To live in lower Manhattan is to resign yourself to perpetually spending too much money on food. And while Chinatown may be an oasis of cheap to-go counters in the realm of overpriced SoHo cafes, it can be hard to tell what’s actually worth eating. So with the help of our food editors, and plenty of vocal, opinionated New Yorkers, we finally crowned our $5 champion.
Tucked a block off of Bowery on Christy Street, just beyond the Canal Street 6 station, lies Wah Fung No.1. Like most underrated exceptional Chinatown eateries, the place is nothing special from the outside. Through the front window, you’ll see a curtain of hanging Peking ducks, behind which a team of chefs are working away. The shop is scarcely large enough to fit its short line of devoted locals, and cash is exchanged for Styrofoam containers over the counter at breakneck speed.
The place is typically celebrated for its pork, from BBQ pork in spicy red sauce to crispy fried pork with cabbage and soy sauce, all of which remains under the $10 mark. But according to our research, the spot’s real crowning jewel is the signature pork over rice entree. The staple take-out dish comes packed with a generous helping of steamed white rice, topped with a mound of soy-marinated ground pork drowned in sweet, brown sauce -- all of which clocks in at $4. In other words, it’s a whole meal for less than what most places charge for an iced coffee. And if you’re still hungry afterwards (you won’t be), be sure to try the crispy Peking duck -- we assure you, you will not be disappointed.
Watch the video above to learn more about how the ultra-cheap lunch plate comes together.