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Our Favorite Chinese Joints To Celebrate the Lunar New Year

image-1One of the most exciting things about living in New York is having access to cuisines from all over the world — from Austrian, Polish and even Uzbeki fare to Pakistani, Malaysian and Guyanese (yep).  But probably the thing we’re best known for is being a mecca of amazing, regional Chinese food.

So whether you’re looking to celebrate the Lunar New Year this Friday (or are merely in search of top notch dumplings and noodles), we’ve got a terrific list of don’t-miss places for you, from RedFarm in Manhattan and Pacificana in Brooklyn to Biang!, a new restaurant from the Xi’an Famous Foods team in Queens.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Nom Wah Tea Parlor
13 Doyers St.
Chinatown,New York 10013
(212) 962-6047

Nom Wah first introduced New Yorkers to Dim Sum back in the 1920’s, and little has changed (including the interiors) at the casual Doyer Street spot since then.  The one exception is, that instead of hawking offerings on metal carts, each bite is now made to order.  That means that everything arrives crisp, steaming, and impeccably fresh, from the open-faced Shrimp and Snow Pea Leaf Dumplings, to the “Original” Egg Rolls wrapped in delicate Egg Crepes, and the pillowy House Special Buns, stuffed with nubs of Roasted Pork and Sugary Caramelized Onions.

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RedFarm

RedFarm
529 Hudson St.
West Village,New York 10014
(212) 792-9700

While there are plenty of delicious main course dishes to try at the new uptown outpost of RedFarm (like the Grilled and Marinated Prime Rib Steak), you can plan an entire evening around the recently revamped West Village original, which now boasts a Peking Duck House and cocktail lounge downstairs.   (Not your average Chinese joint, right?) Feast on chef Joe Ng’s famous Pastrami Egg Rolls, Chicken Salad and Pac-Man Dumplings before heading below ground to Decoy for elevated Asian bar snacks, like Lobster Claw Tempura and Roasted Duck Wraps, accompanied by boozy, Soju-based libations.

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Fung Tu

Fung Tu
22 Orchard St.
Chinatown,New York 10002
(212) 219-8785

This new spot from Nom Wah Tea Parlor owner Wilson Tang and Per Se alumni Jonathan Wu has a truly fitting location, straddling traditional, old world Chinatown and the eclectic, electric Lower East Side.  Their inventive interpretation of Chinese American fare results in some truly unique dishes, like a Roasted Beet Salad with Century Egg, Parker House Steamed Buns with Shitake Mushrooms and Butternut Squash, Sunchokes with Shrimp Paste, and Dumpling Knots with Sichuan Ground Pork Sauce.  Parker House Steamed Buns you say? We’re so there.

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Han Dynasty

Han Dynasty
90 3rd Ave.
East Village,New York 10003
(212) 390-8685

Philly has more to contribute to New York’s dining scene than just cheesesteaks.  Take this popular, Chinese mini-chain, which recently opened its first local outpost in the East Village.  The Sichuan-style offerings are appropriately fiery; each dish is actually rated for “spice level” from 1-10.  Go for the Wontons in Chili Oil (6), the classic Dan Dan Noodles (7), the Triple Flash Fried Scallops (8), and if you’re really up for the burn, the Spicy Hot Pot with Rabbit or Tea Smoked Duck in Beer Sauce (10).

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Biang!

Biang!
41-10 Main St.
Queens,New York 11355
(718) 888-7713

Xi’an Famous Foods first got its start as a tiny stall in Flushing’s Golden Mall, and has spawned two successful Manhattan locations since then, now famous for their wonderful Hand-Pulled Noodles and spicy Lambs Face Salads.  But the youngest and most refined of Xi’an’s restaurants is back in Flushing, a full-service spot that offers both highly authentic regional dishes (Chang’an Soft Tofu with Pickled Vegetables), and creative fusions (Quail Eggs and Pork Sausages with Toasted Slices of Mantou).

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Pacificana

Pacificana
813 55th St
Brooklyn,New York 11220
(718) 871-2880

Sunset Park is Brooklyn’s own Chinatown; chock-a-block with dumpling stalls, bubble tea shops and Peking duck houses.  But the lavish, two story Pacificana is simply unmatched for the quality and quantity of its Dim Sum.   The restaurant is reliably mobbed every weekend morning with locals and out-of-neighborhood visitors alike, eager to pluck an endless array of shareable, gently-priced treats off roving, rolling carts, like steaming Shrimp Har Gow, pork-filled Turnip Cakes, scallion-studded Clams and yes, even gnarled, sesame-dusted Chicken Feet.  If you don’t mind hailing down your food, this is your guy.

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Brooklyn Wok Shop

Brooklyn Wok Shop
182 N 10th St.
Brooklyn,New York 11211
(347) 889-7992

Healthy and local aren’t exactly two words you associate with Chinese cooking.  But husband-and-wife team, Edric and Melissa Har, opened Brooklyn Wok Shop in 2012 to address the dearth of Chinese food options in Williamsburg, while still using the sustainable, hormone-free and locally sourced ingredients.  The tasty result is Duck Confit Dumplings, Housemade Noodle Soup with Market Vegetables, Hanger Steak Chow Fun with Napa Cabbage, and Caramel Apple Spring Rolls for dessert.

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Buddakan

Buddakan
75 9th Ave.
Chelsea,New York 1oo11
(212) 989-6699

Restaurateur Stephen Starr’s giddily over-the-top Buddakan is going all out for the Chinese New Year, with two solid weeks of a la carte menu specials centered around lucky foods.  Wealth will be represented by Lobster and Kabocha Squash Dumplings, Wisdom by Fragrant Smoked Duck with Five Spice Glaze, Abundance by the Seafood Hot Pot with Mochi, Long Life by Longevity Noodles with Oxtail and Sea Scallop, and Luck by a “Mandarin Orange” dessert, made with Chocolate and Vanilla Bavarois.

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