Despite its scale and quality, Sunset Park’s Chinatown remains the least visited of New York’s major Chinatowns, with Flushing and Manhattan’s Chinatown boasting bigger culinary dining destination statuses. But it’s a worthy contender and is home to some of the city’s best Chinese food. Though the initial Chinese migrants to Sunset Park were Cantonese, those coming from the Fujian Province have increased over the last 20 years and with it, so has the community’s need for a wide array of Chinese food. Regional offerings are rich and plentiful. Below, find some top picks — from top-notch dim sum to flaming, numbing whole fresh fish. Come hungry, be respectful, and as always, bring cash.Read More
Where to Eat in Sunset Park’s Chinatown
Brooklyn’s biggest Chinatown is low-key but mighty in everything from dim sum to hot pot
Yun Nan Flavour Garden
Yun Nan Flavor Garden is an institution in and of itself, one of the city’s first restaurants to serve Yunnan food. Here, the focus is mixian, white rice noodles that can be found in soups like a rich and flavorful crispy meat option or in the cold form with incredibly sweet and salty ground pork and peanuts. Cash only.
OFC Chicken V
OFC Chicken V is a counter-service restaurant that’s marooned off onto 5th avenue and offers well-seasoned Taiwanese popcorn chicken and an iteration of sweet potato fries that borders on tempura. When feeling a little goofy, order the extra long fries, but expect a bit of a wait.
Chuan Tian Xia
The Sichuan family-style newcomer has impressed locals and is now one of the hottest tables in Sunset Park. The wrapped fish is a must-get, but it’s hard to go wrong on the expansive menu, which offers classics like mapo tofu and spicy wontons to dishes that are lesser seen in New York, like spicy frog stir-fries. The portions are huge, so coming with a large group is recommended. There may be at least an hour wait for tables.
Meet Noodles specializing in Chong Qing-style noodles and is a salve for the cold months, when diners can cozy up in roomy booths. The steak noodles look impressive with their generous chunks of meat, but the tomato sirloin option comes in a rich and spicy broth that provides a comforting umami. Everything is under $10.
LaoJie Hot pot
As far as all-you-can-eat hot pot goes, LaoJie is a solid contender for quality and price, at $22.98. The usual hotpot fixings can be expected such as various cuts of meat, vegetables, fish, and tofu cakes, plus all the sauces to mix and dip. The spicy broth option is a favorite of those who err on the side of numbing spice, but the bone cylinder broth is also a worthy pick — giving a rounded flavor that doesn’t overpower the ingredients.
East Harbor Seafood Palace
East Harbor Seafood Palace is a Sunset park dim sum icon. The large, banquet hall room offers dim sum by the cart. All the standards of the genre — rice rolls, steamed pork ribs, chicken feet — are executed well here, but any pork-filled dumpling is a must-order. There is always a wait on weekends, and when listening for a table, note that numbers are called out in Cantonese, then Mandarin and then in English.
Dim sum is a Cantonese specialty, which makes sense as to why the historically Cantonese Chinatown of Sunset Park masters it well. Park Asia is a newer spot (née 2015) but has quickly joined the dim sum power rankings. Selected items are taken from the carts going around, and a note is made on the order slip given to each party. The turnip cake is a standout, as are the various sweet options such as the ube pastry and griddled kabocha squash cakes filled with condensed milk.
The Fei Long Food Court sits adjacent to Hong Kong Supermarket and is closest to the 8th Avenue stop on the N train. With between four and six vendors at one time, it’s not as impressive in its options as One World Mall in Flushing, but despite its ever-changing vendors, one option remains unbeatable. LaoMa MalaTang serves dry pot, where diners pick their own melange of ingredients such as lamb, lotus root, and fish filet, which then get tossed in chile oil. It’s served with rice; eat, then burn it off with some grocery shopping. Cash only.
Western Yunnan Crossing Bridge Noodles
This small restaurant’s big focus is the famed “crossing bridge noodles,” a Yunnan classic using mixian (rice noodles) as the base. As well as its delightfully theatrical serving, crossing the bridge noodles and its piping-hot soup give a nourishing and moreish experience. Yun Nan Flavor Garden also serves these noodles, but Western Yunnan is a better option for the dish. Cash only.
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This Cantonese establishment remains on many lists for its fantastic barbecued meats. Take a group, eat family-style, and make sure to get the crispy-skinned roast pig, barbecued duck, filet fish with eggplant and bean curds, plus a vegetable option to balance out the meat.
Xin Fa Bakery
Egg tarts are not just a Portuguese delicacy, and at Xin Fa, theirs are so good that fans must pre-order 24 hours in advance due to the high demand. The buttery, flaky dough holds a generous amount of creamy and gently sweet egg custard. They live up to the hype. Cash only.
There are several viable options for bubble tea, but Happy Lemon is the one to try when in Sunset Park. The chain hasn’t expanded its franchising just yet, meaning it’s not as ubiquitous as competitors like Kung Fu Tea in New York and worth trying when spotted. Happy Lemon’s black tea with salted cheese is the best option, but it does sell out on busy days. Other drinks include taro milk tea and lemon green tea. Cash only.
Wong Good Hand Pull Noodle
Wong’s excels at a hand-pulled noodle, which are skinny and made fresh. Any option for will satisfy whatever the craving, whether it’s pan-fried beef noodles or a house special noodle soup that comes with beef tendon, tripe and pork, topped with a fried egg for good measure. Also don’t skip out on it’s wonderfully crispy fried dumplings. Cash only.
Xun Yu Si Kao
The decadence of seafood and Sichuan cuisine meet at Xun Yu Si Kao, where shareable trays of fish (called “fish pots”) like striped bass and grouper come marinating in a deep red sauce. Get any of the seven fish pots ranging from tilapia to buffalo, and order depending on the budget and group size. If reeling from the spice, eat the complimentary dessert that’s usually cold enough to temper down taste buds.
Steamed Rice Roll Cart
These sheets of rice noodle are steamed on slim trays and served up in plastic pots with several sauces. Toppings — which include egg, green onion, bamboo shoots, and peanut oil — are customizable, though roast pork is a solid option. The exact location of this rice roll cart changes but can be found while walking up and down 8th avenue. Speaking Cantonese or Mandarin will definitely help. Cash only.