Chinatown is another neighborhood in New York City that you just have to visit. When you finally hit this part of Manhattan, everything suddenly changes and it’s like you’re literally stepping into China.
The buildings all have signs in Chinese on them, the restaurants show menus in Chinese in the windows and the stores are filled with all sorts of typical (?) Chinese stuff, teas, herbs, food, trinkets, gadgets and things I have no idea how to explain…like breast balls with “I love you” sound.
You probably won’t spend a lot of time in Chinatown, unless you like Chinese food and stay for lunch. Browse the shops and get your spices, herbs, teas, etc., that you might not find anywhere else, but don’t do this in Chinatown – DON’T take pictures inside the stores, especially of the herbs and the weird animal parts in jars.
I tried to do that in one of the stores and ended up with a very upset Chinese man shouting something to me in Chinese. Of course, I didn’t understand what he was shouting at me, but I got the underlying message and exited the store quickly…and just took a photo of his outdoor merchandise instead!
Unless you really know this neighborhood, just pick a random restaurant for lunch. We tried H. K. Wonton Garden on 79 Mulberry Street. There were already people inside so we took that as a good sign, but unfortunately they turned out to be mostly tourists. I had a huge bowl of vegetable soup, which was delicious. We also ordered Peking duck in pancakes to share. The duck was pretty good, but very fatty, and the pancakes were really weird. So not me.