egg tarts

The next time you have a few friends visiting and you need to entertain them for a day, consider taking them on a ten stop food tour of some of the best, highly rated food in Manhattan and impress them with your culinary knowledge (and cheap price tag).  The following places were chosen primarily from Serious Eats and Foursquare recommendations.  Read on and be amazed.

First, meet my Berkeley Press guest costar this week, Tom Gambino, an artist living in Manhattan who was game to try some tasty food.  Check out his work on Instagram under @tomgambinoart.  Our first stop was:

1) Prince Street Pizza

prince st pizza

It’s like a tiny delicious cheese mattress with pepperoni pillows on top

We split ours into two, but you can have it cut into four pieces and it will work out to $1 per person. Here’s Tom’s artist rendering:

prince st pizza drawing tom gambino

You can practically smell it

Next up 2) Taim home of the “Best Falafel in NY” according to New York Serious Eats.  Get the Falafel sampler plate  for $4 and split it with three of your friends, $1/person.  Grand total so far is $2/person!

Taim falafel new york serious eats

I’m on TEAM Falafel

Yes, there is a drawing

taim falafel drawing

Gotta try ’em all

3)  Thirsty?  Head to Mulberry St. Bar next.

The decor inside is elaborate and old fashioned.  There is ornate woodwork, large paintings, and bizarre, mishmashed decorations.  You can get a pitcher for $12 and split it with your friends, working out to $3/person. (Grand total for the day=$5).  We took our beers outside because it was a nice day, and watched the enraged drivers attempting to navigate Little Italy scream at each other.

mulberry st bar

Old fashioned, charming, dive bar

mulberry st bar outside

Be careful not to get stuck in an endless loop of drinking and drawing

4) Golden Steamer

If you’ve never had a BBQ Pork bun, get to it.  They’re delicious, squishy salty marvels. Admittedly, they do not photograph well.  Also at $0.80 each, they’re barely going to register in your food budget. (Grand total for the day = $5.20)

golden steamer

The unfortunately named but fortunately delicious

BBQ Pork Bun

BBQ Pork Bun

5) New York Mart

You don’t have to eat anything here if you don’t want to, but it is a grocery store.  This is an authentic asian market that is filled with interesting items that you cannot normally find in your average supermarket.  They also have really cheap, fresh produce.

New York Mart

New York Mart

New York Mart Deli

New York Mart Deli

6) Shanghai Café has the Best Soup Dumplings in Chinatown according to NY Serious Eats.  Here’s a tip, take your dumplings to go and be careful, they are actually filled with hot delicious soup, so don’t just bite into it with no regard or you’ll burn your face off. $4.95 for a whole pile of them.  (Grand total is now $6.44).


Please don’t eat me.

7) Tai Pan Bakery get an egg tart for $1.20.  They have lots of varieties available, but the traditional one (yellow) can’t be beat.

Tai Pan Bakery

Hot, flaky, fresh

egg tarts

Green tea and regular

You don’t even have to split it, and your grand total per person is only up to $7.64.

8) Prosperity Dumpling as seen on Foodspotting

Popular opinion suggests that these might be the best fried dumplings in Chinatown, we recommend the pork and chive 4 for $1 only adds another quarter to your food costs for the day when you split them with your friends. (Grand total is $7.89).

Fried Dumplings

Enjoy them with a beautiful view of the trashy streets

9) We saved the best for last with Vanessa’s Dumpling House Peking Duck Pancakes at $2.25 each.  This place is amazing.  They make these huge, doughy spongy pancakes and then slice them up and fill them with marinated duck, sauce, and veggies.  Tom and I agreed it was the best thing we had all day.

Preperation of Peking Duck Pancake

Preparation of Peking Duck Pancake

Peking Duck Pancake

Finished product

You could split one of these no problem, but if you want to enjoy your own it will bring your daily total up to $10.04. That would put us over budget, so get one of these for every 2 people in your group leaving your daily total at $9.02.  That leaves enough cash for your last stop.  If after all these places your friends aren’t full, tired, and happy, we don’t know what to tell you.  But we recommend for the last stop a nice, relaxing coffee where–if you aren’t stuffed–you can have some amazing tiramisu or other dessert.

10) Coffee.  We went to The Bean:

The Bean

Cool artwork and very dog friendly

Share to stay under budget or splurge the extra buck and get your own.  It’s a great place to hangout for a while and rest your feet after all that walking. These 10 great food locations are all within walking distance and easy to navigate between.  You’ll start in Little Italy and then make your way over to Chinatown.  If you decide to hit up The Bean at the end, you’ll end up in the East Village.

Let us know if you decide to take this food tour with your friends, and tell us what they thought of it!


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About christinaseeber

Christina Seeber is a Social Media professional in New York City, currently working for Berkeley College. Follow her on twitter @socialmediabk


New York City


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