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The Best Old School Chinese Restaurants in New York City

We wanted to take a look at and highlight some of the best old school Chinese restaurants in New York City. These restaurants are full of history and they are a glimpse of a different era. In fact, many have not changed much since they first opened. After all these years, they have become neighborhood staples and they are truly unique and special. But New York City is always changing so many of these places are becoming increasingly rare.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor – 13 Doyers St
Nom Wah Tea Parlor, which first opened way back in 1920, is the oldest dim sum restaurant and tea parlor in Chinatown that is still in business. One of their most popular items is their original egg roll (which you can try on our tour of Chinatown & Little Italy). It is absolutely delicious and it is an absolute must, along with all the classic dim sum dishes like turnip cake, shrimp dumplings and beef rice rolls.

Wo Hop – 17 Mott St
When it comes to cheap eats, it doesn’t get better than this. Wo Hop has all the classics like fried rice, lo mein, congee and clams with black bean sauce. It has since become a popular late night spot for both locals and visitors to Chinatown alike.

69 Chinese Restaurant – 69 Bayard St
69 Chinese Restaurant is a no frills place but it is where the locals go for a homey, authentic Chinese meal. We especially love their chicken, tofu and salty fish casserole and their stir fried lobster. Like Wo Hop, they are also open late night.

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory – 65 Bayard St
If you are looking for dessert, you can’t beat the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (only a few storefronts from 69 Chinese Restaurant). They have a bunch of flavors to choose from including some exciting hard to find flavors like lychee, red bean and durian.

Mei Lai Wah – 64 Bayard St
Also nearby is the Chinese bakery, Mei Lai Wah, an old standby. They have the best char sui/ roast pork buns (which can be steamed or baked). Best of all, a roast pork bun cost less than a dollar!

Big Wong – 67 Mott St
Finally, Big Wong is another great place for a fast, cheap, tasty lunch. They are known for their yummy rice orders and we especially recommend ones topped with their delicious char sui (roast pork), roast duck or soy sauce chicken.

Nom Wah Egg Roll

If we missed any old school Chinese restaurants in New York City or if you have any great stories about them, let us know in the comment section below!

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