Chinatown

Cervo's

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Overview:

Coastal Spain & Portugal inspire the ever changing menu at this casual oyster bar & seafood specialist. Check out weekend brunch, especially the fantastic Fisherman’s breakfast of sardines, lox, pickles & toast.

Information:

Address: 43 Canal St, New York, NY 10002

Phone:  (212) 226-2545

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Price: $$-$$$


 

Juku

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Overview:

Juku is a rather unique new venue that recently popped up in the heart of Chinatown. The multi level venue is actually three concepts in one. Art plays a big role in the design with commissioned works from New York-based artists as well as others around the world. You'll find a street-level izakaya for cocktails and casual bites and a not-yet-open vibey bar downstairs. A la carte options include traditional dishes like tonkatsu and karaage, as well as more modern interpretations like uni rice, fried chicken and egg custard. On the second floor there is a 12-seat omakase sushi bar headed up by Chef Kazuo Yoshida, former sushi chef at Williamsburg’s 1 or 8. The space is reservation-only and offers two menus, $80 for 12 pieces of sushi and $120 for 15 pieces and a hand roll.

Information:

Address:   32 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

Phone:  (646) 590-2111

Neighborhood: Chinatown

https://jukunyc.com

Price: $$$


 

Tang Hotpot

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Overview:

Tang Hotpot is a new Sichuan destination from Yu Li, owner of the casual East Village noodle spot, The Tang. The decor is rather striking, with elegant 2-story high ceilings and a long narrow dining area with banquette seating and inset burners.  The space is devoted to group-friendly hot pots holding different types of broths with accompanying meats and vegetables for dipping. The menu is extremely affordable considering the massive spread that befalls you. Broths range in flavor and spice level. Opt for one of the platters like the Tang Deluxe with prime rib eye, goat leg, sea bass, quail egg, rice cakes, and much more. Cooking your own dinner here is a great interactive dining experience for a date or group event. 

Information:

Address:  135 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Phone:  (917) 421-9330

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Price: $$$


 

Chikarashi

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Overview:

In a city painfully oversaturated with raw fish and poke places, Chikarashi rises far and above. The fast casual counter spot offers high end chirashi bowls for dine-in or take away. Chef MIchael Jong Lim is an alum of restaurants like Masa, Aldea & Neta so it's no surprise that the man knows what he is doing with fish. There are 11distinctive bowl options and weekly specials with the highest quality fish you can find like expertly sliced bluefin toro, hamachi and unagi. Creative options include Sichuan chili salmon with sansho mayonnaise, furikake, shoyu daikon & katsuo panko or negitoro don tartare with nigiri shoyu, avocado, nori & shiso. It is rare & exciting to find such quality in what is essentially a fast casual concept. Look for two more locations opening soon in Nomad & FiDi. 

Information:

Address: 227 Canal St, New York, NY 10013

Phone: (646) 649-5965

Neighborhood: Chinatown, Financial District, Nomad

Price: $$


 

Nickel & Diner  


Overview:

Nickel & Diner is not your momma's diner. Opened in 2016 by a young couple from Hong Kong, the restaurant is a modern, upscale version of the traditional diner concept. The space is like a lifestyle Instagram dream with modern, sharp design elements everywhere. Patrons may grab a drink from their to-go coffee stand or sit at one of the many counter seats and booths. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the menu changing slightly throughout the day. Breakfast ranges from classics like eggs benedict to more adventurous offerings like a kale cashew bowl with  sweet potato, avocado, asparagus, green beans & farro. Dinner is more upscale with items like steak tartare, crab fettuccine, and roasted branzino. The burger with griddled onions & American cheese is worth the trip alone. Full bar coming soon. 

Information:

Address1 Howard St, New York, NY 10013

Phone: (646) 870-6100

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Price: $$ -$$$


 

Jing Fong

Overview:

Not all Chinese food is created equal. Some, like Jing Fong, are better. The expansive Chinatown dim sum palace can serve up to 3k people per day, with 100's of menu items being pushes around on dim sum carts. They recently opened a second, smaller location in the Upper West Side that commands a crows as well. They offer every type of steamed, fried, baked and broiled options that your heart could ever desire. Their dumplings, turnip cakes and shrimp noodles are beyond excellent. Both locations are a fun place to take a big group and eat massive amounts of food extremely inexpensively. 

Information:

Address: 20 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

380 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Phone:    (212) 964-5256

Neighborhood: Chinatown, Upper West Side

Price: $$


 

Jajaja


Overview 

Give me some tacos & tequila and I'm generally going to be a happy little girl. Jajaja is a new venture from the team behind Gelso & Grand, situated on the north side of Chinatown. The small space has a relaxed atmosphere with beautifully colored tiles and giant windows that fill the room with sunlight. The cocktails are great, and I say that as a person who generally opts to just get tequila on the rocks. The menu is unique because it is entirely plant based, vegan everything. The nachos were particularly interesting with tumeric queso, fermented black beans & veggie relish. I'm all for meaty tacos but the ones at Jajaja filled with mushrooms and mock chorizo were surprisingly hearty and satisfying. If you're feeling a grab-n-go vibe, there's a take-out counter for snacks and juices. 

