Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, the day that we scare off the ghosts and celebrate luck, welfare and success. In my family we always exchange red envelopes with yellow coins inside. Red is supposed to scare the ghosts away and yellow brings luck. We celebrate this with a big Chinese dinner party at my parent’s home or in a restaurant. With lots of Chinese food off course. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? And if so, do you eat Chinese on Chinese New Year? If yes, here are some of my favorite no frills Chinese spots on the cheap that you might consider:
1. Cafe China (13 East 37th street, between 5th avenue and Madisson avenue. Midtown East). $$
To my knowledge, this authentic Sichuan restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant where you can have a two course meal for less than $10 (11.30 am -3 pm Monday- Friday). If you like spicy, order the Tree pepper chicken, Spicy Cumin Lamb or Ma Po Tofu and Pork Dumplings on the side. If you’re not into spicy, have some Tea Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Broccoli.
If you want something different than the Cantonese food they serve at most of the Chinese restaurants, try Xi’ An, where they serve dishes from the city of Xi’an, situated in the northwestern region of China. The portions are generous, and all under $10. Order the Liang Pi cold-skin Noodles, Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles or Spicy & Tingly Beef-Hand Ripped Noodles in Soup.
Perhaps one of the more health conscious Chinese places. Moon Cake Foods does not just offer cheap Chinese. But all kinds of Asian (organic) comfort food.
4. Great New York Noodle Town (28 Bowery at Bayard street. Chinatown). $
There is more than just noodles that you can order at Great New York Noodle Town, but also delicious Baked Soft Shell Crabs, Roasted Duck, cheap fried rice, wonton soup and more ordinary Cantonese dishes. Your meal becomes even cheaper when you Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB). It is allowed here :).
5. Joe Shanghai (9 Pell street , between Doyer street and Bowery. Chinatown). $$
A very well- known Chinese restaurant in New York City serving all kinds of Chinese dishes to both locals and tourists. There can be a line, but the Xiao Long Bao’s (soup dumplings) are worth the wait. The Squid with Salted Vegetable & Jalapeño is another favorite of mine.
6. Congee Village (100 Allen street. Between Delancey street and Grand street). $$
Knowledgeable for it’s congee (rice porridge) and other delicious Cantonese dishes.