As the busiest metropolis worldwide, New York City never has a dull moment from Times Square to Wall Street and Broadway. Stocked with bustling restaurants, tourist destinations, and entertainment, it goes without saying every trip to the city that never sleeps is one to remember.
Chinatown, one of the most-loved neighborhoods in Manhattan, is no exception. Home to legendary shopping, dining, and cultural experiences, it is no wonder Chinatown has some of the finest brunches in the city. From pancakes and bacon to Chinese staples like Dim Sum, you cannot go wrong in Chinatown.
Whether you are looking for a classic brunch meal or want something a little different, Chinatown will give you the best of the best. Take in the sights and sounds of one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, all while sipping on an expertly crafted mimosa or bloody mary.
Read on for my top picks for the best brunch in Chinatown!
- Dimes NYC
- Vegetarian Dim Sum House
- Jing Fong
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor
- Shanghai 21
138 Division St, New York, NY 10002
One of the more traditional brunch options on this list, Forgtmenot is a slightly divey, eclectic spot with cluttered-but-classy decor and an innovative menu. And, better yet, it is super easy to find. Hop on the Subway and take the F line to East Broadway. Walk a block down Canal Street and look for the Museum at Eldridge Street. Forgtmenot is right next door.
Forgtmenot lives up to its name by blending Mediterranean flavors with American cuisine. My pick is the Hootsla Brunch – tiny french toast nuggets served with a maple syrup dipping sauce. To drink, I never leave without a Moscow Mule.
49 Canal St, New York, NY 10002
If a light, healthy brunch is more your taste, check out Dimes NYC! With clean, modern decor and California-inspired fare, Dimes is the perfect spot for a quick bite. You can find Dimes on the opposite side of the street from Forgtmenot and by the same Subway stop. Dimes is on Canal Street, so keep strolling around for even more famous shopping and sights.
Avocados and artisanal jams galore are what Dimes most often serves up. That said, I am not a huge avocado fan, so I opt for the berry acai bowl. It is so filling and just sweet enough – I especially love it during the scorching summer months!
5177, 24 Pell St #1, New York, 10013
Do you want to try an authentic and casual Chinatown feast? Vegetarian Dim Sum House is for you. The Dim Sum House is among hair salons and local cafes and has a laid-back, charming feel. The easiest way to get there is to take the Subway to the Canal Street stop, then walk down Canal for a few blocks. Turn down Mott and walk to the corner – you cannot miss it.
A vegetarian restaurant may be intimidating or unappealing for some, but I promise, it is worth it. Even omnivores enjoy their delicious brunch dumplings and savory buns. I am a rave reviewer of their crispy banana rolls and sweet and salty dumplings.
Jing Fong has two locations – one on the Upper West Side and one in Chinatown. Each of them has dazzling interiors and serves dim sum on rolling carts. The Upper West Side location is less than 500 feet from the 79th Street Subway stop – so feel free to eat as much as you want. Their Chinatown location sits just as close to the Canal Street stop.
This restaurant is the most sprawling Chinese place in the city, and definitely with a try for brunch. My go-to order is the cilantro rice noodle rolls and the sweet sesame rolls. And, of course, you cannot leave without trying one of their wine or beer offerings – prosecco is my beverage of choice.
13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013
By far the most famous on this list, Nom Wah Tea Parlor has served locals and tourists since the late 1960s. Tucked deep into the center of Chinatown, Nom Wah is about as authentically New York City as it gets. You can take either the Canal Street Subway stop or the East Broadway stop to get there. After you finish brunch, take a stroll towards Chatham Square and explore more of Chinatown.
I am a tea lover, so Nom Wah is my favorite brunch spot in the neighborhood. I cannot go without a cup of Earl Grey and a roast pork bun – and be sure to try one of their world-famous lotus paste buns.
22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Not for the faint of heart, Pings is another Chinatown staple for brunch. With a classy, refined vibe and a diverse menu, Pings is not one to miss. To get to Pings, start at Chatham Square and turn onto Mott Street. Walk a block up, and it will be on your left.
What makes Pings unique is that they have live seafood available for your selection, so your seafood dishes will always be at their freshest. No worries if that is not your thing, though. They also have an extensive dim sum menu and brunch-friendly drinks. Try the red bean pudding for something sweet and the roasted pork dumplings for bacon-like flavors.
21 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Located across the street from Pings is Shanghai 21, a popular Chinatown hub is known for its Lo Mein. Shanghai 21 is a casual, no-frills space with an expansive menu. Mott Street is home to Pings, Shanghai 21, and tons of shops, so I recommend browsing those before or after your meal – especially Uniqulee, an antique shop with rare items and souvenirs.
Shanghai 21 is my pick whenever I know I want a Chinatown-style brunch but cannot decide what I want. They have seemingly everything, from soup dumplings to sweet and sour chicken. I adore their scallion pancakes for brunch as well.
If you are tired of boring brunch, Chinatown is the place to go. From eclectic Mediterranean spots to traditional Chinese cuisine, you will never leave hungry. Chinatown reinvents the American brunch concept with a vibe all its own.
If brunch isn’t your thing, you might like some of Chinatown’s other incredible places to eat.
Did we leave out your favorite place for the best brunch in Chinatown? Let us know in the comments, and we will check it out!
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