Downtown Lunch: Cheap Chinatown Snacks

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)

Downtown Lunch: Chinatown Snacks

With the closing of May May (formerly located at the end of Pell street) I was left with a hole in my heart (but more-so in my stomach) for tasty cheap finger foods in Chinatown. Luckily there are still like 20 places you can purchase these tasty cheap eats (but May May was pretty damn good). Sanur Restaurant serves Malaysian/Indonesian food in a cubbie hole near the corner of Doyers street in Chinatown, probably my favorite street in all of NYC. You can get a cheap breakfast, lunch, or just snack on one of the curry puffs, a crunchy fried fold of dough filled with a perfectly spiced chicken/potato/veggie mixture.

Downtown Lunch: Chinatown Snacks

There’s a bit of heat in the little golden pockets, so if you’re starting to sweat after two just walk down to Ah Wong Bakery where as the slogan goes, “You can’t go Ah Wrong at Ah Wong!” Ok so I made that up, and they would just look at you like an idiot if you said that, so don’t! You should still go in and try the coconut milk drink with tapioca. It’s a delicious sweet drink that goes well with all these finger foods. While there try their specialty, the 80 cent steamed roast pork bun. The thing I liked about theirs was the fact they were hot, as opposed to many of these other bakeries where the goods are mostly served room temp. Everything at these bakeries are fresh of course because of the huge numbers they sell, but there’s something nice about opening up that little dovey white bread and seeing a whisp of steam rise from the tasty filling.

Downtown Lunch: Chinatown Snacks

If you’re still hungry, check out Nice One Bakery on 47 Bayard street, where you can purchase a hot dog sticking out of a bun for 80 cents. The hot dog is room temperature which scared me at first but then I remembered those things are pumped up with so much nitrates and antibiotics you could probably stuff a few in a backpack and travel cross-country, or if you’re me at least bring them over the bridge into Brooklyn.

Sanur Restaurant, 18 Doyers Street, 212-267-0976

Ah Wong Bakery, 42 Mott Street, 212-732-3888

Nice One Bakery, 47 Bayard Street, 212-791-9365

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • Nice weiner in bun.

  • mmmm… that steamed roast pork bun looks awesome

  • I don’t know if you ask me, there’s too much bun for that small wiener.

  • Sanur is like the best in the world!

  • The story of your life, eh Mamacita?

  • what about at canal st, in front of the entrance to the JMZ trains, there’s a whole row of carts selling everything from kibabs and fishballs to fried noodles and fried chicken legs. You should get 1 thing from each of the carts and eat it all!

    You should also try to get the brown looking sticky rice wrapped in that white bread, and it’s steamed, You’ll know it if you see it. It’s delicious

  • Boo… this was a lame post offering =P

  • Yvo – It was the labor day weekend post..oh and shadddup! :)

    besides those curry puffs were GREAT and 80 cents (80 cents the day I photographed it, but I’ve had them recently for 50 cents maybe they just jacked the price because I looked like a tourist with my camera out).

  • What about the My Li Wa (god i hope that’s right) bakeryacross the street from the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory?

  • It’s Mei Lei Wah across from Ice Cream factory on Bayard

    Like Daniel, I still really miss May May Bakery — their roast pork buns came 9 to a plastic box, were small, perfectly round with sweet roast pork in the middle. They were easy to freeze too.
    My current standby for buns is Sun Say Kay @ Center & Canal.

    After reading Daniel’s post and finding myself out of work @ 2.30 on Friday I went downtown & had 2 curry puffs (excellent!) and a steamed pork bun from Ah Wong (very light, nice pork, nice compact size). Great suggestions both. Keep this sort of thing coming!!

  • Don’t forget the Hong Kong egg cakes! You get 15 for a dollar! They are good. The cart selling them is on the south side of Canal Street and I want to say the cross streets are Mulberry and Mott, but I am not exactly sure. It is somewhere around there.

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