Fresh off my disappointment of no Hallo Berlin Cart on Wednesday, I was forced to find lunch in an area I haven’t eaten in before.  Walking back to work, I went down 52nd Street between 5th and 6th where I found a bunch of lunch options. But because of my “condition”, one stood out as the clear choice.  Yips.

I am addicted to cheap chinese food… and Yips is the kind of place I have trouble walking by.  The food is right there, in all it’s steam plate glory… calling to you… “Please point to me”.  With all the choices right there, waiting to be picked in any number of combinations, it’s hard for me not to eat at these kinds of cheap chinese food places… so right off the bat, I can say- if you are not into this kind of eating, Yips is not going to be the place to change your mind.

Most places like this suffer from the same problems.  Is the food authentic?  Usually not.  Is it as fresh as it could be?  Usually not?  Is it restaurant quality?  Usually not… and Yips is no different.  But it’s got a lot of choices, and many of them you don’t normally see at places like this.  Garlic (Salt & Pepper) Shrimp, Honey Roast Pork, Curry Fish Balls, Spicy Thai Chicken, Some sort of fried cutlet, and numerous soups joined the usual suspects.  And they had a Tue&Thurs. specials board, so it appears as if they change some of their items around every few days.

When you walk in, there are three or four different places you can get in line to pick your food.  On first glimpse, they look mostly the same, but some of them have different things.  Usually I like to ignore the menu, and just order with my eyes… but here that’s a little tough because there are a few different places to order.  My suggestion would be to look up at the bulletin boards hanging behind each station, and choose which line to get in based on that.  There are a ton of choices, and the board (while it doesn’t seem complete) will help you to at least narrow it down.

What I ordered, and the +/- after the jump…

You get two items and a choice of white rice, fried rice or lo mein for around $6 (depending on what items you choose it could be cheaper or more expensive).  I went with the General Tso’s & Garlic Shrimp over Lo Mein.  I know some might look down on the General Tso’s choice, but it’s part of my addiction… and is usually the first thing I try at places like this.  This version was not one of the better ones I have had.  The quality of the chicken was not the best, and the coating was a little soggy.  But the taste was good, and it had a nice bit of heat to it from the red chili peppers.  The salt and pepper garlic shrimp made up for it a little, and provided a nice contrast to the sweet and sticky chicken.  The lo mein was ok, but a little on the mushy side.

Now, don’t mistaken this for a bad review… I ate every single bite of my lunch.  I just want to be honest for people who don’t have the same addiction I do.  If you are looking for great chinese food, this is not your place.  But, if you love cheap chinese food places, then the selection at Yips makes it worth going to at least a few times.  I would definetely get the Garlic shrimp again, and I’m interested in trying some of the other things they had.  Suggestions are welcome.  If you work closer to 48th St., I definetely think the steam plate food at Hing Won is better, but if you are on the north part of midtown, or are looking to try a different cheap chinese food place, you could do a lot worse then Yips.

THE + (what people who like this place would say)

  • Good selection
  • Cheap and quick
  • It’s cheap Chinese food!  I love cheap Chinese food!  I think I’m addicted to cheap Chinese food

THE – (what people who don’t like this place would say)

  • The quality of the food (meat in particular) is not that great
  • Not as fresh as it could be
  • Not authentic chinese
  • There are better places for this kind of food in Midtown

Yips, 52 W. 52nd St. btw. 5th & 6th, (212) 397-8280


  • I got the worst food poisoning from Yips circa 97; will never go back there again. AND I am not the only one. That place is notorious for food poisoning.

  • You’re taking a chance every time you walk into one of those cheap chinese steam table places. Clearly it’s a chance I’m willing to take over and over and over and over…

  • This is the worst Chinese food I have ever had. (period)

    I work across the street from this place. It made me feel miserable the rest of the day. Don’t go.

  • As many people have said, the BBQ chicken at Yips is amazing and everything else is kind of lousy. But the BBQ chicken is enough to keep me comnig back again and again.

  • Yeah, I’m catching up (added benefit in knowing no one will ever read my drivel). Used to glom the Yip when I worked int eh Financial district (why are they always adjacent to a back alley?)….. nevermind, don’t answer that. I’m in midtown now, (56th and 5th) and although I’ll be strolling over to Yips this week I usually go a little further south to 45th (betw 5th and 6th) to Ho Yips for my crap chinese. The Singapore Rice noodle…… yumm, roast pork, chicken, shrimp (sort of) intertwined with slightly curried rice noodles. Similar setup as Yips but I’m not sure about the two “entree” thing. YMMV

  • BBQ CHicken is the best thing at this place HANDS DOWN

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