Information

Address:   162 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

Phone:      ((646) 883-5453

Neighborhood: Chinatown

Website: http://jajajamexicana.com/

Price: $$$


 

Lalito


Information:

Address: 104 Bayard St., New York, NY 10013.

Phone:  (646) 998-3406

Neighborhood: Chinatown  

Website : http://lalitonyc.com/

Price: $$

Attire: Casual

Good for: breakfast all day, cheap lunch (all dishes under $15), bar scene

Overview 

This was a culinary experience where I walked away thinking, "I don't know what the fuck I just ate, but I loved it." The concept comes from the brain of former El Rey chef Gerardo Gonzalez. The Chinatown restaurant is decorated in a minimalistic retro fashion. The food is truly out of the ordinary, amongst a landscape of restaurants that all open with the same menu. There are Mexican, Mediterranean, and Latin influences contributing to complex flavors in casually plated food with lots of vegetable-heavy options. Confusing flavor combinations of roasted yam & yogurt, cumin & bacon, or potatoes & pickled pineapple have been finessed into dishes that will leave you pensive for days. I respect any place that has a "celery salad" consisting of a mountain of bacon and 3 pieces of celery. Hats off to Gonzales for shakin' shit up. 


 

Breakroom Burgers & Tacos

There is a special place in the world for food that will literally kill you. You can’t eat like this on a daily basis, your doctor won’t like it, and you’ll probably hate yourself a little after. But dammit, sometimes it just needs to happen. When that hunger strikes I recommend Breakroom Burgers & Tacos.

You’ll find this tiny hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown just south of Canal Street. It’s a small venue with two tables, a counter for ordering, and a few stools out front. The menu is small but it’ll fix you right up after a long night of drinking. I’m talking the kind of fix-up that can only come from burgers, fries, hot dogs and tacos. That’s all that you’ll find on the menu, and sometimes you don’t need to try any harder than that. 

The food was gluttonous but all delicious. They have French fries literally drowning to death in bacon, spicy mayo, and cheese. It was beyond heaven. They have several versions of hot dogs but I recommend the one wrapped in bacon, dropped in the fryer, and smothered in jalapeños and salsa. They have every version of tacos and they are loaded up with fresh veggies, meat and sauce. You can round out your heart stopping, diabetes inducing meal with mountainous burgers layered with gooey cheese. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Here's what we had:

Breakroom Fries runny egg, bacon, onions, cheese, jalapeños & pork belly.

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Hot Dog with house slaw and sauce

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Tempura Fish Taco tempura-battered catfish, house slaw, avocado and pickled onions.

Grilled Steak Taco pico de gallo and salsa verde.

Chipotle Chicken Taco pico de gallo, cilantro, pickled onions and salsa verde.

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The Classic Burger 6oz. angus beef patty with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles.

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Breakroom Burger 6oz. angus beef patty with mac n cheese, jalapenos, American cheese, tomatoes, bacon and onion

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Address: 83 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 227-2802

Kossars

Few NYC foods are as steeped in tradition as the ones found at Jewish appetizing stores. They were opened by the hordes of immigrants that poured into the Lower East Side in the late 1800's from Eastern Europe. Sadly these are a dying breed. Once you could find 100's of these stores and today there are only a handful in the city. The phrase “they don’t make ‘em like the used to” applies directly to Kossars. They are keeping the tradition alive. 

The store was opened in 1936 by Morris Kossar. Today it is the oldest remaining Bialy bakery in the United States. The establishment was taken over by new ownership in recent years but remains committed to upholding the traditions of this Jewish great cuisine. I spent some time with owner David Zablocki and he had a story behind every ingredient and a passion that is unparalleled. There is a reason for every vendor he works with from the whitefish he gets, to the bakery that makes his babka recipe, to the facility he uses to cure his salmon with his own recipe. You want to know the secret to staying open for 80 years in the greatest food city on earth? You need to give a shit. A big shit. About every product and ingredient that walks in and out of your establishment. Zablocki is a man who gives a big shit.

Kossars offers a huge range of items to go or for dining in. In their cases you’ll find stacks on cream cheese, cured fish, loaves of babka, and fresh challah. You can choose from fresh bins of brick oven baked bialys and kettle boiled bagels. They will stack your bagel high with any combo of salmon, sable, white fish, or egg salad. For something a little modern, they have gooey chocolate babka French toast that tastes like heaven. They even have my childhood favorite, pizza bagels. I look forward to many years of their success. Here’s what we had:

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THE CLASSIC - Sliced Nova, Everything Cream Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion, Capers, Dill

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THE YENTA - Whitefish Salad, Pastrami Salmon, Lettuce, Shaved Celery, Tomato, Red Onion

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Babka French Toast - 2 slices of our delicious chocolate or cinnamon babka. Served with butter and syrup

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Address: 367 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Phone :(212) 473-4810

 

kossars.com