Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NYC Cheap Eats: $1 Dumpling Mini Throwdown! Who has the best in the Chinatown Area?

I'm often in Chinatown in NYC and when I want a quick but delicious snack, I hit up any of a number of $1 pan fried dumpling places...where you get 4 to 5 dumplings for around a dollar, depending on the place.  This is probably the BEST thing you can get food-wise that's actually substantial enough to count not only as a snack but as a small meal.  And with many of these dumpling places the $1 dumpling prices have not changed changed in forever!

But as cheap as they are, not all dumplings are necessarily created equal.  Let's see a short list of four that I've tried in recent months...

First, One of the older ones I used to go to all the time growing up (and the one my mom knew of heh heh) was simply called "Fried Dumpling" in a small sloping alleyway off Mott St.  

Fried Dumpling has 5 pieces for a dollar! 
Unfortunately, the pieces were not well cooked, were smaller, and were also all stuck together...pictured
here with some hot sauce.  Could be an off day but it wasn't as good as I remembered.

Second, I tried C and L Dumpling House on Chrystie St., which had 5 pieces but was charging 
$1.25 instead.   But as you can see from the pictures, the dumplings were bigger and perfectly browned and cripsy at the bottom.  

Here's an inside shot...there's quite a bit of filling on the inside as well but that skin is just a tad thick.

Third, I tried Vanessa's Dumpling House, which has two locations.  I tried the East Village location on East 14th st.  It's actually also pretty good and similar to C and L Dumpling...nicely browned at the bottom and meaty, but the skin is just a tad too thick for my taste.  Note that at the East Village location the cost for 5 dumplings jumps up to $2!

Lastly, and my favorite, is Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge St.  They just have the best of everything...
5 pieces for only a dollar...
deliciously crispy and browned at the bottom...
meaty filling but the skin is very light!
The three or four times I've been there in recent months they also are always freshly made and piping hot!

Mmmm, inside shot of the meaty pork and chive pan fried dumpling, with some soy and hot sauce...

Look for the yellow awning when on Eldridge St, between Canal and Hester St.

My favorite is....Prosperity Dumpling!  You have to try it when in Chinatown!

Prosperity Dumpling
46 Eldridge St 
between Canal and Hester
New YorkNY 10002

Fried Dumpling
106 Mosco St
(between Mulberry St & Mott St)
New YorkNY 10013

C and L Dumpling
77 Chrystie St
(between Canal St & Hester St)
New YorkNY 10002

Vanessa's Dumpling House...(go to the Chinatown location instead )
118 Eldridge St
(between Grand St & Broome St...this is actually very close to Prosperity Dumplings!)
New YorkNY 10002

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