Eater’s A Guide to Eating Regional Chinese Food in NYC


The above linked article being a section in this general article:

The most classically Eater gentrification-celebration part of the general article:

That is, some Chinese -Americans and Chinese nationals are really doing well on the real-estate tip of all this, but the small mom and pop restaurants are either gone already (Spicy and Tasty, Szechuan Gourmet) despite popularity and heavy mainstream media buzz, or on the bubble (the stalls in the Golden Mall) because of inevitably soaring rents.

I also just want to put it out there, that cheap restaurants in Chinatowns of this kind aren’t cheap because Evil Racist White Americans won’t spend serious money on any cuisine but French and Italian. They are cheap because they are mostly operated for the Chinese immigrant community that HAS VERY LITTLE MONEY and they won’t be able to afford these new groovy high-end joints.


That’s an impressive list, though I would imagine that any list of must-see regional restaurants would necessarily be incomplete. (I read in a New York Times thing about a place called 886, for instance, named after the Taiwanese international area code, though I didn’t manage to make it there when they were open.) But I’ll look at this again next time I’m back!

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Excellent post. That article is still a good resource, though. I’m reading through their 29 “top” Chinese restaurants in New York. Some of them surprise me: Is it really possible any of the best Chinese restaurants in the city could be on the Upper West Side? Hard for me to believe.

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Depends on what you consider a “Chinese” restaurant probably. Since I moved from there, I don’t get up to the UWS much, but with the general decline in popularity of “Chinese-American” restaurants, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the better examples of what’s left are up there. I used to live on 72nd and there was a place I quite liked on Columbus - “Hunan Something”, Hunan Park, maybe? - (“Alan Alda’s favorite Chinese restaurant”:wink:, with a whole slew of photos of ABC personalities through the years on the walls) that had been around since the mid-70s at least but succumbed to the wildly escalating rents that started hitting that area in the later 90s. I never did make up to the new location, but iirc, they moved to somewhere in the 90s, also on Columbus, I think. (And which by the time I moved several years ago, had been replaced by a series of restaurants unrelated (and unremarkable) except by their high prices and utterly mediocre food…) And there were others, too. Not places you’d go for “authentic Chinese food” (cough, cough), but what they did, they did well…

The two on the eater map by columbia university i would give the benefit of the doubt…(although gotta say dry hot pot doesn’t appeal to me)

Oh Hunan Park how I miss you so!
@MikeG there used to be two, but the one on 71 was far superior. I tried the other one out of nostalgia once and was lucky not to end up with food poisoning.

@Pan there was less good chinese on the UWS for a while, but there’s plenty again. If your point was non-chinatown good chinese, I think Hakkasan is the best dim sum in the city, far from Chinatown. Red Farm on the UWS comes second imo. But I don’t always want to pay their prices, so there’s that.

There’s been a Sichuan surge on the UWS actually - Han Dynasty is excellent (better than the EV one I think, plus a lovely room, which matters sometimes), further up there are Grain House, Lava Kitchen, Szechuan Garden and another one whose name I can’t remember right now - Columbus in the 80s or 90s.

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I’ve been to the Han Dynasty on 85 St. It’s fine and could be better than the one in the East Village, but I didn’t think it was all that great. I agree that it’s a lovely room. The last time I was there was a few months ago. I don’t know the other places. And I mostly forget about high-end Chinese places because I just can’t afford anything high-end at this point.