A great way to spend a day in NYC Chinatown is to go on a walking tour in the morning, hit a Dim Sum joint for lunch, and go shopping in the afternoon.
One of the best things you can do in Chinatown is to take a tour of the area and with numerous tour companies operating in the area there is definitely something for everyone. Ask the front desk for information about recommended Chinatown tour operators.
Eating Dim Sum in Chinatown
What is Dim Sum? A mixture of both breakfast and lunch, Dim Sum is often referred to as dumplings though it actually includes many other types of finger-foods, such as steamed buns, spring rolls, noodles, egg tarts, and more. At most restaurants you chose which dishes you want from the carts being pushed around by the servers but there are places that do Dim Sum menu-style.
When people go out for Dim Sum it is called ‘Yam Cha’ (lit. ‘Drink Tea’ in Cantonese) as people sip tea while they enjoy the different delicacies. If you are invited to go to Yam Cha with Chinese people make sure not to make any plans until the afternoon because you may be there for several hours or more!
NYC Chinatown has many great Dim Sum restaurants and the following are some of it’s more well-known establishments:
20 Elizabeth Street
Tel: (212) 964-5256
Sun Hop Shing Tea House
Address: 21 Mott St
Tel: (212) 267-2729
Vegetarian Dim Sum House
24 Pell Street
Tel: (212) 577-7176
Shopping in Chinatown
A great way to spend the afternoon in Chinatown is to stroll through the streets and look at the many stores hawking a variety of goods. Make sure to pop into some of the Asian food markets and check out the exotic foods…and smell!
The Explore Chinatown Info Kiosk located on Canal Street at the intersection of Walker Street and Baxter Street is a great resource for information about what to do Chinatown.