The Taste of Chinatown


Today was the Taste of Chinatown, which is held twice a year. It’s a particularly cool event because it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with all the great Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants in Lower Manhattan for a very small amount of money. This time, 55 restaurants participated, each having a stall in front of their premises with $1 or $2 tasting plates, effectively turning Chinatown into a gigantic standing room only Dim Sum parlor. The crowds were insane, and some of these stalls were so popular you practically had to fight your way into them.

For further reading about Chinatown, check out this great article written by Bruce Edward Hall in 1999, which discusses some of its more historical sites.

Our first stop was a Vietnamese restaurant.

Cha Gio, spring rolls.

Mixed meat fried rice.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more Taste of Chinatown photos and commentary.

Spamwise, professional hobbit chomps down on an egg roll and pronounces it “greasy but good”. Check out his Taste of Chinatown photos too.

Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Bun) with some kinda hot dog wrapped with bacon on top of fried tofu thingy.

Egg Roll.

Singapore Chow Mei Fun

Chinese style fried chicken.

Vietnamese sandwich, Bahn Mi.

Fried Chicken Thigh

Today was a noodle lovers paridise.

Chinese-style Beef Jerky.

The throngs

A mixed plate of vegetable spring roll, fried doughnut and scallion pancake, fresh out of the deep fryer.

Where’s the Old Big Wang?

Jook, Chinese rice congee for sale.

Char Siu, Chinese roast pork being displayed in the window of Great New York Noodletown.

Now that’s what I call takeout.

Moon Cakes

Bean and tapioca pudding

Vietnamese barbecue pork

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the oldest Dim Sum parlor in NYC, established in 1920.

Indonesian Satay Beef

Fried Pork Chops with Salt and Chile, sort of the Chinese equivalent to Chicharrones.

Fried Lo Mee, Malaysian soy sauce noodles.

Another type of sauteed noodle.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

These were some type of pork meatballs for sale.

We stopped in at Ten Ren teas to pick up some loose White Tea and some Pu Erh. Ten Ren is probably the finest Asian tea shop in NYC and one of the best in the country.

A typical souvenir stall. I love the Tee Shirt.

The seafood markets can’t be beat (photo: Spamwise)

The exotic produce you find on the streets of Chinatown is incredible. The red spiky things are Rambutans.

Longan Fruit

Pitayas, or Dragonfruits as they are also called.

This guy was selling Bonsai trees.

On the way back to the car, I went into Dragon Cafe and picked up some buns for a late night snack.

16 Responses to The Taste of Chinatown

  1. spamwise says:

    That was the first time I’ve had an eggroll that had vermicelli noodles inside.

    An enjoyable time this afternoon, except for the crowds at the end. Hordes of people make this hobbit cry. ;)

  2. jd2718 says:

    Did you guys already know each other? Or was this a random meeting? Pretty long odds. I linked to you a few months ago, and then Spamwise more recently, because in addition to my regular blog stuff, I thought links to NYC picture-food was cool. Should have figured that you two either knew each other or would cross paths eventually.

    Did you post pics of everything you sampled, or was there a lot more?

  3. Frank M says:

    Jason,
    Great photos! What an event! I would have been in heaven. I can smell it from here in Austin!

  4. jd: Spamwise has been friends with Rachel and I for several years. If you go to an event like Taste of Chinatown, you’d better bring some buddies along to share with you, or you’ll get full quickly.

    The photos pretty much capture everything we sampled, but we really only touched a fraction of what was avaliable at the event. Most of the tables had multiple items you could buy, some up to a dozen different things, and there were 55 vendors in all.

  5. autumnmist says:

    Wow, how’d you know about this event? I have family in Chinatown so we’re out there often but I’ve never heard of this.

  6. dennisw says:

    Yummy photos …..well done

  7. christy says:

    Super pictures! Bummed I didnt make it… Major deterant for me was the crowds- looks like it was INSANE-good for you for not getting discouraged! yummm yummmm yummm…

  8. Pan says:

    That event looks truly insane, considering all the crowds! But the thing that excites me most is the fresh- and good-looking rambutan at $6/lb. Were they good ones?

  9. spamwise says:

    I gotta say this: the first place we went to…Xue something, that’s worth a return visit. That Thai BBQ pork was worth the schlep and the crowds.

    Those chicarrones…mmm mmm good.

    I think if I were to do this again, I’d not fill up so quickly on noodles and fried rice. That being said, it was a nice time for what is essentially, an autumn street fair.

  10. keroppi says:

    Oh my god, you are making SO hungry.
    I’m drooling! Help me!

  11. keroppi says:

    The photos are making me SO hungry. Not that I haven’t eaten anything tonight, but thAts the point. O.o
    My god, I’, drooling all over the place…..!

  12. Liz says:

    Absolutely amazing. The food looks unbelievably mouth-watering! Crowds drive me crazy but for food like that, it’s so worth it. New Yorkers are truly fortunate. Hmm, I’m hungry now. That T-shirt ~ Oh my gosh. LOVE It! :-)

  13. The Taste of New York City

    Für mich ist sie die Mutter aller Städte, und zur Zeit läßt sie mich wieder gar nicht in Ruhe. Das ist umso schlimmer, als ich mir selbst auferlegt habe dieses ganze Land solange nicht mehr zu besuchen, bis das momentan amtierende Lügnerregime vo…

  14. […] Off The Broiler’s coverage of a previous Taste of Chinatown event can be found here if you want to see what’s in store. […]

  15. […] Links: Official Site Great photo journal of the event […]

  16. HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! NYC Chinatown Food Festival is an open to public street festival welcoming tourists and locals to enjoy a day in NYC Chinatown. Public samples $1/$2 delicious food plates and products offered by the neighborhood.

    http://igg.me/p/305786/x/2022012

    Time: April & October 2013
    Where: major streets in NYC Chinatown
    What:
    – sample tasting delicious food plates offered by 50+ restaurants
    – shop at unique stores in discounted price
    – enjoy cultural performance and hip entertainments
    – get to know the uniqueness of NYC Chinatown and be excited about it

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