Chinatown is one of my favorite parts of New York City. It is bustling with fresh produce markets selling fruit and Chinese herbs, street vendors with cute patterned socks and warm hats for the winter, and neon signs in Chinese characters. As someone who has lived in Chinatown for the last year, I wanted to give you the inside scoop on the best places to eat and little shops to visit when you are spending a weekend here.
First stop on a Saturday or Sunday is visiting the Hester Street Fair. This is the perfect fall day activity, with local vendors selling vintage clothing, baked goods, and handmade jewelry. Located right off Essex Street, it's an easy stop to make in the Lower East Side on your way to Chinatown.
Two of my favorite plant stores are just a couple blocks away. Da-Hing Florist and The Sill are fun little shops to go into to escape the city air and surround yourself with greenery. Even if you're travelling and can't purchase a plant, both of them are cute places to window shop.
If it's not too cold out, renting a city bike is a fun and quick way to get around!
Not too far from Chinatown is The Jane Hotel, a historic hotel located in the West Village and my personal favorite hotel in the city. Since New York City is one of the easiest cities to get around by subway, staying in the West Village is a great option if you are exploring lower Manhattan. This hotel is more of an experience, with vintage details and river views. They even have rooms with bunk beds and shared bathrooms to meet everyone's budget.
Places to Eat
A trip to Chinatown wouldn't be complete without stopping at one of the many Chinese bakeries. My favorite one is Lucky King Bakery located on Grand Street, a mom and pop bakery that's been around for 30 years and has delicious buns and pastries.
Another one of my favorite places to eat in Chinatown is Spicy Village. It's a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant located across the park on Forsyth Street. Their soup dumplings are packed with flavor and are some of the best I've ever had!
If you're thirsty, try Yaya Tea or Vivi Tea for their delicious Taro Milk Tea Bobas.