There's never been a better time to eat Chinese food in New York, and here's our comprehensive-but-selective guide to it all: the good, the great, and the decent, all to help you find the best Chinese food across the boroughs.
'Xi'an Famous Foods' on Serious Eats
Come warm weather, we're all up for cold noodles: cool, nutty soba; Korean nang myeun in ice broth; tongue-tingling Chinese noodles laced with chili oil—we'll take 'em all. What will we be eating when the thermometer rises to three digits? These are a good start.
I was only vegan for a month. February—the shortest month of the year—at that. Not long enough to comprehensively explore the many vegan options in this city, but long enough to befriend some new favorites that I otherwise might have scanned past on a menu as a flexitarian.
You may have occasion to be eating Chinese food in a couple days, and if so, you're likely looking for a movie theater afterward. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite Chinese restaurants with directions to the closest movie theater.
When cheap just isn't cheap enough, Chinatown is there for you. What follows are recommendations for thirteen sweet and savory snacks to fill the belly and warm the soul—most for $2 and under.
We all go to Biang!, the fancier-than-Xi'an-Famous-Foods-but-still-crazy-affordable restaurant in Flushing from the same team for the deservedly well-known lamb's face salad, excellent spiced skewers of meat, and the just-rustic-enough hand-ripped noodles. But don't forget to order the dumplings and mung bean jelly, too.
Jason Wang, the 25 year-old business manager of the Xi'an Famous Foods mini empire, showed us where he goes for dumplings, noodles, and roast duck over rice. We expected the awesome food, but we also heard a local's story of a neighborhood in cultural and culinary flux, and got a look into the cutthroat, paranoid food industry where every third storefront seems to be a restaurant.
I started eating the noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods when the restaurant was a small stall in a dingy basement mall on Main Street in Flushing. As the mini-empire has grown, I've not just changed my X'ian location of choice, but my order of noodles as well.
Food trucks, restaurants, outer-borough neighborhoods: New Yorkers often talk about these as if there's a sharp distinction between "immigrant" and "hipster," old-school and new-school. What I love most about Xi'an Famous Foods—and their owners' new restaurant, Biang! in Flushing—is how much it blurs those distinctions. Wait, retract that sentence; what I love most about Xi'an is their hand-pulled noodles. But go with me here.
Spring means many things in this city, like the real deal arrival of warm weather—and tourists that come with it. In the food world, it also means the markets are bursting peas (!), asparagus (!!), and—yup—ramps. But Spring also means lamb. Tender, grassy, succulent lamb that we really just can't get enough of, whether it's ground into burgers, braised to serve with pasta, or shredded into a nice, refreshing lamb face salad. Here are nine lambs we love in New York. We're sure you'll love them too.
As we've seen, there are some tourist-frequented spots that really do serve good food. But where do we think tourists should go? Here are a dozen places that we think visitors to our fair city shouldn't miss. (Pizza, bagels, burgers, Italian-American spots, picks for Food Network and Top Chef fans, and the best way to get into great restaurants for less cash—it's all here.)
It's the lamb burger ($3) that gets most of the press at Xi'an Famous Foods, though there's a pork burger ($2.50) as well. They're not burgers at all, as any Xi'an fan knows, but palm-sized, meat-stuffed sandwiches that still rank as some of our favorite cheap eats around.
The Lamb Face Salad ($9.75) may not be the cheapest lunch we've featured thus far, but given that it could easily feed two (especially if you throw in a $2.50 pork burger), I'm not complaining. It's a joyful tangle of cucumber and cilantro and mung beans and celery with all sorts of shredded lamb meat that, yes, comes from the face.
Oh, the possibilities! [Photographs: Chichi Wang] All About Xian Read our review » When immigrant meets hipster, the concept of repurposing gets taken to a whole new level. If you've ever eaten at Xi'an Famous Foods, chances are you've...
The term "cult following" was coined with places like Xi'an in mind, the sort of stall that Chowhounders and food adventurers work themselves into a tizzy over, whose critical reception in that world is so enthusiastic as to almost defy explanation. But, of course, a Flushing food court stall's move to St. Mark's—and any small operation's opening of a fourth location—could in fact result in food that's nothing like the first location. How would Xi'an Famous Foods, the East Village edition, stack up?
[Photographs: Robyn Lee] I only recently realized that Xi'an Famous Foods, one of my "must eats" when I trek out to Flushing, could be found not only in the crammed basement of the Golden Shopping Mall, but also in...
[Photos: Joe DiStefano] I'd like to preface this post by saying that I'm not the starstruck type. Monday night I went to Barnes & Noble in Union Square to hear David Chang and Peter Meehan talk with Tony Bourdain...
In my never ending quest to spend every single waking minute of eating in Flushing, I tend to overlook its wonderful markets. So I decided to pay a visit to the sprawling New A&N Food Market, but not to...