8 Must-Visit Gems in NYC's Chinatown

From a boba-sneaker outpost to a five-generation-old porcelain ware store, here are a few of our favorite spots.

City Guides
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Amidst the guiding aroma of freshly-roasted duck, the simplicity of sidewalk negotiations at fruit vendor carts and the cacophony of booked-and-busy passersby, New York City’s Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. Among the myriad of storefronts — some freshly minted and others decades-old — the lively downtown spot is home to not only some of the best Asian cuisine, but also some of the oldest businesses and the most unique store concepts in the city. (Not to mention, it also houses the first U.S. brick-and-mortar flagship store for Hypebeast’s e-commerce and retail platform HBX.)

Between the multitude of eclectic eateries, specialty stores and streeetwear outposts, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring every winding street in the energetic neighborhood. Ahead of your visit to Chinatown, consider checking out the eight must-see gems listed below.

Wing On Wo & Co.

What: With a five-generation long legacy, Wing On Wo & Co. is the oldest continuously operating store in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. Founded in the 1890s, the heritage shop first sold traditional Chinese products — including dried fish and canned goods — for the expanding community of immigrants at the time, though it is now recognized for its porcelain ware and cultural goods. Aside from its revered homeware, the centuries-spanning destination is also known for its philanthropy — fifth-generation owner Mei Lum founded an initiative called The W.O.W Project, which serves to preserve the Chinatown community.

Where: 26 Mott St., New York, NY 10013

Solely Tea

What: Located on Eldrige Street, Solely Tea is a first-of-its-kind retail space hosting a curated selection of sneakers, streetwear, emerging artists and — you guessed it — boba drinks. Founded by two siblings whose first home was Chinatown following their father’s immigration to the U.S., the store is interpolated with flavors from their upbringing in the cultural hub. Currently, the store caters to sneakerheads with a myriad of footwear, including Jordan 1s, Nike Dunk Lows, Yeezy models, New Balance and more, alongside a menu of bubble drinks, which includes milk tea, fruit tea, yakult and slushies.

Where: 111 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

 

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Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

What: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory has been serving traditional and authentic Chinese desserts to the neighborhood for almost four decades. A family-run operation, the ice cream shop’s entire menu is homemade, with staple flavors including Almond Cookie, Black Sesame, Durian, Ginger, Lychee and Taro. The delectable Chinatown stop also boasts an “exotic” menu, which features run-of-the-mill flavors like Vanilla, Strawberry, Mint Chip, Chocolate and more.

Where: 65 Bayard St., New York, NY 10013

Unique Hype

What: If you have a habit of scrolling through Grailed in your free time, look no further than Unique Hype. Situated on Elizabeth Street, this humble storefront is a high-end streetwear and designer reseller destination with a seemingly endless supply of Supreme. Under bold, silver signage, a window lures passersby with rows full of caps donning the aforementioned cult NYC skater brand’s signature box logo. Besides Supreme, though, the outpost is known to carry a slew of work from famed streetwear artists including KAWS, Takashi Murakami and more.

Where: 10 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10013

 

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Mott Street Eatery

What: Just north of Canal lies Mott Street Eatery, a food court devoted entirely to Chinese cuisine with open vendor booths lining either side of its eclectic interior. Cantonese dim sum classics — including dumplings, buns, rice rolls and turnip cake — can be found under one awning titled 89 Eatery, while another, dubbed Domo Sushi, offers a variety of traditional rolls. Meanwhile, Yan Wo Dou Bun INC. occupies the space with their famous soy bean milk and sweet tofus dessert. The eatery, which replaced Chinatown’s revered dum sum banquet hall Joy Lucky Palace, seats roughly 100 people across 12 tables with a small stage at the end of the space.

Where: 98 Mott St., New York, NY 10013

Fong On

What: The oldest family-run tofu shop in New York City, Fong On first opened its doors to the Chinatown neighborhood in 1933. Owner Paul Eng, who inherited the reins to the restaurant from his grandfather, has made the spot popular for its ready-to-eat tofu bar, which offers both hot and cold tofu pudding with various toppings. Elsewhere on the menu, you can find homemade soy milk and sticky, sweet rice cakes in flavors such as matcha and ginger.

Where: 81 Division St., New York, NY 10002

 

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Yùnhóng Chopsticks

What: Born in Beijing, Yùnhóng Chopsticks established its home in Lower Manhattan in November 2008. With roughly 200 different styles lining its walls, the outpost is something of a chopstick mecca, offering designs crafted from bamboo, sandalwood and ox bone, among other materials. There’s a myriad of more specific designs, including pairs donning Chairman Mao’s famous quotes and sets inspired by the Beijing Opera. Notably, the specialty design imprint crafted the official chopsticks set for the 2008 summer Olympics.

Where: 50 Mott St., New York, NY 10013

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

What: Serving the neighborhood for over 100 years, Nom Wah Tea Parlor is undoubtedly a Chinatown staple, offering fresh Chinese pastries, steamed buns, dim sum and, of course, tea. The hot spot is most famous for its almond cookie, lotus paste and red bean filling, but the kitchen also cooks up a number of different dumplings and rolls. For tea, Nom Wah favorites include Oolong, Tie guanyin, Jasmine and Bo-lay.

Where: 13 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013

 

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