Chinese in Lower East Side
- Perfect for
- Casual Weeknight Dinner
- Cheap Eats
Spicy Village’s big tray chicken is one of Chinatown’s most iconic dishes. Big bone-in hunks of chicken and potatoes come stewed in a rich sauce made with Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, and other spices—and you have the option of adding hand-pulled noodles. Always get those noodles. The dish easily feeds two people (this is not medium tray chicken, after all), and it costs roughly $16.
Notably, this place is BYOB—so stop by with a few friends for a fun, delicious meal that probably won’t run you more than $20 per person. Get that big tray chicken (with noodles), and supplement your order with some plump, bell-shaped soup dumplings, a crispy pancake filled with pork, and either an extra noodle dish or a plate of the scallion dumplings. Just be aware that Spicy Village can’t accommodate parties larger than six. Once you see the tiny space, you’ll understand why.
Spicy Big Tray Chicken
This is the best dish here, and there’s not much to say about it that the name doesn’t cover. It’s a big tray of chicken covered in a chili-oil sauce with cilantro to cut through the heat. You have the option to add noodles, and you’re going to want to do that.
These pancakes are fluffy little circles of dough with crispy crust. You can have them filled with pork (our favorite), beef, or egg. Or you can order them plain and dunk them into the various leftover sauces from the other things you’ve ordered. Any and all of these options should be pursued.
Spice Scallion Sauce Dumplings
A great appetizer to eat while you wait for big tray chicken. The soy-scallion-chili oil sauce is great to have on hand for pancake dunking.
Grilled Pepper Chicken
Chicken and peppers grilled in a spicy sauce served over rice or noodles. This is a little bit hot, a little bit sweet, and extremely delicious.
These don’t compete with some of NYC’s best, but they’re pretty solid. Piping hot and full of broth and delicious pork, get an order if you’re in the mood for a waft of porky steam straight to the face.
Spicy Lamb Hu Mei
A lot of the noodle dishes here follow a similar format: thick hand-pulled noodles, bok choy, cilantro, and meat. The spicy lamb is great but order this as an add-on to the big tray chicken—not in lieu of it.