The orange chicken aficionados at Panda Express opened a second Manhattan location this week — marking the first of three new outposts to open on the island this summer. The new restaurant in Midtown East — at 835 Third Ave., near 51st — made its debut on Wednesday and offers the typical fare of the Chinese-American food buffet chain, like honey walnut shrimp and the famous orange chicken. It will also offer special dishes inspired by co-founder Andrew Cherng’s time working in New York, including mapo tofu and salt and pepper shrimp.
It’s just the beginning of the popular California-based chain’s plans for Manhattan. By the end of the summer, Panda Express plans to open two more locations — one near Madison Square Garden at 414 Eighth Ave. and one in Hell’s Kitchen at 663 Ninth Ave. Though the company has more than 1,900 locations globally, it only had three NYC locations in the Queens Mall, the Bronx, and at JFK before the first Manhattan location opened last fall. If everything goes according to plan, by the end of the summer, New York will be home to seven outposts of Panda Express.