Even the New Yorkers who are the most in the know can be at a loss when it comes to navigating their way around China Town. Admittedly, I have gotten lost in China Town more times than I can count, but in my defense, the number of store names written completely in Chinese don't make it easy. I also have no sense of direction to speak of, but that's another story. When it comes to China Town, it's not necessarily about knowing exactly where you are at all times. I mean, there are apps for that. What it's really about is experiencing it as fully as possible, and that means hitting the following spots:
Mini Cake Carts
Mini cake carts are like a gift from above, and I have NEVER been to China Town without getting some. These carts are all over the China Town streets and while there is some debate on which make the best cakes, any cart you buy from will be a good investment. The cakes are tiny puffy balls of goodness that taste like pancake batter and can be purchased 15 to 20 at a time for ONE DOLLAR. Yup. That's the truth.
The Original China Town Ice Cream Factory
- 65 Bayard St New York, NY 10013
For as long as I can remember, my parents would take my brother and I to The Original China Town Ice Cream Factory whenever we happened to be in China Town. What's cool about this place is that their regular flavors include Black Sesame, Lychee, Taro, and Zen Butter, while their exotic flavors include familiar flavors such as Chocolate, Vanilla, and Rocky Road. That's just The Original China Town Ice Cream Factory's style. They are all about giving ice cream a Chinese twist and they have become an unofficial landmark for New York City residents.
Peking Duck House
- 28 Mott St. New York, NY, 10013
China Town just wouldn't be China Town without Chinese restaurants. In fact, the area has a reputation for having especially good and authentic Chinese restaurants, one of the most notable being Peking Duck House. It was here that I first tried duck and opened myself up to another world of meals. There's a reason that people leave Peking Duck House saying "It was the best Chinese food I've ever had"!