? Go by 66 Bayard Street and find the guy with a booth

Restaurants, markets, and bakeries:

  • Lucky King on Grand St or Bayard St for good 6-pack of rolls and other bakery items
  • Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Bayard St. for Lychee ice cream and other goodies
  • New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe on Bayard St. for yummy soup dumplings and noodles (you’ll be pleasantly surprised with bill)
  • Kam Man Food Products – on Canal St. for grocery items (Pocky)
  • Golden Bridge Restaurant (old Silver Palace) – on Bowery for decent dim sum; our fallback choice
  • Ping’s Seafood on Mott for great dim sum and seafood
  • Fuleen Seafood on Division St. – service is not great, but food makes up for it
  • Fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables on the corner of Mulberry and Bayard Streets; Mulberry and Canal Streets, Grand Street, and East Broadway.
  • Big Wong on Mott Street for best char siu (roast pork)
  • Deluxe Food Market on Elizabeth St. (aka Tunnel of Food = one-stop shopping for cooked food, fresh poultry/seafood, fruits and vegetables, bakery items)
  • Nha Trang Centre on Centre Street for excellent pho and crispy calamari
  • Egg Custard King Cafe on Mott or Grand Streets for the “don tot” (egg custard) lovers
  • Excellent Pork Chop house on Doyer Street; they have good dumplings, too

So, you can take me out of Chinatown, but you can’t take the Chinatown out of me.

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