I remember years ago, I used to hate Chinatown, NYC because it was crowded and smelled like fish. I don’t think that has changed much, but it has definitely increased in modernity and improved in cleanliness. You can now see new restaurants popping up, including those of different cuisines such as Bassanova, a famous ramen chain from Japan, and Aux Epices, an intimate fusion Malaysian and French restaurant. Despite the rise in new eateries, I actually began discovering incredible and old hole-in-the-walls that have every reason to be as famous as they are. Two classics in this cultural neighborhood?
The Kam Hing Coffee Shop has some serious die-hard sponge cakes to be tried! Apparently I had it more than 10 years ago according to my mom but where have I been these last 10 years?!? Their $1 sponge cakes are small but melt in your mouth after every bite. They’re incredibly fresh and soft to eat, even after buying a couple extra for your snack or breakfast. They now have flavored sponge cakes, including green tea, cinnamon chocolate, chocolate chip, and strawberry. I still think the original is the best, but nothing beats trying out flavorful sponge cakes that no one else makes!
(Photo: Falkowtz, Max. Sugar Rush)
Then there’s the old Mei Li Wah Bakery right on Bayard Street, the street famous for Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and Great NY Noodle Town. If you’re a fan of roast pork buns, this is the place to go! Although fatty in many ways, it is flavorful with an abundant amount of meat inside a sweet and freshly baked bun. They also have a plain sweet bun that is also less than $1 and completely satisfying. When you go inside, it’s almost like you went back in time with the elder servers and the classic seating and walls! The best part is, you can buy an entire box for less than $15 and enjoy a feast with your buddies. 🙂