New York's Chinatown is a cultural haven full of ancient and exotic traditions, and a huge amount of restaurants. This bustli... More
New York's Chinatown is a cultural haven full of ancient and exotic traditions, and a huge amount of restaurants. This bustling and crowded neighborhood is home to over half of the city's Chinese population. In the grocery stores and fruit stands, you will find many food items available nowhere else in the city - from exotic fruit and vegetables to live snails and dried shrimp. Excellent Thai, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants have joined the mix. Every lunar new year, the street are filled with the hubbub of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade.
I saved my Chinatown visit until the last day of my trip, thinking I would get the most shopping done there, but that was not the case.
Though worth visiting for its unique atmosphere, and great selection of foods at good prices, the shopping (for me) left much to be desired. I worked from Mulburry St. to Elizabeth, and found most of the stores were selling a lot of the same things.
There are bargins, if you hunt through the masses of tourist knick knacks (magnets, T-shirts, key chains, hats, etc), but I found them to be few and far between. It was also the dirtiest place in NYC, with many stray cats and rats. Being an Asian-American, I was even a little disapointed at it's lack of cultural education. Nowhere can you really better learn or understand the Chinese culture, other then the food (which wasn't all authentic either).
My cab fare was about $10/one way from the Grand Hyatt hotel, Midtown and ultimatly, I felt it was an experience I could have skipped.
We came in early December with a High School group of kids. We ended up spending 3 hours in Chinatown. We were expecting it to be like San Francisco. IT ISN'T! It was the dirtiest area of NYC we encountered both sooty dirt on buildings/glass and trash in the streets/sidewalks. The streetside stalls offer discounted prices but we found that what the kids were paying was higher than the identical items at Sam Moon stores back in Dallas. Many of the shop owners were R-U-D-E. Considering most of them only deal in cash and don't use registers (thereby avoiding collecting and paying sales taxes) they should be a little less indignant about you spending your money there.
This is one place you can put at the bottom of the sightseeing list. Go see it ONLY when you have exhausted all other possiblities.
We went for dim sum at two different restaurants. Both were not very good. Wife got sick later in the day and I did not feel too hot either. Restroom was disgusting and right next to filthy kitchen. Wife won't eat Chinese anymore, especially dim sum. Chinatown is neat to walk through but the food sucked.
Very dirty place to be. Get good bargains on fake stuff but beware of shopkeepers trying to cheat you. Survey around b4 buying something. Anyway if you go to NYC why shop here if you can get good deals on branded/original stuff from century 21 or macy's. But if you are looking for good chinese food around NYC, this is a place to be.
China Town in New York offers the best in atmosphere and food than all the China Towns that I have visted;L.A., Philadelphia and San Fran. The food is truly authentic. The Peking Duck hanging from the windows, world class Egg Fu Young, the best in seafood, and the list goes on and on and on. It's located in the best city in the world.
Visiiting Chinatown is full of adventures. Even taking a walk and looking around all of the restaurants are exciting. Besides, there're lots of unexpected greetings from those Chinatown residents making you feel that you are a foreigner and being in a totally different country