When you ask your text chain if anyone wants to go out tonight, you usually get one yes, two maybes (a.k.a. nos), and no response from everyone else. But on the rare occasion that everyone wants to join, go to Congee Village. This two-story Chinese spot just off Delancey, which has a tree growing in the middle of it and bamboo everywhere, is filled with big tables. Almost everything on the very long menu is served family-style, so you should share things like the salt and pepper shrimp, congee with salted chicken, and chicken and yam that’s served on a sizzling hot plate.
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For barbecue on the Lower East Side, go to Randall’s. It’s counter-service, there’s a full bar, and they make some good sandwiches on bialys.
Barrio Chino, a Mexican restaurant on the Lower East Side, is always busy and always worth the wait.
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Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
The noodles are good, but the real reason you go to this tiny Chinatown spot is for some of the best dumplings in the city.
Fei Long Food Court
If you want to grab a quick lunch in Sunset Park, stop by Fei Long Food Court and get some congee, roast pork, or soup dumplings.
Green Garden Village
Green Garden Village is a BYOB restaurant in Chinatown with hit-or-miss Cantonese food.
Suggested by our writers
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
Skip nearby Vanessa's Dumplings in favor of the superior Shu Jiao Fu Zhou when you're looking for excellent, cheap Chinatown dumplings.
A Philadelphia import with a big following has now arrived in the East Village. Overlook the dumpy interior and shoddy service and put your face into a bowl of Dan Dan Noodles.
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