143 Division St., Chinatown
Conveniently located next door to the restaurant iteration of Dimes—if you're looking for the ingredients to recreate one of the bursting-with-flavor, health-centric dishes you've just consumed and can't stop thinking about, look no further. Dimes Market is a narrow, small but mighty, galley-style grocer, filled with all the provisions one needs to churn out delicious meals, snacks, and smoothies from the average tiny NYC kitchen (or if you're no home-cook, make your kitchen look pretty instead with the selection of linens, ceramics, and premium-grade olive oil also lining the shelves). A tight edit of only-the-best food purveyors, quality produce, all manner of powders and supplements, pretty utensils and, last, but not least, clean beauty products fill the space. Dimes market is the modern apothecary for the thoroughly modern shopper—because sometimes we need to pick up a side of aluminum-free deodorant alongside that bunch of greens and crate of grapefruit La Croix.
49 Canal St., Chinatown
Dimes is one of those perfect spots where you can order everything on the menu and feel really good about it. Breakfast could be matcha buttermilk pancakes or huevo kathmandu (spicy chickpeas, spinach chutney, and date relish on a corn tortilla), for lunch a watercress, farro, blood orange, shiso vinaigrette salad or togarashi salmon and pickled carrots—all of the above are the type of food so bright in flavor and color it jumps right off the plate. The space itself is a cozy, cave-like nook with simple wooden tables, bright whitewashed walls, and a sloping ceiling—all flooded with light from the near floor-to-ceiling windows out front. This is a Cali-centric place, where every bite is healthy but not necessarily health-food (there's a Dimes market retailing their favorite purveyors next door), chefs and founders Alyssa Wagner and Sabrina DeSousa have gotten the balance—and the aesthetic—just right.
The Good Sort (Closed)
5 Doyers St., Chinatown
The Good Sort may be a bit of a trek given its Chinatown location, but trust us when we say the pilgrimage downtown is worth it: Owners Eddy Buckingham and Jeff Lam (who are also the guys behind Chinese Tuxedo next door), have created a vegan menu of alternative milk lattes (almond, coconut, and oat), fresh juices, homemade congee, and coffee that is entirely categorized by color (say, a yellow turmeric congee, pink rose petal tea, or black charcoal-infused latte). Everything on the menu appears to be made for Instagram–but even if that's not your jam, it's hard not to love the health bent (case in point: the Rainbow Iced Latte, made with beetroot, turmeric, black pepper, coconut sugar, and blue algae, looks like an ombré painting).
41 Elizabeth St. #302, Chinatown
Blurring the line between a modern aesthetic and ages-old craftsmanship, this mother-daughter furniture design studio produces unique, made-to-order sculptural pieces. The background is compelling: Helena Sultan, a former photographer and documentary film maker, founded the collection in 2015, extending her eye for the visual to the physical. Her daughter, Natasha Sultan, later joined after honing her skills in the world of contemporary and vintage jewelry. The duo produces compelling, timeless, design-forward furniture and accessories that encourage you to stop and take a moment: From the lounge chairs with hand-stitched detailing, to the side chairs with tapered legs, each piece boasts contours that seem to naturally fit the human form. It's worth a visit to the the recently-opened Chinatown location (note: it's best to make an appointment ahead).
20 Elizabeth St., Chinatown
If you’re looking for a quintessential New York dim sum experience, Jing Fong is probably your best bet. With a sprawling dining room (it seats 800), communal tables, and blue and pink fluorescent lighting, this Cantonese palace is worth a trip for the fun (if slightly chaotic) atmosphere alone. Some reliable dishes include the soup dumplings, vegetable dumplings, and rice noodle rolls with shrimp. Go during the week, or be prepared to wait at least an hour on the weekends.
18 E. Broadway, Chinatown
No NYC dim sum list would be complete without Golden Unicorn, the classic, 2-story Cantonese spot that draws tourists and New Yorkers alike with its ornate decorations and delicious dim sum offerings. Since everything (they’re best known for mainstays like shrimp and pork shumai and BBQ pork buns) gets piled high in baskets and rolled around the dining room on carts, try to snag a seat near the kitchen, ensuring you get the freshest possible food. Oh, and be sure to order the little piggy buns, filled with egg custard and endlessly instagrammable.
13 Doyers St., Chinatown
This NYC institution has been around since 1920, and although it’s evolved and changed over time (it was originally a bakery and teahouse serving dim sum on the side), it’s still one of our favorite places in New York. The small dining room, decked out with booths and red-checkered tablecloths, is adorable, and their scallion pancakes, “OG” egg rolls, and anything made with rice noodles (like the har gow and any of the rice rolls) do not disappoint. Don’t confuse this with the new-ish NoLita location – although the food is solid, the more modern, fast-casual concept in no way rivals the funky charm of the original.
37 Orchard St., Chinatown
Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria's concept shop on Orchard Street is part of the cadre of businesses blurring the boundaries between the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Barque and Faria originally met working at galleries, and their store is reflective of their art-inspired aesthetic, with reupholstered midcentury furniture, sculptural home accessories, and neon-tinged coffee table books. There's also a great selection of candles and quirky accessories, so it's a home-run for gifting.
130 Division St., Chinatown
Despite the Chinese characters on the awning outside, stepping through the olive green French doors at Kiki's on tiny Division Street, near the border of Chinatown and LES, sort of feels like you're walking into a taverna in Greece. The vibe is part local, part hipster, all fun; and the food—from grilled octopus to Greek salad, tzatziki, and Melitzanosalata (eggplant mash)—is simply done and very good.
171 E. Broadway, Chinatown
Tucked away in the Eastern corner of Chinatown (be sure not to confuse E. Broadway with Broadway), this outpost of Mission Chinese is actually the second take on the concept and it’s much more dressed-up than the first (for one, there’s a proper kitchen in the basement rather than a tiny galley situation separated from diners by a thin sheet of plexiglass). The food is just as quirky and great: Steamed oat noodles, a perfect duck wrapped in lotus leaf, and anchovies, pickled in chili and served on flatbread are favorites.
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