Surprisingly, some of the best restaurants in Chinatown are not Chinese. Kiki's, downtown’s most authentic Greek eatery, is located in the center of Chinatown and will be hard to find unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Even the sign outside is in Chinese, so keep your eyes open. Once you walk inside, you'll notice right away that Kiki’s is warm, welcoming and plain delicious. Try the Greek egg toast and the branzino.
130 Division St., Chinatown. 646-882-7052
Les Enfants de Boheme
This neighborhood staple is a go-to for locals who love the cozy feel of a Parisian bistro. Owned by Stefan Jonot, who operated Les Enfants Terribles on Canal Street before it closed three years ago, Les Enfants de Boheme is more low-key but still captures the creative spirit of the area. Swing by on Mondays for $1 oysters.
177 Henry St., Lower East Side/Chinatown. 646-476-4843; lesenfantesdeboheme.com
One of the oldest, most quintessential NYC bars also happens to be in one of the last remaining original neighborhoods in the city. Sometimes things don’t change and that’s good for the traveler who searches for real, authentic experiences. This weird, funky spot is oddly decorated, plays a great blend of jazz, soul and hip hop, and stays open very late. It's where to go to meet friends, play pool and chow down on some mac 'n' cheese.
169 E. Broadway, Chinatown. 212-641-0357 (text only); 169barnyc.com
Tucked away on the corner of Market and Madison Streets, between Asian grocery stores and Chinese takeout joints, Mr. Fong's is a real New York dive bar. While everyone else is focused on craft cocktails and mixology, Mr Fong’s just wants to maintain the feel of old-school New York, which you rarely see in nightlife anymore. The neighborhood’s Asian flavor is still present in some of the menu items, but what makes Mr. Fong’s such a hotspot is its unassuming nature.
40 Market St., Chinatown. 646-964-4540
Chinatown’s most iconic street has a bloody past. Once the site for one too many street battles and murder, today this short and sharply curved street is the playground of many movie directors. Here you can find the most authentic Chinese shops and restaurants.