How to Navigate Chinatown, Manhattan

By Tiffany Chen

Looking down Pell Street
Looking down Pell Street

Have you ever wandered downtown past Houston Street to Chinatown or simply wondered what exactly Chinatown has to offer? Other than the amazing food, which can fill you up for less than $5, there is rich history in the streets which houses one of the oldest immigrant cultures.
Around the middle 18th century, NYC saw an influx of Chinese immigrants looking for work and to escape poverty in China. The Chinese flocked to areas providing work but due to discrimination, they lived amongst themselves and became largely separated from the culture outside of Chinatown. You’ll even find Chinese immigrants who refuse to assimilate into American culture and with that, comes a self-sufficient immigrant community.
But with the resistance to assimilation remains traditional local flavor and traditions. There are eateries, whole-in-the-walls and restaurants with low prices (always a plus) and big flavor for all. These are my personal recommendations:
• Hing Huang, 111 Lafayette Street
• Vanessa’s Dumpling House, 118 Eldridge Street
• Wah Fung #1 Fast Food, 79 Chrystie Street
• Joe’s Shanghai, 9 Pell Street
You can take almost any train downtown (towards Brooklyn) and stop right before it crosses the bridge. Take the N Q R J M Z B D F 6 and if there is a train you aren’t sure, please stop the front desk for assistance.
Did you know NYC is home to 3 Chinatowns? There is one in Brooklyn off the 8th Avenue stop on the N line, one in Queens off the Main Street on the 7 line and of course the one in downtown Manhattan.

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